Two weeks ago, I traveled with my kids to Chicago and central Illinois to look at colleges for my son. I spent 21 years of my life in Illinois and traveling back with my kids made me feel nostalgic. We visited University of Illinois and Northwestern University, visited with dear dear friends and took some time out with my very dear friend Karen Hood for an incredible photo session along the shores of Lake Michigan.
Chicago was the place that I started my life with my husband of 23 years. Its where my son was born and its where I learned about Interior Design and Architecture. My days working in downtown Chicago with views of Wacker Drive, The Wrigley Building, the Chicago River and Michigan Avenue are truly what shaped my business skills and my leadership abilities. The projects I worked on, the friendships I formed and the lessons I learned along the way are all imbedded in my time in the city.
On this visit, I reflected on moving to central Illinois as a 10 year old. I showed my children the very first apartment our family lived in when we arrived in the US. I drove them on the route I would take to school and I shared my junior high and high school with them. Why is this significant? Some of the memories of these places are painful and I have suppressed them for many years. By taking my children, though, I was able share with them a piece of my life that I often do not talk about. They were part of my healing process and they had no judgement towards anything I shared with them. Their excitement of seeing where I grew up was contagious. I began to remember stories of fun things I did with my friends and a story of the haunted tower at my high school. My high school was 102 years old when I graduated.
I loved my visit and my time to reflect on how much I have grown since living in Illinois. Someone where I live now once said to me that it was time to say that Reno is my home as I have lived here for 13 years. I understand that and I respect that greatly. I love many things about living here including the incredible mountains and sunshine that I get to experience everyday. My children have grown up here and one of them was born in our state capital, Carson City. I have lived here for 13 years. I believe however, your home is where your heart is and my heart is and always will be in Sweet Home Chicago.
Have a great Monday everyone…