last weekend we took a mini-adventure to Chicago – one of my ulti-mo favorite cities. there is just something about the connectedness of a big city – the way the trains and busses run like veins through every neighborhood, making it possible to get anywhere for a few dollars and some time to kill.
city life – even for a weekend – engages a part of me that lies dormant in my normal Nashville routine – the part of me that LOVES to make a plan, follow directions, strategize, and be in control. i get a little bit of a travel high from going through the train turnstile, fighting the rush of people to find which train we need to hop, following the intricately color & number-coded signs to get exactly where we need to be to hop the next bus at the right time and so on. it’s like beating the system by getting it right. total victory for a wanna be control freak.
so most of the 3 day trip i was riding high, feeling like i had that city beat. fast forward to the frigid, windy, snow-slapping-my-face walk back to Union Station followed by a 45 minute nightmare in the Amtrak station and it’s a whole different story. i’ll spare you the details because they get me in a huff – long line, zero organization, mass confusion, the usual – but by the time we boarded the train leaving town, i was exhausted and defeated.
on the way home, i did a little self-analytics – always dangerous, but unavoidable on a train ride in the dark when you can’t lean your chair back far enough to fall asleep. my conclusion: when i know the rules and can see the signs, then i know how to win. i just follow them and reap the rewards of a well-ordered life. when i can’t see the rules or they just plain don’t exist, that’s when the sweaty, anxious, illogical part of me takes over and my frustration leads to failure.
now the question is – why do i feel such a need for control, an inkling for order that cannot be itched? that i’m not sure about just yet, but my hunger (literal) to get back to Chicago has led me to this: control is like deep-dish pizza, a slice is sweet success, but none at all OR the need for too much spells bad news everytime. and with that, i leave you for lunch. pizza, i think. order up!