Thursday, May 19, 2011

End of the World

On my way to work this morning, I heard a man screaming, way too early in the morning I might add, “The world is ending on Saturday-have you lived?”  My first reaction was to figure out the fastest way to escape his loud voice and get my coffee. But while waiting in line to get my latte, his words had me thinking.

I looked up this whole world ending thing and of course only someone from California could have come up with it. A pastor and his followers really believe that the apocalypse will occur on May 21, 2011.

So if it were to happen in 2 days, have you lived your life?

I think I can comfortably say that I do not have any regrets with the way I have lived my life. I am 26 and have my Masters, have traveled more than I ever imagined, have loved wholeheartedly, experienced loss and have found my passion and now just need a job to accompany it. Many can’t say that.

But then I think about the people in my life who are still struggling to find that happiness- some are stuck in jobs they hate, some are in marriages without love, some don’t know what they want to do in their lives and are part of the daily grind because it pays the bills. I know life is not as simple as if you want things to be differently then make it happen but sometimes I really think you have to wake up one day and take a step towards change or else life will pass us by without giving us the happiness we seek.

A good friend once asked, “Who are you living for?” I think an honest answer to that question is a start in determining what you want out of your life. It is easy and definitely only a quick fix to fill up our homes with things that bring us momentary joy but that will never be enough. The people that are happy are that way because they live without worrying. Everyday, they make a point to simply be near someone/something that makes them happy which in turn pushes them to attain more forms of success. 

Random thought I know, but hope you all try even if it is for 2 days ;)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chicago, IL

I have been meaning to write a post on Chicago since my trip but life events have given me an excuse to be lazy. I visited the windy city for a relaxing two days to see my little sister. Prior to grad school, I made an effort to visit at least once a year and sometimes even three times to the point that the city had become a second home. But this time around, I felt like I really connected with it because we made an effort to explore neighborhoods rather than the typical sights.

Specifically, we explored Wicker Park, Buck town, and Lincoln Park. Each had its own identity which made the atmosphere completely different from that of downtown Chicago. Wicker Park is a trendy low key row of streets lined with small independent boutiques and cafes. Each shop is totally different from the next as well from those on State St. We started our day with brunch at Hot Chocolate and just as the name suggests, there were many different options for this comfort drink. But it was not what you would typically expect in terms of ambiance. There were moose and deer heads along with abstract paintings and brick walls all around. I had the espresso hot chocolate and was already scared for our food crawl because I was beyond full from just this. Oh yea, I should mentioned that my host had decided to take me all over Chicago for some of her fav dishes and this was just the first stop with about 10 more to go.  

After purchasing a few items meant to distract from life’s troubles, we headed to Buck town for some window shopping and people watching. This area is more for vintage items, tattoo parlors and record stores. We stumbled on a vintage fair and I scored a beautiful Burberry coat for dad! Of course mom wanted something equivalent or better but I couldn’t oblige this time around. Next was Lincoln Park for some customized jewelry shopping and then our food crawl began. In a span of 4 hours we managed to consume a burger, hot wings, frozen yogurt, a kebab roll, nihari and french fries. Needless to say, the next day we could barely eat anything.  

I should mention that Chicago has a lot to do in terms of sightseeing from Millennium Park, Hancock Building, Sears Tower, Lake Michigan, Museums, State St, Oprah show, Navy Pier and the deep dish pizza. You can easily spend a few days here and explore. I came to Chicago with an empty carry on and an appetite. I left stuffed, my carry on overflowing and my mind had enjoyed the much needed break!

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