Just This

six weeks, many adventures, zero blog posts

Welp, six weeks have gone by and I’ve managed to do a whole hell of a lot in that time, none of which was post an actual blog. Whoops!

On this first of the month, I started thinking about what a busy four weeks I have ahead and I said to myself, “Self, you know who’d be interested in that? People who read my blog, that’s who.” And then I looked at my last post date and was all, “Oh, that is if there are any left…”

(Who am I kidding? I’d be writing this whether you’re reading or not!)

Before I get to what I’m up to in October (honestly, it’s interesting!), allow me to recap just what I have been up to these last six weeks.

Top of the list is building a business. I have jumped head first, 100% into self-employment, and wonder of wonders it’s kind of going OK! I officially launched in mid-June, but I didn’t get my business certification (this actual certificate the county sends once your business is approved) until mid-September. Ah, bureaucracy! I promptly opened a business checking account, and eventually I may get that certificate framed, put it up next to my diploma or something. For now, I’m focused on building out my client base, and so far it’s coming together better than I could’ve imagined. An overview:

I oversaw the social media for the digital release of Eva Hesse, a documentary about the post-minimalist artist (now on Netflix! See it!); I’m representing three different films at the Chicago International Film Festival (this one and this one and this one); I have two different non-film clients I work with on their digital marketing efforts; I secured some seriously cool press coverage for Destroy Your Art; and I’m currently waiting to hear back on three different proposals I’ve put out in the world (send good vibes!). The hustle never ends, but so far I’m enjoying every minute of it. (Shameless plug: if you don’t already, like the business on Facebook, and follow on Instagram and Twitter!)

Chicago had already put a serious dent in my physical activity (everything is so spread out, I take a bus or train more often than I walk), and now that I work from home I found myself going a day or more without even venturing past my own front door. Serious lack of motion was making me anxious, tired and frustrated. So in late August I did some research and found a workout plan I could do from my own living room and, holy shit, I actually did it. I certainly modified a few of the workouts and I didn’t make it happen every single day. But I always went back to it, pushed through and got to the other side. And you know what? I can honestly see a difference in my energy level, my strength and even the way some of my clothes fit. It feels really, really good. So good that I’m doing it all over again this month. Go me!

Earlier this summer, I’d reached out to the publisher of Third Coast Review. It’s a small but dedicated group of people who cover Chicago culture, and I’d seen an ad that they’re always looking for (volunteer) writers. I started doing some posting with them here and there, but, like blogging here, got sidetracked by getting my business going (see above). I was delighted, therefore, when the publisher got in touch in late August to let me know the current Screens section editor (all things film, tv, video, etc) was stepping away and would I be interested in taking over the role? Yes, yes I would.

It’s also a volunteer gig, but it’s worth my time and effort nonetheless. Professionally, it grants me the access and platform I need to stay engaged in the conversation, and personally it’s a place to keep my writing and editing skills sharp. It’s also just a great site for locals, an independent voice shining a light on everything there is to see and do and consume, and I’m proud to be a part of it. (Like it on Facebook, too!)

Over Labor Day weekend, I took a mini-road trip over to Indiana for a visit with a dear friend and, to be honest, a much-anticipated John Mayer concert. (Number 18? 22? I dunno. I’ve lost track.) I’d seen him in April when his new tour kicked off, and when I noticed that he was wrapping up the summer in Indianapolis, I decided to snag tickets to that one rather than his second Chicago show. It turned out to be the perfect reason to spend a weekend in Bloomington, catching up and chilling out. We ate a lot, walked a lot, talked a lot, and the concert was as amazing as ever.

And at the tail end of this six-week sabbatical, I found myself on an extended weekend in my beloved New York City, spending a full five days soaking up the energy of the place I love so dearly. Over the summer, I’d found a very cheap flight, and with a friend who lets me crash at her place, trips back have become so affordable I’d be silly not to take advantage. This time, I spent a few nights with her and then switched over to an Airbnb, a studio in Cobble Hill. It turned out to be the perfect arrangement, giving me a chance to catch up with her and spend a couple days on my own, pretending I was back living there on my own. (A girl can dream, right?)

I walked to the shop down the street for a bagel and coffee in the mornings, spent the unseasonably hot days between work meetings and sight-seeing, and generally basked in all the chaos and culture that the city has to offer. I saw Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, spent an evening with The Memory Palace at the Met, wandered the aisles of Strand Bookstore, walked from Manhattan to Brooklyn…basically, it was amazing as always and I must do better to get back there more than once a year!

So, as you can see, I’ve been absent from here only because, well, I’ve been busy! I do miss you, though, and I’m going to do better about carving out time to check in, either with a weekly movie review or an update on client work or, you know, whatever the hell I feel like writing about. Because it’s my blog and I’ll indulge my creative whims if I want to, dammit.

No, really. Thanks for sticking it out. See you again soon.