The Spark

The epic failure of a year 2009 was dragging its ass to a close finally when my New Year’s Eve plans fell through – suddenly and without explanation. Par for the course, considering the events and months preceding it. But this time, for some reason, I wasn’t content to just resign myself. I had gracious and wonderful invitations to friends’ apartments for drinks with husbands and boyfriends. I, having neither, was selfishly not too thrilled to be playing the part of Third/Fifth/Seventh Wheel. It wasn’t different enough. It was too quiet and peaceful. It was no way to welcome the incredible potential of a year I intended to make different.

Then, lo!, an idea.

I was on a train to St. Louis at 7 am the next morning, watching through the window as Chicago melted behind me and gave way to the flat, snowy plains of Illinois and the great big gray sky. Traveling alone and by train invites a kind of rambling meditation. I replayed the last year of my life in my head (a year that is arguably my first real go at adulthood, marked by some significant failures). Even so, the weight of it all wasn’t so bad that moment. Iwas in a liminal zone, on the train, and that was affording me some grace, some forgiveness, some “let’s give this another shot” hope. We Americans have this idea that moving will give us some glorious life reboot. And, as someone who tends to trade in one hometown for another every few years, I believe it.

And I know that St. Louis is really not much different from Chicago. But they have different people, different bars, a different (dare i say better?) baseball team, a different river and no smoking bans. So yeah, it’s kind of foreign.  And yeah, I got to look at everything with a fascination I hadn’t experienced in a long time.

So after that little trip, the thought of moving somewhere on another continent, in another hemisphere, with a delicious language I don’t know, with a climate I’ve never experienced, with new buildings and books and food and music  – it sounds like one big wondergasm. I’m in. Details to follow.

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