I’m acutely homesick tonight. I saw a news headline about something back in Chicago and went to Chicago Public Radio’s web site and listened to its streaming feed. I spiraled downward from there. Also, this is the first time I am not in Chicago for the annual March Madness event my friends and I have been hosting, a tradition that goes back to 1999. That just adds insult to injury.
However, I discovered a sort of salve for this. Google Maps. Technology saves the day again! I simply went to the site, typed in an address and zoomed in to their "man on the street" level. It is the coolest thing. You actually stroll/scroll down the street. I think they sent teams out in cars with digital video cameras and have stitched together the ability to virtually walk down the street as if the viewer were there.
I “walked” the various neighborhoods I’ve called home since moving there in 1998. First there was the apartment in North Center, then the famed Ashland Estates, followed by Edgewater Beach. I might not be able to walk into my favorite diner but I can stare at its façade and dream of pleather booths, wood paneling and light, fluffy pancakes. I zoomed around the 4-block loop on which I took the dogs so many times and ended the tour up in Rogers Park where I once had a condo and where I rented my very first apartment back in 1996 as a co-op student at Motorola. The whole experience gave me a chance to begin understanding the somewhat-improbably and circuitous route I’ve taken from then to now. It helped me understand maybe I am making more progress than I sometimes give myself credit for.
Let that be today’s lesson: give yourself a break when you need it and be open to it teaching you something new.