October is my favorite month of the year. Not only is it my birthday month (and the birth month of some of my favorite people ever), but there’s never any shortage of other events and plans and celebrations throughout. Add to that the changing of the seasons and year after year, October is just magical. Four days in and 2017 has the same sort of alchemy already coming together.
The first week of the month, I’ve enjoyed a meal and conversation with my mom (at a nearby French bistro I’ve been wanting to try forever) and my grandma, who I hadn’t seen in far too long despite living so nearby. Before the month is over, I’ll also have broken bread with a couple former coworkers who are a joy to keep in touch with and a friend from my Indianapolis days who makes it up to the city now and then.
My birthday is on the first Wednesday of the month, and on Friday I jump on a train down to central Illinois for a weekend with some of my favorite people on the planet. We’ll drink and eat and drink and visit and drink and laugh and like my weekend in NYC last month, it’ll be exactly what my spirit needs most. And now that I make my own schedule, I can take the train home Monday morning and not worry about missing a day at the office (hello, wifi on the train!)
The month gets very busy halfway in when this year’s Chicago International Film Festival kicks off. I’m repping four different films this year, meaning I’ll be busy for basically ten days straight managing press appearances, red carpets, film premieres and after parties. Tough work, I know. But it will be long days and lots of details to keep coordinated, and by the end of it I’ll be exhausted and ready to do it all again if I could.
Just as the festival winds down, I’ve gone and given myself more to keep busy with as Les Miserables comes to town for a few weeks. I’ve decided it’s essentially impossible for me to not see that show when given the opportunity, so last month I stopped at the theater box office and snagged a balcony seat. Every time I go (at least three times or so now?), I think it’ll be different, that it won’t hit me like a gut punch, that story of love and loss and loyalty and courage. And every time, I’m left a weepy, emotional mess, my heart full and happy.
By the end of the month, I’ll trade one festival for another, as Chicago Humanities happens this month, as well. The weeks-long event features dozens of conversations and presentations by some of the brightest minds of our day, and while I wasn’t able to snag tickets to the Krista Tippett / Ta-Nehisi Coates event, I will get to attend one with Brooke Gladstone. I’m such a fan of her show On The Media, the way she dismantles preconceived notions about the way the press cover current events. The show has not been shy this year about covering all the crazy news coming out of D.C., so it should be very interesting to see her in person as thing just keep getting crazier.
You’ll notice one glaring omission from my very busy October: Halloween. It’s not that I don’t enjoy a good costume or a reason to head out for drinks and general revelry. It’s just that I’m not a fan of the death and gore and spookiness of this particular holiday, so I won’t be spending any time at any haunted houses or anything. Which is no big in the end; I’ll manage to keep busy regardless.