How to make friends in Chicago: sit outside a starbucks by yourself

I finally made my long anticipated move to Chicago. I just got a job in the city and am actually starting to get settled here.

It’s been a crazy past couple of weeks and my mind has been going in every which direction trying to figure out the city and what it is that I want to be doing. Last night was one of my lowest points since I’ve moved here. I was in the city and had to say goodbye to someone that I care very much about. The reason why it was such a big deal for me, is because I have no idea when I will see him again. On top of that, I just generally felt lost. I haven’t had a chance to see any of my friends (besides him) in the past month, and I haven’t really made many here yet. I just feel lonely. I am also stressing out about my job, because I have to commute quite a ways and I’m not sure if it’s going to work out yet.

Anyways, I was visibly upset and didn’t want to go home yet, so I sat down at a starbucks and ordered a coffee. I sat outside with my headphones in, drinking my coffee alone and watching the thousands of people pass by on Michigan Avenue when a complete stranger approached me out of no where. I took out my headphones as he extended his hand and introduced himself. He asked me to dinner and I quickly declined as I still felt full and sad from wallowing in my self pity. He then asked me, “Well what about a drink?” I paused for a second and thought to myself, why not? What else am I going to do, sit here and cry about how alone and lost I feel? So I said yes.

We made our way down the street to an upscale Mexican restaurant and we both ordered a margarita. Aside from it being the best margarita that I have ever had, the vibe of the restaurant was amazing. There were fireplaces made up of blue rocks on fire everywhere, the lighting was dim, and every one around me seemed beautiful and happy. He ended up ordering tapas even though I insisted that I wasn’t hungry. Over our margaritas and tapas, we discussed our life philosophies, what we looked for in other people, using Tinder in the city, and work. It was great conversation for it being with someone that I had just met less than an hour ago. We ended up parting ways, but before we did, he gave me his business card (so adult). I haven’t reached out to him yet and I’m honestly still not sure if I will.

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As I rode the CTA home that night, I felt extremely hopeful. This is the beginning of my new life. I may feel completely alone one moment, but I am surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people every single day. There are so many people who are going to be a part of my life here that I simply just haven’t come across yet. Last night made me realize that in this city, anything is possible. And if I want something, I need to put myself out there and go get it. Because at this point, the only thing that’s stopping me is myself. Here’s to a new city, a new outlook on life, new friends, new loves, and most importantly new experiences.

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Two double vodka sodas with lemon later

For the past 5 months or so, I’ve been in a strange funk. I don’t know how else to describe it, other than to say that my mind has just been cloudy. I can’t pinpoint a reason as to why this is, but I’m going through a lot of transitions in every aspect of my life right now, and I think that may be why. This “funk” has had an impact on a lot of areas of my life, but one that it’s affected the most, is my writing. Writing has always come easy for me, and it’s a big part of my every day life. Usually, I can write pages and pages about anything and still feel like I could keep going. But as of lately, every time that I think of a topic that I want to write about, I sit down at my computer and my mind just goes blank. It’s like I can’t find the words to say. I barely write on here at all anymore. If I ever do write these days, it’s usually a paragraph or so in my journal or a note in my phone when I get a random idea. I’ve also been thinking about switching up my page a little bit which has been holding me back from writing as well. Anyways, last night something happened that made it a little easier for me to write this.

Last night, I went out with my roommate for my 23rd birthday. We were going from bar to bar just feeling the night out and ran in to a couple of our old friends. One of them was her boyfriend’s old roommate, and the other was a guy that we both went to high school with and had somewhat been in the same friend group with for a semester or two of college. We ended up on a rooftop bar, drinks in hand, deep in conversation with both of these guys. My roommate was sitting across from me with her boyfriends old roommate. They were deep in a conversation about climate change. My roommate is very liberal and her boyfriend and most of his friends are pretty conservative. So whenever we all end up in the same place and are intoxicated, she turns every conversation into some type of political debate. I, on the other hand, was sitting next to the guy that we had both went to high school with. Him and I have a little history together; we both had crushes on each other but it didn’t work out because the circumstances at the time were just too weird. Anyways, he’s a pretty unique guy. I don’t think hipster is the right word to describe him, but it’s something comparable. He has a lot of family in Greece and spent most of last year traveling through Europe. We talked about everything from whether or not we believed in astrology, religion, and our ethnic backgrounds to what our plans were for after college. It was one of those conversations that inspired me and gave me hope for the new page of my life that I’m about to start. I told him my plan for what’s next for me (moving to Chicago not really knowing anyone or having a set plan) and he reassured me that I wasn’t crazy. He reminded me that in order to get to where you really want to be, that sometimes you have to take chances and make choices that may seem crazy to others and sometimes to yourself. He also pointed out that Chicago is a city full of opportunity and if you want something there, you have to put yourself out there and go for it. Which is what I’m doing. I have really been doubting my decision to move and just about every other decision that I’ve been making lately. So it was extremely reassuring to hear from another person, whose opinion I value, that I’m not doing so bad after all.

I think it’s little things in our every day lives that make the most influence. A simple drunken conversation with an old friend completely changed my mindset. That may sound silly, but it did, and I can’t explain it. It’s funny because as I sat on the roof of that bar last night, I was surrounded by so many people. I often forget how small I really am in the grand scheme of things and forget that all of these people around me are going through things as well. Some of them may be similar to me, some not as bad, and some a lot worse. Kind of makes me wonder if anyone else in that bar last night also got a little piece of enlightenment.

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I’m a firm believer that if a person keeps being brought back into your life, then it’s for a reason.

For example, the time when I first met the guy who I am crazy about now at a bar. I forgot to get his number and saw him again the following weekend but I then saw him a week later at the library, but didn’t talk to him. About a week later I saw him again all the way across campus and ended up getting his number. After that, I never ran into him on campus ever again even though I went to all of the same places. I kept in contact with him, but it’s as if we were running into each other repeatedly because of fate. It kept happening until I got his number and didn’t lose it, so that we could see each other again.

Or the time last year when I randomly took an Italian class last minute to fill up a gap in my schedule and met a girl named Sierra who I talked to maybe once. Fast forward to the following summer and we somehow got hired for the same job at the same time and now she’s one of my best friends.

I don’t know maybe I’m just being dramatic or am a little tipsy off of wine and stretching things, but my point it, is something or someone keeps reoccurring in your life, then there’s probably a reason for it. Don’t ignore it. The universe is trying to tell you something. Take notice to the things that happen around you and give in to them. Because usually it leads to positive things.

It happened; I’ve finally had enough.

If you asked someone who knows me to describe me, one of the first things that they would say is that I’m a nice person. Yes, this is a good characteristic to have, but for me, it’s almost to the point that it’s a flaw. I don’t always stand up for myself, I tend to let people walk all over me, and I often have trouble saying no to people.

As you all know, lately I’ve been trying to find happiness and my place in the world, and I’ve come to find that it’s extremely hard to do this while being too nice. Sometimes you just have to say no. You have to put someone in their place when they treat you wrong. You have to stand up for yourself. Otherwise, people aren’t going to respect you. They’re going to use you. They’re going to take and take and take as long as you continue to give.

I’m not sure what came over me, but this week something in me snapped. It was probably just a build up of different events where others have taken advantage of my kindness and mistaken it for weakness. A mixture of not being appreciated for all that I do at my job, not being taken seriously by friends, not getting back what I put in to my love life, my family also not taking me seriously. Whatever it was, I hit my breaking point and I am finally starting to realize that I deserve more than what I’m getting out of people. I’ve always had somewhat low self esteem and settle for less. But I am done with that. I’m done with settling. I want what’s best for myself. I want to be happy and I want what I deserve. It’s time for me to start saying no to the things that I don’t want to do. Time to cut the people out of my life that don’t treat me right. Time to stop bending over backwards for people who put little effort into our relationship.

Self respect is a beautiful thing. I’m so happy that I’m finally realizing that I deserve it.

thursday motivation

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I saw this recently and felt a little inspired by it. So many times I find myself and see the people around me doing something because they feel like they have to. Whether if it’s to make someone else happy or because they feel like they have no other choice. But I am here to tell you that this is not the way life should be. Only do something because YOU want to. I lived my life for far too long trying to please others. And it’s pointless.

Do what you want, when you want. And don’t apologize for it.

I had a cup of coffee and now I’m inspired

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This is the motto that I’m trying so hard to follow right now. Like I said in my last post, I’m trying to focus on myself and my own happiness right now. I’m trying to become a better person. To have more experiences that will help me to grow. I’m trying to find a new job for after college, so that I can be successful and live how I want. I’m trying to be healthier and to be a better friend. I’m just trying to be happy. And I’m trying to accomplish this without needing anyone besides myself. I’ve spent my whole life feeling like I wasn’t good enough and chasing others in an attempt to get them to stay in my life. But my self confidence has gotten a million times better and I’m finally starting to realize that I don’t need to chase anyone. I deserve someone who is going to put in work for me. So hopefully is I keep working on myself, I’ll attract the right people and I’ll find happiness.

It feels good to be happy

I’m finally to the point in my life where I’m not letting what is going on around me affect my own happiness. There is always so much going on inhave ┬ámy family and sometimes when I do start to feel happy, I feel guilty because I know that a lot of the people I care most about are so unhappy. However, I am finally realizing that sometimes that’s just how it is and you can’t let everything on the outside affect you personally. Sometimes you just have to e happy for you.

It’s been a long while since I have felt this good about my life. I absolutely love my new apartment. I am realizing how many new friends I’ve made this summer and in the past month at my new job. Although I am working a lot, I’m finally making my own money and can buy and do the things that I want. I’m going to be able to visit my sister and nephew in Chicago a lot more this semester. The guy that I like but that moved away is coming back to visit in a couple of weeks and I wasn’t even sure that we would still keep talking after he moved. I’m finally starting to feel better about my body image and feel like I’m getting back to where I was two years ago. Overall, I just feel so much better about my life. I’m so happy for the first time in at least two years and it feels so good.