I know it’s been said all over the internet, and probably in better ways than I will say it, but what is going on? Thus far, 2016 has been full of unexpected surprises and upsets. You could even say I’m slightly convinced we’re living in the “upside down.”
The last few months have been a whirlwind – apart from being overly busy, over-committing myself, and falling stupid in love, so many big things have happened. I’ve wanted to write about each thing, but by the time I get my bearings together, the next big thing has happened. I literally cannot keep up.
Remember when the Cubs won the World Series just two weeks ago? Yeah, that seems like ages ago to me too. But as a Chicagoan, I jumped on the proverbial bandwagon real quick and got swept away in all the excitement that saturated the entire city. Between having friends and family in town for the Chicago home games, to anxiously watching game seven alone with my dog as my boyfriend spontaneously drove to Cleveland to experience the once-in-a-lifetime moment in person, even I, who is not a big sports fanatic, got pretty involved in all the craziness. Not to mention, I think everyone was singing “Go Cubs Go” for a week or so after, for all I know people are still singing it randomly around town.
Following the thrill of the Cubs win, we were off to New York for the NYC Marathon. The weekend was a whirlwind. It was nice to have a getaway with Erick and to introduce each other to some of our New York friends.
The four-day trip was jam-packed with sightseeing, some pretty amazing vegan food, some not so vegan food (looking at you, pizza stands), some great sponsored events by Adidas and Under Armour, stopping by the Today studio (because when it’s your dog’s favorite show, you just have to get him a souvenir), some shopping, wanting so many pictures taken that Erick could not even handle it anymore, oh, and a bit of running just to name a few of the highlights.
My favorite part of the trip (aside from the vegan goodness of Modern Love and by CHLOE) was Saturday morning’s run to and from Central Park. It was so nice taking a nice run to the park, getting lost in the park, cursing those never-ending rolling hills that we don’t see in Chicago, followed by a yummy brunch all while smiling and genuinely enjoying the energy of that morning – the day before the New York City Marathon. It sounds silly, and just an ordinary morning, and maybe that's why it was so nice. That’s something that I value with mine and Erick’s relationship - we don't have to do anything out of the ordinary for it to feel exceptional. One of my favorite things to do on any vacations is to run around the city, as I’m a firm believer that’s the best way to see a city. And what better way to do it than with your best friend/boyfriend?
We arrived back to Chicago late Monday night. The Monday before the election.
I have kept mostly silent and made sure not to go down the political rabbit hole as I’m a firm believer that politics are a personal topic and often times a lose-lose conversation because no one’s beliefs are ever the same and it’s very rare for people to have civilized conversations without trying to persuaded someone they are right in their views.
The days that followed the election were very grim in Chicago. You could see the look and feel it in the air. Anger, sadness, loss of words, a pure sense of hopelessness had come over the entire city.
Being a Nebraskan turned Chicagoan I have quite the range of personalities, beliefs, concerns, and values across my social media platforms. This has allowed me to see different views, opinions, and to somewhat put myself in others shoes. I definitely don't agree with it all, but I do appreciate hearing people’s opinions and views, and even looking at things in ways I didn’t before.
At the end of the day it still hurts my heart. I feel for my neighbors, friends, women, and children, as what the future holds is unknown and I see the fear in those around me.
Erick and I, as well as some of our friends have discussed wanting to help our community. We are seeking ways to help our neighbors, start conversations, and do our part in bridging the gap and coming together as a community. We have some small ideas in mind and will start implementing soon, but if you have any suggestions of anything we can do, anywhere we can volunteer, please contact me – comment below, email me, find me on social media, text me. Or if interested, we can add you to our email chain to start a discussion and see how we can help our community during this time and in the years to come.