September // Chicago Visit

For those of you who do not know, I visited Chicago recently. I moved to Chicago when I was 18 to pursue my dream of becoming a photographer.

I went to Harrington College of Design, which was one of the best decisions I ever made. I was able to not only be myself, but to be around people who aspired the same things.

Honestly, I could barely pay attention that well in school. I was more of a hands on learner, which was great for photography school because 80% of the time we were being hands on.

Along the way I made amazing friends throughout college. The first half of my trip I stayed with Joel. Joel is somebody I met in the lobby at my first apartment building in Chicago. (We also had a class together but didn’t speak at the time.) We hit it off and just started hanging out. When I would tell my friends from work who I was staying with when I was going to visit, they were like… “You’re staying with a boy?!”

You see, Joel isn’t just a boy. He is like a brother to me. Or I am more like his mother, I haven’t decided yet.

Joel and I took on the city when we were hanging out. We tried out different bars around his neighborhood in Lake view. We stayed up at all hours exploring the city. We tried different restaurants, smoothie shops, went for walks, etc. My friend Lauren even made it out to the city which was so exciting! We went to a restaurant called Ramen, and ended up at Molly’s Cupcakes for dessert. I was so thrilled she took the time to come see me! Thanks Lauren. ;)

My favorite part about staying with Joel is attending church. City Church Chicago is single handedly one of my favorite places on this planet. Pastor Kent and Allie make you feel like you are important, beautiful, and valid. Believe it or not, attending that church had gotten me through one of the darkest, confused times in my life while I was living in Chicago.

Allie is also somebody I look up to. She is everything in a woman that I want to be. A mother, caring…kind.

I also really connected with god and my spiritual side while I was visiting, which is probably why it was so devastating for me to say goodbye to Joel. Poor boy probably didn’t know how to handle my hysterical tears when I left to go stay with Ashi. (My other best friend out in Chicago.) I wasn’t even expecting to cry and let go on this trip. But sometimes things go unexpectedly. They sort of… take you by surprise and make you a better person.

When I met up with Ash, it was girl time. I was so excited to hang out and see her! When I stayed with Ash the last time I visited, she wasn’t the same. She even admitted to it. I wasn’t in the best place either. Her and I were just at a weird place in life when I saw her last. We were both figuring out what we wanted and how to be happy.

But it wasn’t like that this time around. She was the old Ash that I knew. We hung out, ate pizza, laughed, explored the city, went to bars. My last day we just relaxed and watched TV and chatted all day. We even made it to my favorite restaurant, Joyyee Noodle. SO yummy! (We also got Horchata’s at my favorite Mexican place in Pilsen.) ;)

I don’t think I could ever explain enough how good it felt to see my friends doing well. They are healthy, beautiful, and I am so lucky to have a place as amazing as Chicago to visit. My friends have such beautiful and sweet souls. I have some amazing friends out there.

Chicago is a great city and I would recommend anyone to visit. If you ever plan to please don’t hesitate to contact me and I will tell you all my favorite spots!

Enjoy the low quality iPhone photos! ;)