This Thanksgiving, I was fortunate enough to travel north to Chicago and visit my family in the suburbs of Evanston and Skokie. The northern suburbs of Chicago were beautiful but the weather was bitter cold. It was a day-long, shotgun, last-minute journey, one that I barely managed to schedule with Spirit Airlines when a pair of other bookings fell through. I literally was not sure until the very last moment that I was going to make it. But I did, and it was so worth it.
As I was in the air over Dallas, I looked down at the earth below me. “What magic,” I thought to myself. What a miracle that we simply spend $300-$400 dollars, and suddenly have access to any place in the continental U.S. We live in an age of miracles, and we often forget that, I thought to myself, as I looked down at the fields and highways far below me.
Unfortunately, my time with the community newspaper in Clarkston has ended, and I had to seek other work. I learned a lot from my time with The Broadway, and I put my all into it, speaking to some fascinating people and cementing my love and respect for the people of Clarkston. I was unemployed for a brief and miserable two weeks, but I finally found a position as a valet at a historic hotel in downtown Atlanta. It is an amazing and interesting job, and I am learning a lot about the hotel business and about life and urban economy. I work mostly for tips, and I park beautiful, marvelous cars for a living. I come home exhausted but satisfied from long but legitimate work.
It is not the dream job of meaningful writing that I am ultimately looking for, but it is life sustaining and it is comfortable and reliable. I am learning that the journey often contains surprises, and it is the best we can do to maintain an even emotional keel, and to keep a handle on what is most important: our relationship with our friends, family, and loved ones, and our habits of self-care and self-respect. As I looked down on the earth from 30,000 miles, I couldn’t help but thank God for my health, and my loving family in Chicago, and my community of friends here in Atlanta, the place I am coming to think of as my home.