Final night in Chicago … for a while

I got my nails done tonight.  It’s a small luxury at the onset of a big journey.  After all, I don’t anticipate finding high-end nail salons in the Everest Region — a place I’ll be trekking in a week.

On the walk home, my imagination ran wild to distract me from my sadness about leaving home, albeit temporarily.  The skyscrapers of Chicago morphed into snow-capped mountains.  The noisy sidewalks and streets transformed into quiet rocky trails.  I imagined a beautifully serene setting to cradle my soon-to-be homesickness.  It’s a homesickness that has already begun setting in, and I’m not even on the plane yet.

I’ll admit it: I’m a little scared.  And questions such as “Why the hell am I doing this again?  What is my goal here?  Why am I trading such a beautiful, stable life for this question mark of a journey?  Shouldn’t I be focused on building my career and laying a foundation for love/marriage/children like so many around me?”  Despite this aggressive internal chatter, I remain very hopeful about what’s yet to come.  Nevertheless, this hope and excitement is punctuated by doubt.  I’d be lying if that weren’t the case.  Thank goodness my hope, my faith, my excitement, my anticipation — that’s all much stronger.

As I took the long way home tonight, the imaginary mountains and trails helped guide me back to my parents’ Chicago skyrise, where I will sleep one more night before flying to New York for Thanksgiving with my dad’s side of the family.

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