Chapter 2: Leave It In The Past

They say everything that you’ve experienced until now define who you are at this moment. This is true. I am the sum of all my experience.

Exactly this time 6 years ago, I was 23 and I visited Chicago for the first time with a few of my best friends. It was one of the best experiences of my life. It was love at first sight. I felt differently in that city. It was one of those self defining moments.

About 2 months later, I packed up what I could and moved off to that big city. Prior to this move, I had met a boy in Vegas who was from Chicago. He was one of those people who enter your life for a reason, but quickly leave. I thank him for that and that is where I will end that story.

I was 23 and bright-eyed. I had already graduated college, moved back home, and quit at my first attempt to get into dental school. When I was younger, I have always had this need to leave home. I blamed the environment for all of my misfortunes and things I never achieved. I felt I was being constricted, especially by my family, whom only wanted me to be happy and see me succeed. I was young and immature. I was trapped by the barriers that I created myself. I took a huge risk and followed my heart. I made one of the best decisions of my life.

I did some crucial planning, some major convincing, and I found a flat on craigslist and moved to Chicago. I knew one person in the city but had no fear of living a life of solitude. I was Michelle, the life of the party, had a ton of friends, and a loud personality. The fact that I was alone in a big city and knew that no one knew anything about me was thrilling to me. It was me, the city, and the El. The scenery, the seasons, the food, the people, the skyscrapers, the hustle and bustle, it was perfect. I felt like the person I finally wanted to be.

It was a rocky start, Chicago slowly chewed me up and spit me out. The girl who needed attention was quickly missing the people she left behind. At this point, I needed to figure out what direction my life was headed. It was rocky, it flattened out, then hit a plateau.

I lived in Chicago for two years. I remember the day I left like it was yesterday. My friend Chris had dropped me off at the airport and as we said goodbye, the waterfall of tears started and did not stop till I got off the plane.

I had to break up with my first true love. It was devastating. But it was a time in my life that I had to do what was best for me. We loved each other very much, but at this point, love wasn’t enough. The city left me with an experience I will never forget. I only knew one person when I moved there but left a family behind. The city molded me into who I am today. Chicago will always remind me of the beginning of adulthood. The neighborhoods, the streets, the “beach,” every part of that city will have a specific significance in my life. I was free.

meatball

My one and only friend when I moved to the city. Stephanie aka “meatball” We loved Jersey Shore…smh Headed to Lou Malnatis after a heavily night of drinking. I threw up the night before and she threw up after eating that deep dish pizza. What were we thinking? 
Today, Stephanie is now sober from drugs and alcohol. I am so proud to be one of the first people to start that journey with her. I’m so thankful to have met her. A wonderful soul whom I am nothing without. Thank you for being you. 

chitownfam

My last backyard party with my family I left behind. I’m the life of the party again. I think this where my love for giving toasts began. These are some of the best people I know. Our favorite past time was drinking Jameson and I think this was my first pickle back? I went from not drinking dark liquor to it being my main food group. I miss these people dearly. Thank you for taking me into your life and deteriorating my liver. I love you.

If we we’re meant to stay in one place, we would have roots instead of feet, he said. -Rachel Wolchin

I love you Chicago. Thank you for the best two years of my life. 

-Meesh

Chapter 1: Find Inspiration: Anywhere and Everywhere.

So where do I begin? I have so many things going on in my head, I need somewhere to jot it all down.

Since I have so much time on my hands nowadays, I need to make sure I take full advantage. It is crazy to think about how many things I didn’t get to do with working at my last job. It makes sense about why I was so depressed. I was missing out on life and everything it had to offer.

At this moment in my life, I’m trying to find inspiration in anything and everything. I’m reading different books, watching movies, documentaries, researching, reading various articles, learning different skills, planning trips…etc. I’m keeping busy. I’m in search of a passion I can seriously dive into. When I was growing up, I had this dream of being a famous singer. But when I realized no matter how much I practiced and how much I wanted it, I didn’t have that God given talent that was going to deliver me my first big break. Maybe that was the first part of me accepting myself and moving on. But that was the only time in my life that I was truly gung-ho about a career decision. Every other career choice I worked towards was always the back-up plan, then the back-up back-up plan, and you know where the story goes from there.

But after all of those different paths I decided to take on, one thing I wanted to eventually work towards was being my own boss. Mainly, I want to own my own restaurant. And I still plan on doing that someday but I know even if I had the money to invest in something so risky, that I am completely not ready to do that. It would fail tremendously. There is still so much out there that I need to learn and I know if I take every opportunity to do so, it’ll come in time.

I have also used this time to find inspiration in other women. It is 2017 and although more women are coming into power, we are still trailing behind. Donald Trump beat Hilary for the presidency and people are becoming shittier than ever before. I’ve never been your common girly-girl but I haven’t enjoyed being a woman this much before. I don’t consider myself a feminist (because there’s a ton of shit, i’ll let the boys handle) but I embrace being a woman whole heartedly. And maybe I feel this way because i’ve experienced gender discrimination first hand and the fact that I chose not to play the gender card in my last position, made me the bigger man. But the gender gap..it exists.

So I am taking this opportunity as a blessed American citizen to do everything in my power to bridge this gap. I will educate myself on as much as I can. Fill my brain with ideas and experience that will lead me to my brilliant idea (whatever that may be) to change the world for the better. I plan on coming out on top and not let my breasts get in the way…unless I can use them to my advantage (which would be completely different story..and probably not the one I want).

So this is the ending to chapter 1. Keep on reading to journey with me on how I end up changing the world….

“Men are not the enemy, but the fellow victims. The real enemy is women’s denigration of themselves.” -Betty Friedman

-MG