when i met kate i was living at home, planning a return to the west coast and heading back there almost every three weeks. on some level, chicago was where i was vacationing, and to say i was still in the ‘i don’t know what i want to do with my life’ stage would be a gross understatement.
i hadn’t yet fully recovered from my decision to quit my pursuit of a professional soccer career, which is to say that my perception of this new ‘real world‘ scenario that college graduates are forced to wrestle with still didn’t have have full-time employment or longer term goals built into it. my vision into the future had always sort of ended with soccer, and it’s removal left a gaping hole in tomorrow.
that being said, i was almost a year removed from my decision to give up the game, and emotionally i was only in a small way uncomfortable with the new me. i was very much enjoying the freedom of this No Soccer Life…it allowed me to immerse myself in chicago’s music scene, my friend’s and their party scenes, and to spent a bit of time with almost no responsiblity at all.
and in this context i was an outlet for kate and her recent foray into life after a failed relationship. i was in a lot of ways constantly having fun, and i imagine that it looked quite good on me. our honeymoon phase was not only heightened in that way, but as i’ve mentioned before, prolonged by my hesitation to rush her beyond her adjustment to this new life.
these were incredible times.
it was new restaurants and new music.
trips to san diego, san francisco, and new york.
it was weeknight drinking, weekend brunches, new friends and late nights in her apartment with chalise.
it’s amazing what laughter and sex will do for your general state of being.
our contrast was notable…her professional life was (and still is) quite impressive already.
she’d landed one of those jobs after school, having worked hard at her finance degree and diligently through the interview process before graduation (a process i’m pretty sure i slept through). her city life had begun right away, and she was already almost a year into a great job making great money, shouldering a lot of responsibility.
i found this superbly attractive, of course.
and in some ways it undoubtedly influenced some of the decisions i made that kept me here in chicago. as kate and i slowly fell deeply in love, i became more focused on making our relationship possible…i wanted to move downtown, and i wanted to have a job and earn money to spend on her.
when i did find work at a law firm, and did move downtown, i was still quite a long way away from work that engaged me…work that i enjoyed and wanted to succeed at.
and for a time that was probably preferrable.
my lack of direction fueled a focus on the two of us, and the undershirt of uncertainty i wore had trouble outshining the glowing jacket of carefree exuberance i had for the time we spent outside of work.
but as things tend to do…
this all changed with time.