On our Journey to Chicago

So long ago, we were living in Marin, I was working as a designer in a small agency in the financial district when downtown SF was so vibrant. It was amazing. We were constantly pitching and I was essentially doing experimental work constantly. It prepared me for a life of over a decade of experimentalism in art music, and design, but I’m marking today as the first day of a new life. It’s been an incredible time here, but I battled with depression, anxiety, and the beginnings of understanding my queer identity. In many ways, I was working so that I would have a better life, and it ended up that way finally, yet something was off. I felt like I fit in in parts of the bay, but in other parts, I felt so out of context. Chicago always felt like home, with all its complexities, but I did my best art there. The cold winters of being left with the choice that all you could do was create. It’s no mistake that so many great artists come from Chicago. I even painted my studio the colours of my favourite restaurant there and had a poster from the midcentury on my wall.

We lived in some great places here but it was never easy. I remember times when we only had a heating pad to cook our food, though that was so long ago. We were so young when we first got here and made a lot of mistakes in our desire to make our lives better. We were at times poor, and at other times stable. Chicago is more affordable. I dream of having a larger space, and we could do that there. I would love to move but my partner needs some convincing. We had originally planned to travel to Europe but we just don’t have the flexibility yet one day I hope we do. Chicago is my first pick of a place to move, I have no idea what to expect. I’m simultaneously happy and sad, yet full of anticipation. I hope this works out. Over the last year, I had an art retreat in the forests of Fairfax. It was amazing. I made a difference in the climate action committee, and Climate Changemakers, but I’m excited to start envisioning the urban side of that, so that’s one of the things I’ll be thinking of. In the meantime, I’m marking today as the end of my art retreat, I’ve accomplished the beginnings of the next phase, and I don’t regret a single thing about being here, even when depression had gripped me almost like an unspeakable force, yet here I am years later, after a long journey, to a place that was once home but may be again. I am so excited, more soon.

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