Today, my last here in Chicago, is full of recollection and reflection. I have lived here pretty much my whole life, and have only briefly lived anywhere else. I have railed against the weather, the public transit, the sheer inconvenience at times of being an actor in this city, but really, all in all, Chicago has been pretty amazing, and I will miss it.
I'll miss the Art Institute, and standing in front of my favorite Caillebotte, wanting to get lost in it.
I'll miss visiting the wolves and the dolphins and stingrays every year at the Brookfield Zoo.
I'll miss the Farmer's Market in Daley Plaza all summer.
I'll miss knowing the trains and buses and navigating around without a thought.
I'll miss the crunchy leaves underfoot in fall, and the first burst of bloom on my favorite trees in spring.
I'll miss the familiar buildings and streets and towns.
I'll miss Bristol.
But, most of all, I'll miss all the people I leave behind here. While it's true I will still talk to them, that California is not Mars, I cannot pretend that I can just hop in my car and see them in 45 minutes anymore. There are two roads in this wood, and I'm taking the one less traveled. It's not the safe choice; I know I could stay in Chicago, move into a little studio here, keep doing Bristol every summer and auditioning for little plays and doing costume commissions here and there. Maybe I would eventually meet someone here and get married, and it would be a nice little life. But, ever since I was a little girl, I've wanted something more. To take the chance. To reach for that dream that seems impossible. I was frightened for so long to do this, but if this process has taught me nothing else, it's taught me that if you want something enough, nothing should stop you. That dreams are worth it.
Tomorrow, I leave Chicago. I will come back to visit, of course; there are too many amazing people here not to. But, I know that after today, it will always just be a visit, that I am leaving this place behind and turning over a new leaf in my life.
End of Book One.