Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,
Chuck
charlesofcamden

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25 Years

[Reposted from Facebook]

Twenty-five years ago this week(!), I moved from Detroit to Chicago. To be specific, I moved from an upper flat in Livonia, Michigan, where I'd been living for all of three months, to the North Kenmore Street living room of my kind friend Karianne, who'd agreed to put me up until I found an apartment. In less than two weeks, I'd found a place walking distance from Karianne's and had ferried most of my belongings over to the new digs. I hadn't moved to Chicago blind – a job awaited me, one that paid far more than the temp work I'd been doing in Detroit. I stayed at that job for over 16 years, until my position was eliminated from the department's org chart. But here I remain today – still collecting a paycheck in the Loop, still doing graphics and related work (and whatever else needs doing) for a consulting firm.

But that's just my day job, so I wanted to get that part of the story out of the way first. I've also managed to do some theater here and there, including a five-year run in Tony n' Tina's Wedding, but I'm not here to focus on theater today. The overview of my life at this point has a curious dichotomy to it, having spent half of my life in one city and half of it in another. Each city has its own set of friends, family, loves, hates, triumphs, tragedies, and lessons. Even if my life is at times filled with uncertainty and dismay, my overriding feeling most days is that I am one lucky S.O.B. I've got a bunch of remarkable people around the country that I get to call my friends. I've gotten to go to some amazing places and do some amazing things. For some of it, I can take a little credit, and for some of it, I've been a fortunate bystander.

This isn't the essay where I bemoan the state of the world. This isn't the essay where I issue a call to action on behalf of common sense or humanity. This is just the essay where I thank every one of you for helping me along on this voyage of discovery. Along the way, I've caught glimpses of the past and present, and maybe even a few clues about the future. Along with them have come moments of pride and humility; moments of ugliness and beauty; and moments when a new perspective has transformed the world into something I'd never before considered. And I've gotten to create things – things that are of me and by me, yet which exist outside of me and become part of the world. Gandhi once said, "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." I don't claim to live my life that way on a consistent basis, but I've found that it's a fine star by which to steer. Long may our ship sail. Thank you to all my friends, near and far. If we don't connect, let's check in with each other 25 years hence and compare notes.
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