And a year later, I’m back.
Hello (five or six) followers out there: major apologies for my extreme absence. A lot’s happened in the last year, and though it may not make sense to anyone but me, posting to HJR just couldn’t (or wouldn’t, I suppose) be a priority.
I visited Chicago this long weekend to spend time with a friend. This morning, before packing up and hitting the road, I wandered around Lake Shore Drive and up and down Division Street, snapping some shots in an attempt to regain what was, years ago, the potential for a mediocre-slash-decent photography hobby. The shot above is the one I’m most happy with from my morning excursion. The sky was just a bit too hazy today.
In any case, shortly after I took that photo I sat down at a bench—with a croissant and a cup of black coffee, because who needs a diet, amirite?—and an older gentleman and his little pup came over and plopped down beside me. We talked for nearly 40 minutes about his dog, his career (menswear designer, Chicago via Providence, Rhode Island), my career (within a dying industry … his words, not mine), regret, living life to its fullest, trying new things, traveling. Oh, and the best route back to Columbus. It was one of the more unusual and pleasant conversations I’ve had in some time, and when I eventually got up to leave I did so feeling a little lighter, a little happier and definitely inspired.
I mention this now, I guess, because it seemed like such a classic “everyone comes into your life for a reason” scenario. I almost went to Starbucks like a lazy slob, but instead walked the few additional blocks to check out the corner bakery. Then, I contemplated eating there, indoors, but decided to have a seat in the park instead. Maybe I’m looking for drama—for serendipity—where there isn’t any. But regardless, it was an encounter that, later in the day, felt totally necessary. I’m happy I bumped into that old man and his little dog Gracie. I’m happy he happened to be one of those “talk to anyone” open-book types that seemed genuinely interested in both sharing his story and hearing mine.
It’s been a wonderful yet difficult, almost surreal, year. And lately has been the most difficult. And while this blog isn’t intended to be personal—but instead an away-from-work creativity outlet—it seems important to share this, if for no other reason than simple context. My lesson these past couple weeks has been that each of us, especially those of us who feel a need to create and to share, should do our best not to lose that sense of self. It’s astonishingly easy to do, it seems. But hold on to your opinions and your ideas and your dreams for dear life. Because what else is there, really?
Ultimately, like the gentleman (whose name I didn’t even catch, incredibly) said to me this morning: There’s no point in regrets, and no point in thinking you’ll ever have it all figured out. So here’s to moving forward—for all of you reading, because god knows we’re all dealing with something. And here’s to some consistent HJR posting. Because while most of you probably don’t need it, I certainly do!
Thanks for your patience, pals. I’ll have so much more for you very soon.