At the end of September, I moved out of my apartment on Division Avenue in Wicker Park and in with one of my best friends, Braden.
I haven’t lived in a place I’d call my own since.
Living in the domain of other people is something you get familiar with in college. It’s a unique experience for most; those of you who went to boarding schools or those fancy East Coast prep schools were rocking the roommates even earlier. Maybe boarding schools and prep schools are the same thing, actually…honestly I’m just a Midwest guy who played soccer and passed Calculus.
Either way the Rules of Life’s Trajectory usually dictate a point at which you don’t live in another’s domain at some point in your mid-twenties. I did rent on my own in Wicker Park starting at about 25 or so, and I did love it…I reached the point of no return on living with roommates.
I thought so, anyway.
Ironically, living with Braden was a lot of fun.
It was kind of like a vacation in some ways, and at that point I had quite a bit of uncertainty in my life and couldn’t have made it through that without his generosity, so if you’re following him on Twitter I wouldn’t be upset if you sent him naked pictures or money. Back then we were already spending most of our free time together and it saved us the four blocks walk between our places, which is pretty significant once it’s December and Chicago is frozen solid.
Since arriving on the Left Coast I have stayed in three different places (as of this weekend). I’m still transient, and it’s been so long that I’m pretty darn comfortable with being transient. It’s amazing the way life just sort of happens, and you can get comfortable with the way things were or you can let Change influence tomorrow.
My tomorrows are largely dictated by the almighty Change, as it were, and at thirty years old I feel a combination of irony and comfort with the whole thing.
I never thought I’d be thirty and living in a new city with a bunch of question marks sitting on my calendar.
I also can’t say I’d feel any more comfortable with an alternative path.
When I think about a few years ago, in a serious relationship (with a wonderful girl) and trying to put together pieces of a future in Chicago, I know that even that life was chock full of question marks. When I read all of the wonderful bloggers I’m fortunate enough to follow; people of all ages and walks of life; I see one common thread…tomorrow’s not always what you thought it’d be.
I’m not knocking stability. I do wish I had more, sometimes.
Yet, there’s nothing traditional about the lives of the people I know.
Even the people I know who have traditional jobs or traditional love lives or a measure of habit and repetitiveness in their days. Even my parents, who’ve been in St. Charles for more than twenty years, still manage to face total chaos somewhat regularly.
People get pregnant, sick, fired, and bored. They write books and get promoted and take vacations that change their lives. They get into grad school and drop out of college and follow their instincts.
The only thing that remains constant is how mixed up and crazy the world can be.