Thursday, May 15, 2014


The last four days I have found myself taking in all that the beautiful city and people of Chicago will offer.  The sights and sounds of the city always fill me with renewed life: the fast paced diverse world buzzing all around so full of life.
Morning Train Ride
One of my favorite things in a big city is taking the train, metro, or subway system.  I love figuring out where I need to go, how things connect, and emerging from below the streets into a new world.   What I love most is seeing all the people coming and going in their day.

Where are these people going? Who are they with, and do they realize how significant they are in their life?  I see a woman read a message on her phone and reply with a text. I see her smile.  She is filled with happiness.  I see a woman who looks like she has been crying. She is alone and upset.  I see a man buried in a book, dressed beautifully. He is lost in thought in another world it seems. Then there is the couple holding hands with love in their eyes.  Life seems limitless to them.

Deafening Silence
The train is filled with deafening chaotic silence.  The sounds of verbal conversation, laughter, or chatter are very minimal, yet the air around me seems filled with a symphony of untold stories, dreams, and passionate ideas.  The lives we have been given are unique to us, but we are all bound together by the same passion to live and the stories that fill our lives. 
Each of our lives is filled with moments of laughter, moments of uncertainty, and moments of pure bliss.  There are so many stories in each of us: extraordinary stories of our lives to be shared and witnessed. We just have to look, listen, and join the conversation. 

Whether on the train, in an elevator to go to the 94th floor of the Hancock building, or standing at a corner waiting to cross Michigan Avenue, it feels like the air around me is heavy and swollen with stories waiting to be told.  The air is waiting to be set ablaze with the inner voices each beautiful person so desperately tries to suppress. The deafening silence around me these past few days has made me think about the silent battles we each fight.  We each have things we struggle with: one not more or less important than the next.  If they affect us, they matter.  My silent battle? CF.  No longer am I diligently trying to hide CF from my story.  CF is part of my extraordinary life.   

Sharing Goodness
From the top of the John Hancock Building in Chicago
Amidst the chaos of life these past few days, I witnessed so many genuine acts of kindness.  Whether it be someone going out of their way to pick up a water bottle I dropped, an unsuspecting person several feet ahead of me reaching into their pocket to drop change in the cup of a homeless person, or someone just giving a gentle smile as I passed, they each added such beauty to life.  Each act of kindness makes the struggles of life that much more bearable.  We are all part of this life together.  I often wonder how can I make life more beautiful for someone else, whether it be a friend or stranger.  The meaning I get from life? The beautiful relationships I have with you, listening to the stories of your life,  knowing your struggles, and letting you know how much you mean to my life.  If I only do one thing worth anything in life, I hope it is that I made your life more beautiful in some way: you each have certainly made my life extraordinarily beautiful. 
The "Cloud Gate"

You have a great effect on the world around you.  Your life story has a beautiful influence on the world.  Speak up and tell it. Your life is extraordinary. Thank you all for being such a beautiful part of my life. Love to you all.

Speak up. I am listening. I want to hear your extraordinary story.

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