THE ITCH

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Over the last few days, well maybe weeks, I have gotten anxious. I am really happy. I like my friends. I like my job. I like my apartment. I like my city. No, I love my city. I just have this vivid memory of the director of my program in college telling me “Lizzie, if you aren’t uncomfortable you aren’t learning.” And those words really hit me in the gut. I’ve tried, for the most part, to live by those words.

I think I am comfortable right now. And I’m craving a little bit of discomfort. Strange? Probably. I just want to make sure that I am always growing and always learning.

And so over the past couple of hours I’ve been searching through my photographs and remembering how lucky I am to be where I am. I won’t be in Chicago forever.

So while I am here, I am going to enjoy it. I am still growing and learning. I am learning to slow down and appreciate the now.

Someone really wise (Lao Tzu) once said, “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, living in the future. If you are a peace you are living in the moment.”

And so I’m putting this down in words as a reminder to myself to live in the moment.

if you’re lucky enough to remember to be present, you’re lucky enough

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A CHICAGO FAVORITE: INTELLIGENTSIA COFFEE

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My sister recently visited me in Chicago. I love playing tour guide in this city. It’s so much fun to have the opportunity to show off my favorite places and to try new things as I’m still pretty fresh here. I’m planning to eventually create a full guide of what I recommend seeing and doing in the city, but in the mean time I will share just a small tidbit here and there.

And the first one? If you have a day to spend in Chicago, I recommend starting it off with a latte from Intelligentsia Coffee. The coffee is delicious, the cafes are adorable, the baristas are super friendly, and most importantly to me the beans are not just fair trade, but direct trade.

Have you ever had Intelligentsia? While the company started in Chicago, they also serve coffee in LA and New York. If you try a cup of jo from Intelligentsia, I hope you’ll let me know!

if you’re lucky enough to enjoy a soy latte from Intelligentsia, you’re lucky enough

 

SPRING HAS SPRUNG IN CHICAGO

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I have said before that I think there is no such thing as bad weather. That being said, is there anyone out there that doesn’t get simply giddy when the weather is nice, when the sun is out, and when flowers are blooming? I wish I knew scientifically why spring makes us so happy (so hey psychologists, feel free to share!). But as I am looking through some of the photographs I took over the past week or two, I guess I don’t even care why. To quote a little fella named Bob, don’t worry be happy.

if you’re lucky enough to live in Chicago in the springtime, you’re lucky enough

STOP AND ENJOY THE ALLEYS

IMG_0429 IMG_0423It’s not always just about stopping to smell the roses. Sometimes I find myself in new neighborhoods in Chicago and I’ll stumble over something that is so fun to look at I get a little giddy. When I run into something like an awesome alley way and I have my camera on me, it makes my entire afternoon. (This particular alley way is in West Loop right near the Little Goat).

Does this ever happen to you? Do you remember to stop and smell or stop and enjoy your environment?

if you’re lucky enough to enjoy your unique surroundings, you’re lucky enough

 

A FRIDAY THOUGHT: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BAD WEATHER

The weather in Chicago is currently insane. Less than a week ago it was beautiful out, at least 60 degrees and sunny. Yet this week it has been dark, grey and raining non-stop. The city is flooding, streets are caving in, and buses are filling with water. I have fallen in love with Chicago in a serious way, but lately I’ve been craving a change in weather for the better. Or at least that’s what I was letting myself think.

Yesterday morning I went to yoga with my favorite teacher, Allison. She started us off by saying how lucky we were for having such stormy weather. Huh? It was only 6:30am so I assumed I misheard her. But she continued. She explained how energetic lightening and thunder is and how we should use this natural spark to buzz the rest of our body, to exhilarate the rest of our day. First of all, how amazing is Allison? Second of all, what a great reminder that the opportunity to enjoy the weather is completely up to our unique perspective.

I mean just look at these photographs I’ve taken of Chicago over the past 9 months. Isn’t each one of them beautiful in their own way?

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480502_4743822147391_501105169_n IMG_9257_2Sunshine is soothing, rain is refreshing, wind is wonderful, and snow is special. There is no such thing as bad weather, there are only different kinds of good weather. So wherever you are and whatever it looks like outside of your window this morning, I hope you are enjoying it.

if you’re lucky enough to experience different types of good weather, you’re lucky enough