Becca Anderson blathers about...stuff. Or something.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Autumn in the City

Oh, man. I have really got to start using my time more wisely, y'all. I slept until 11 today, and then dicked around, and THEN started to do my stats homework. It involved doing THREE ANOVAs (Analyses of Variance) by hand, which...there's no call for that. No one does them by hand, because they are sooooo labor-intensive. Ugh. So anyway, I started the homework, realized it was going to take one million years, got dressed, went to school, and skipped finish the homework. D'oh.

Anyway, must...use...time...more...wisely.


It was a lovely afternoon. Between stats lab and Org Psych, I bought some junk food, and then walked very slowly, just enjoying the ever-so-slight bite in the air, and the lovely fall colors in the setting sun.

My first winter in Chicago, I was depressed. One night in February of 2003, I was standing on the el platform, and I sighed and looked up at the dark sky. I realized then that there were no stars visible, because of the light pollution in the city, the the probably overcast weather. I hadn't seen stars in close to six months, the last time being when I went home to Maryland earlier in the fall. I am not a "nature person," per se, but I was bummed that I lived in the city and there was no nature and everything was concrete and metal and ugly. That was when I started to think about moving back to Maryland.

Now, though, I realize that there is plenty of nature in the city, especially when I supplement city-nature with the nature I soak up when I go to Oklahoma or Maryland. You just have to know where to look. The trees on my street filter the autumn sunlight just so, making me feel like I'm in AnySuburb, USA. As I speed down Lake Shore Drive, Lake Michigan stretches out to the east, as far as my eye can see. Diversey Harbor, then Lincoln Park, then Grant Park are just on the west side of the highway. At school, there are big grassy lawns dotted with trees whose leaves are just now changing color. Anywhere in the city, there are squirrels and sun and wind and rain and snow.

That February was a rough time for me, and quite possibly the darkest time in my life. I felt like I was utterly alone, and that my blessings were few and unimportant and far away. I clung tightly to anything and anyone who might make me feel better, who might deliver me from misery.

But look at my life now. I know lots of people, and am glad to call most of them my friends. I have learned to let go of the dead weight; friendships have a lifespan. I don't need to surround myself with everyone, just everyone who is good to me. I have learned to love being by myself, not requiring constant stimulation from others. I have a job that is physically taxing, but doesn't continue to drain me after I leave. I am fortunate enough to further my education in a field that is truly fascinating to me, and will be lucrative to boot. I learn new things about my capabilities and creativity every single day. My cat is entertaining. I have a home. My family is healthy and mostly happy. I love and am loved. I am happy and so very blessed.

Like nature in the city, the blessings are there; I just needed to know where to look.


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