Today I sit with a pint of Guinness waiting to head into Chicago, my home away from. This time I head in with goals like so many before. I have podcasts to record and comedy sets to do. New friends to meet and old friends to see. It is my favorite place to be, even when having a panic attack.
So, then why pray tell am I leaving the Second City for the west coast? Well it is simple, I don’t know what is waiting for me there. I need something new in my life a new goal, and since leaving the Army one has not been made clear. Maybe a refresh is in order, somewhere new where the only one I can depend on is me. I tend to work best without a safety net. So onward I will go, a bicycle underneath me. But to do so, I must first see my city again.
Yes, my city. For while I never made a permanent address in Chicago it is the place were I developed and grew the most in my life. When I was 20 it was the symbol of a boyhood dream for me. The gateway to professional wrestling, if you will. At that gate I would meet some of the most important people in my life. Guys and girls who would endure countless hours in a car with me. With me, some skinny loud mouth from a not so great town. These people have not only seen my value as an entertainer for years, but as a friend. They were my support team back home when I was deployed, and the smiling faces greeting me when I came home. Sometimes, a place becomes more than geographic. It becomes your home. You can always come home, but there is only so much time for you to leave it.
So now I have a moment in this empty bar to think about how today will not go as planned. How I won’t get to sit down and talk with everyone I want to, how it is going to be a pain to get to the Pressure Open Mic with my friend Ben Smith, and how I will never get to spend enough time in the city before I leave it. This is a monologue I have every time I wait for this train, and every time I am right. Nothing ever goes exactly as planned in life, and that is one of the things that keeps me exploring it. For while there is comfort in those things familiar, the surprises that wait can keep you awake and waiting.