Chicago for the Weekend

By Luis H. Garay

This past weekend I travelled to Chicago (my hometown) for a doctor’s appointment. What was originally meant to be a weekend of seeing family and being at the doctor’s appointment turned into an affirmation of what I love about Chicago.

Chicago is home. Chicago is family. Chicago is friends. Chicago is energy.

A couple of days prior to my visit to Chicago, a friend and fellow #sapro colleague let me know that our undergraduate alma matter was having a homecoming alumni event. They asked if I wanted to go and said yes. Having been back since I graduated, this was going to be my first alumni event. It was a treat to see fellow Class of 2014 classmates and catch up what has been going on with them. From new jobs, new degrees, and new plans, all were on a great track following graduation.
The following morning, I met with three high school friends for breakfast. Chit chatting about life, it was here that again, newness became apparent. New jobs, new relationships, and new career opportunities were discussed as our forks clattered during breakfast. That night, I met up for dinner with a college friend and their fiancé for Girodano’s pizza (arguably the best deep dish/stuffed pizza ever!). As I heard an update about the wedding, how other friends were doing, and watching last week’s episode of Scandal, I could not help but feel contentment and happiness.
The quote below by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie resonated in me as I drove back to St. Louis.

The times I go back to Chicago, I am recharged. My spirit is filled. My cup overflows with feelings of love and happiness. It’s not to say I don’t have that here in St. Louis, but it’s a little different for me experiencing similar emotions in two different places. One place: your hometown, the other: where you are building a home. Adichie’s quote reminds that no matter how cities or towns I live in or how many miles I traverse whenever I travel, home (Chicago) is where I will always go to be reminded  of my roots, to reconnect with friends, and to spend time with family.

Thanks for reading! As always, let me know your thoughts below or tweet meat @LuisHGaray.

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