For the first time in far too long, I am compelled to write. Why you may ask? Well, it’s you, Cincinnati.
Cincinnati, the city of bridges, Fair Queen City, you have bewitched me. I love my new home and everything about it.
From my incredible and talented coworkers, to a new friendship I consider to be the greatest thing that happened to me since this move, to the place I fill my prescriptions—an apothecary (yes- apothecary) that is 20 degrees too hot and smells of a taxidermy… I love it here. Cincinnati is real. Rugged. Dirty. Beautiful. A lot like Saint Louis in the rundown-downtown meets friendly Midwest charm, but it’s a little more metropolitan.
Don’t get me wrong—St. Louis has many alluring things Cincinnati does not. Like the Zoo (free). The Arch (not free + terrifying + claustrophobic). The CARDINALS (World Series Champs 2011!!!). Lion’s Choice. My family… But Cincnnati has much to offer here. And most importantly, a fresh start for me. There’s so much mind-blowing beauty all around me. Unless it rains. Which is 98% of the time. On sunny mornings, I take the Columbia Parkway to work, driving alongside the Ohio River and gazing at all the colors autumn has painted on the rolling hills of Kentucky. (You’re right. That line was out of Mitch fashion.)
As embarrassingly mushy as I feel here, I can’t resist my urge to go all Julie Andrews on these Hills. I love getting lost and stumbling upon an Observatory. Taking pictures of the home where Mr. Heimlich, as in the maneuver, lives. Dining in a historic hotel at Hathaway’s, a diner with lunch crowd who mostly consist of old men reeking of cologne and cheap cigars.
From the atmosphere of every place I’ve been, to the new work friends I’ve made, I’m in love. My boss, M’lady Margaret, is probably my new favoritest person in the entire universe. I don’t even need to tell her; she better know it. She’s so hilarious and not afraid to be goofy. There isn’t a moment when I talk to her that I don’t have a smile on my face. We get each other. It’s such a nice change from my last boss—she’s supportive and a great person to learn from. I’m so, so happy to have such a smart and fun lady as my manager.
My “pod” mate, Alex is another coworker that helped me fall in love with my city. A copywriter like me, he’s artsy and totally adorable. People call him Mr. Smiley. He totally lives up to it. I mean, he’s infectiously upbeat. The guy brightens every could-be-shitty morning.
There’s also Koala Bear, a senior designer that watched “Stripes” with me as we worked on some posters in the production room. Oh. And he calls me “Killer.” That name alone makes me giffy inside. Me. A 4’9 ginger… “Killer.”
The team I joined here at Possible is awesome. Probably the best team to be on in the agency (I’m a little biased— but I hear it’s true).
Outside of work, I’ve made great friends. Even the lady at the deli we go to a lot, the “Hustler Deli,” aptly named so because it is right next to the, well, the Hustler Store, is hilarious. Today, Alex asked her for oyster crackers. She laughed and said, “We haven’t had oyster crackers in 2 months. Boss says they’re 20 cents a pop. Now, I know you don’t wanna pay 20 cents for those.” With that, she pounded her fist on our bags of saltines, and plopped them in out to-go bags.
Oh. And. There’s a lot of dry humor and bridges here.
So yes, I’m exploring the social side of my new city, but what’s even better, is that I can explore myself. I’m taking the time to figure out myself out (and I think it’s pretty awesome). I’m even ready to date (not pushing it, though). I’ve acted in a few small video gigs… recorded a voiceover as a reindeer for a few TV spots… and even writing more songs (one of the songs has a tiny bit of a financial incentive—aka freelance).
Today, driving home from a friend’s, “Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water” started to play on an old random CD mix I recently found. I smiled to myself and sang along, horribly. “…see how they shine…” it was that line that I realized… I’m so happy here.
Even if I left home, everything I know, to a place I knew nothing about, without knowing anyone, I made a life for myself.
I’m broke as shit and little homesick, but I’m also content. And needless to say, I fit in with the crowd. No one here is snooty (aside from almost everyone in Hyde Park—where I unfortunately live). No one cares where I went to high school.* I’m no longer putting in 80 hours a week to a job I hate. I have a life again. I can breathe again. I’m. So. Happy.
*In all fairness, they do care. A lot. I’m just not from here. HELL YEAH!
So, with this post, I feel compelled tell you, reader:
If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut; living out someone else’s dream or a half baked one. Stretch your days of self-exploration. Your road to happiness is beckoning. Be spontaneous. Don’t accept a life that repeats itself each day.
Move to a new city. Grow as an individual. Build your own fate. Enjoy your youth.
Earn. Save. Spend. Live. Love.
You’ll always find that home is not so far. And Skype is free.
P.S. Skyline Chili? Notsomuch for me.