Sometimes I wonder if I will ever genuinely adjust to city life. I felt the same way last summer after living in Chicago – restless, smothered, and a little bit like something is just missing. As if all of the pieces aren’t adding up for me, even when it appears that all the correct pieces are right in front of me.
Sometimes all it takes it a trip out to the suburbs, or a short-distance road trip for the day or weekend. Other times I feel like I need to genuinely get away from here and clear my head – though I can never quite figure out what I’m clearing my head from.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love this city and everything about it, but it has this weird effect of making me feel very small. I’ve spent my entire life in very small schools, in small towns and a relatively small college campus where it was pretty easy to have a sense of self. That’s why it’s so unsettling to be in a place like Chicago and feel like you’re doing all the right things and going through all the right motions, but still not having a grasp on where you fit in it all.
I wish I could say I have the solution to this feeling, but so far what has been the most comforting to me is realizing that so many other people I know are feeling the exact same way. I feel like I’m in an endless loop of waiting for this thing to happen or appear in my life that will help it all make sense and suddenly I’ll just know where I fit or what my place is.
I think part of it is being used to having a specific end-goal my entire life with the structure of school. Now I feel like – on paper, at least – I’ve arrived. But in my mind? I have no clue where “here” is, or where it is leading me to.
The best thing that gets me through is knowing that somehow, some way, probably without me even realizing it, things will click into place. It might not be all at once, but I know that eventually I’m going to look back on this time and how I was feeling and laugh at how much I’ve learned, grown, and changed.
In the meantime, I have to keep reminding myself to just laugh at the chaos, do what I can to escape the uncertainty and anxiety permanently resting in my stomach, and keep searching for whatever it is that will help me piece it all together.
Does anyone else ever feel like this?
In the meantime, here’s to waiting it out and embracing the moments in between.