Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Back in Chicago

It is now July 10th and I've been in my new place with Jonah since June 28th. I have settled back in from being over in Bath for six months. Luckily Jonah found us a dope spot to live in off the Montrose brown line while I was away, and I got my amazing pool attendant gig back. It feels fantastic, and my friends made a lot of moves while I was gone. Jeremiah Behbin came up with a new improv form mixed with hip hop, and Shawn Shaw came up with the name "A Tribe Called Johnny Quest" and they brought on the rest of my best friends, Jonah Andrews, Tim Perez and Junie McGraw, and we have Eko Lu as our DJ. We would have had Andres Merlos too but he is doing big things out in L.A. for the summer. It is so fun and new and exciting. And a great way to get back into performing improv and free styling every week with my homies. Creating new material and reintegrating with all of them after being gone for six months is really fulfilling and fun.

My family is doing well, my oldest sister just had her third child, everyone is healthy and glad to have me back too.  I've seen a few other friends and talked to other powerful people at Landmark, I'll be assisting soon the next couple of Sundays. I'm getting back to my life and surrounding myself with innovative, funny, creative and amazing people.

I have obviously been thinking back on my time in Bath. Talking about it with people here, as well as my time in Ireland and Germany. As well as my time last year in Prague, and weekend in Berlin. Returning home from a trip triggered that trip too. I'm lucky that I have gotten to travel to Europe, and see my German homie Beny Hillbel (who I met through Jonah) in four countries now!
(U.S.A, Czech Republic, Germany, and England) It has helped me grow immensely. And just getting the experience of being in a new place is dope. Seeing how people live and meeting new ones to talk to and connect with.

Being in Bath I felt that people were flaky with plans. I generalized English people for awhile. In the end I did end up hanging out with some amazing people consistently. I think I was a bit "desperate" to make friends at first, so I put a lot of meaning in making plans with people, being there by myself, and only having six months to do so, it took some time to find the right people. Because 'people' in general can be flakey, including myself.

I'll give some acknowledgments to students who I got along with and became friends with, Sapphire Heaton, she was in my class and was warm to me IMMEDIATELY, and I really appreciated that feeling of being welcomed into the class and for that empathy. Suhaila Fahad also made me feel really welcome right away and all of the time after that too. Tor Hudswell, made me feel welcome and became a close buddy near the end, always had a great time chatting and drinking with him. I also respect how hard you work and I believe you will do amazing things as an actor. Mikael Sjoman the FINN MANGS, the only other guy in the exchange program, luckily we got along and became pals. Holly Leggett, who is wonderful and kind also made me feel welcome and was just delightful to be around. Megan Freeman Thompson also made me feel really welcome consistently, and put in the effort to make me feel accepted. Same with Charly Beahan, smiling and saying hello to me was big for me. Max Griffiths too, always saying good morning and giving me a pound, small things like that make a big difference. I could go on and on, I'm forgetting people, I hope you know if you made a difference for me with my stay in Bath :).

And of course, Georgia, my new English girlfriend. I've never been affected by anyone like this. I'm so proud of her, and so happy that I got to meet and fall in love with her. We've been talking every day, it is amazing to be in love with someone like her, and it fucking sucks so hard being this far away from her. Thank God and them that there is social media to keep us connected overseas, so we can talk and see each others faces. She plans on coming over here when she graduates in about eleven months. She is the first thing I talk about when people ask me how my trip was. In the mean time, I talk about her in Chicago and recreate her for people. So I can give them a taste of who she is, show them pictures of her, and allow people to welcome her when she arrives. I know people will fall in love with her like I did.

I enjoy talking about my trip in chunks, I can't spill everything out in one sit down. I have to be reminded of things that trigger memories and such. I have gathered a lot of new stories and memories and they are lodged somewhere in my brain and I can't always access them. Sometimes I am tired and feel worn out in trying to share everything, so I can't always get it all out to people when I see them. I want to share my experience with people, so if you are interested we can chat soon and probably a few more times to give a good taste.

I am so grateful that I did this trip! Six months in England by myself. Although, I left with a plethora of new friends, hopefully I will see some of them again. Most of the people I won't see again, but to anyone who gave me anything in my time other there, thank you. This once in a lifetime experience changed me in amazing ways. Much love to Bath and to England! <3

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