Thoughts as I walked home from work this evening...
As I twirl my way out of the revolving doors and onto the city sidewalk, I feel proud.
I've had a great day at work—busy and productive (and full of entirely too much leftover Halloween candy).
I also fit in an energizing workout and even scored a treadmill in front of a TV, meaning I got to watch "Say Yes to the Dress" for an entire hour. This is a real luxury for a girl who doesn't love to work out and also does not have cable at home.
Regardless, I always feel proud when I leave my building. I work for an incredible company, and I have a career where I actually get to use my undergraduate and master's degrees.
Je suis une fille chanceuse.
The evening is warm, especially for the first week of November, and I leave my coat unbuttoned as I stride towards home.
I look inside each and every window I pass.
The restaurants are my favorite. I get to look at fancy dinner plates and cozy couples. I watch wine glasses touch and can practically hear them clink. I can smell savory meats and onions cooking. It makes me hungry.
I see that the holiday lights have already been strung throughout the trees surrounding Fountain Square, and it makes me happy.
Stopped at a crosswalk, I look at my reflection in a shop window.
I'm wearing a formal, white pea coat. I'm not sure why, but I love how it looks paired with my yoga pants and gym shoes. It looks silly yet somehow confident and sure.
I pass beneath the lighted archways that cover the park near my apartment. Most of the leaves have already fallen from the trees.
I stop and take a photo, wanting to remember the moment.
A jogger, a girl around my age, stops and runs in place while I take the photo. She's thoughtfully trying to stay out of the shot.
"Merp. Sorry," I smile, embarrassed.
She laughs and nods before running away.
I wish I could be a runner.
I look inside the barber shop as I get closer to home. The walls are a light green, and the elderly barber is still busy. He has two clients in his chairs and a few on deck waiting. He sells potato chips and candy for customers while they wait. And he has a giant photo of Chicago on one wall. His fluorescent lights glow bright and hearty laughter booms from inside.
Finally, I arrive to my pink brownstone.
After checking my mailbox, I open and then close my apartment door loudly, so that my darling (and deaf) Clementine can feel the vibrations and know I'm home.
I call out to her and stomp my feet around a few times.
Groggily, she walks out of my bedroom, sleep in her big, foggy eyes and her movement slow.
When she makes out my figure, her ears perk up and she gallops down the long, long hallway towards me, her long tail wagging and her butt waddling.
I feel sure that some of the happiest moments of my day happen during my evening walk home.