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Chicago, IL
United States

Alluring Chicago

Peter Pan Syndrome


I woke up early this morning, so that I  would actually have time to do my hair and make up for work today.  After letting the dogs out for a run around the yard I came back inside through the kitchen and realized the dishes were overflowing from the sink and really needed to be done.  When I lived with my mother, dishes were her thing. I would much rather vacuum than touch a single dish, so you can imagine my bewilderment when the thought of doing the dishes before heading off to work crossed my mind.  I knew that I would not feel like doing them after arriving home late from work, so I cleaned the entire sink-full, dried, and put them in their designated cupboard.  Now, for any self proclaimed "adult", (my mother for example) doing the dishes before heading off to work is probably a pretty standard habit, but as I washed my dirty dishes I had an eye opening realization. I was an adult.
After graduating from college in December, I was ecstatic to gloat to anyone that would listen that I had finally graduated college and that "I was free!". About a month after graduation, I moved to Chicago.  I remember packing my things, thinking to myself with each taped and labeled box that I was finally going to start my life! At this point I had been applying to every single fashion or news-based publication I could find in the Chicago area, but had no real leads yet.  I wasn't worried though. I had just graduated with a major in journalism with an advertising concentration and knew that I would have plenty of opportunities to apply to more jobs specific to my degree when I actually got to Chicago.
I am talking about this like it happened years ago, but it hasn't even been a month since I left my family and friends in Michigan in the hopes of making it big in Chicago.  My, how fast reality hits.  Don't get me wrong! So far I love Chicago, but renting an apartment, dealing with sassy land lords, and broken appliances is not what I had dreamed about.  Yes, I still have faith that someday I will work for a fashion publication in Chicago, so that I may build my professional experience and then move off to New York to take up a position with Allure Magazine in their creative department.  I think I just expected to get a great job out of college, unlike most of my friends who graduated a year before me, who still have not found that job they are looking for.  I ignored the fact that the same thing that has been happening to thousands of college graduates could happen to me!
My first week in Chicago was hard.  I found myself feeling homesick; a feeling I was not use to.  Even in my first year away at Central Michigan University, I never felt too far away from home, so these feeling were unexpected.  I found myself questioning everything about myself and my entire future.  I thought about how easy it would be to move back to Michigan and spend the rest of my life working at a spa where all my friends were.  Deep down I knew that I wanted more and reminded myself that that  feeling was the very reason I moved to Chicago .   Even so, I continued to develop what I have diagnosed as "Peter Pan Syndrome".  I was basically questioning whether I wanted to grow up.
As I worked over the sink of dirty dishes this morning I allowed my mind to reflect back on the past few weeks and realized that slowly, but steadily I was curing myself of my syndrome.  I also thought about how I was slowly becoming an adult (which in a way is the same thing).  It is a scary thought for a new graduate; growing up.  It can simply be summed up as an "awkward stage".  The transition from being wanted and missed. Being a person of importance through a leadership role in hall council to feeling like you are nothing to nobody.  It's enough to drive someone into deep depression if they let it.
As I dried my dishes and put them away I felt a strange sense of accomplishment.  With the simple task of doing my dishes I realized as long as I stayed positive and embraced my new-found grown up self, that I could accomplish all that I have set out to do.