From Under the Birch Tree

An excerpt . . .

My emotions voiced their opinion one night. Talk in my head revolved. I cried for the memories of the past and the emotions I would pack with me, masked on my face and wrapped around my heart. Feeling lost and disconnected during the unemployment days was never too far away. I traipsed Michigan Avenue from one job interview to another and felt as empty as the day presented itself- cold winters and raw windy days under the grayest of skies. I held stiff at the bus stop at Waveland under a gray wool coat that wasn’t warm enough and black high-heeled pumps that weren’t right either for the weather but were appropriate for my two o’clock job interview. As I rode the bus home on my last day of work, I looked at the lake to my right and saw it void of any ripples as signs of life woven in with the waves. The skyline was filled with gray and brown buildings of alternating height. Parks unraveled in front of them as welcoming mats to their doors.To my left, empty fields dotted frail- looking trees, as if their stamina were in jeopardy because of the openness that surrounded them. There were no birch trees. Was it because I couldn’t see them, or they just weren’t there? Maybe there is too much in front of me. I just can’t see it right now.

The Chicago skyline from Montrose Harbor at night painted a panorama wallpapered in my thoughts. I will always be from Chicago, a city I loved but couldn’t live in anymore. I was in search of a place once again, a place to belong, to feel alive and fresh. I was grateful for the opportunity and my gratitude carried me with a renewed sense of self confidence where I knew I could handle anything that was to come my way.

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