List of things to accomplish in the near future: find an apartment and get a job.
List of things accomplished: eaten the quintessential Chicago style hot dog in the Vienna Beef factory!
Midway through a long bike journey did Jenny Williams and I stumble upon the Vienna Beef Factory. Joined by the incomparable Erin English, we supped in the sacred sanctuary of sausage. Eating in this enclave of encased meats, amid Polishes of every kind, I tasted Chicago culture and cuisine. In this chancel of the city, I felt friendship and fraternity in the frankfurter fold. Other hot dog havens surely exist, but the holy of hot dog holies was an experience like none other.
Okay: I have been less than faithful with the updates. Forgive me.
Lately life has been defined by question marks. Which, I suppose, might imply that my life lacks definition. Yet this is not completely true. Major questions – ‘what are you doing for a living?’ and ‘where are you living?’ – remain unanswered and, frankly and honestly, this is frustrating at times. But, overall, I am pretty content with life.
An attitude towards life that I cultivated last spring is one of stewardship. I have come to realise how little we earn or deserve in life and how much is unmerited, either in positive ways (my family, friends, experience at camp, relatively good health, etc.) or negative ways (my teaching situation last spring, my current unemployment). The key to all things is to be faithful and to be a good steward in whatever situation. To maintain and strengthen friendships. To teach well and then be at peace. To look for a job and trust that God will provide. It’s just like the Exodus story.
To reiterate a point from last year:
Start journaling now. In a few years you will look back on life and become painfully nostalgic for what your life is like right now. I don’t care if you think it is awkward not knowing people or impossible to write a five page paper. I don’t mind if you hate ARA and love Belmont. Journal. Record your thoughts and feelings. Life changes very quickly. That is not to say that it gets worse, I think, in fact, it gets better. But embrace your first year. Embrace Louie and Ariel. Embrace your roommate. Embrace today. Then write it down.
I have yet to have a Chicago hot dog. This must change.
I have started to recreationally study Latin and let me tell you, I am really enjoying it so far. It is such an orderly language. As the incomparable Susan Rabe said “It puts order within the bones of your bones”. This encouragement is more than I need to continue studying.
I’m going to try and eat only pretzels and drink only pop from now on.