you can go back, but you can never go home again

ok so, i'm totally all about adages, proverbs, sayings, clichés and other such clever witticisms. whenever a friend comes crying to me about how their life is in the crapper, i totally pretend to listen for like 3 minutes before offering some words of wisdom like, "whenever god closes a door, he opens a window," or, "a woman is like a cup of tea - you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water," or my personal favorite, "don't judge a book by it's cover," which is the stupidest proverb i've ever heard because, really, if we're not supposed to judge books/people/dogs/politicians/celebrities/hotties at the bar by their LOOKS, what else do we have to go on?!? like, the inside or something? LAME.

however much i may love throwing around these catchy phrases, i must say that i typically tend to disregard them as little more than silly, outdated quips designed to make people feel better about themselves ("everything happens for a reason," "every cloud has a silver lining," "everybody shits," which, coincidentally, was the only advice momma b ever gave me about feeling inadequate in jr. high school. i tried explaining that i was sad that ALLLL of the boys liked this one pretty, popular, MEGABITCH girl, and that poor little rachel morgan was a book-toting, braces-wearing, uber nerd, and all she said was, "everybody shits." it stuck with me, so thanks momma b!). nonetheless, i must admit that behind each and every one of these little gems, lies a kernel of truth and wisdom.

of these insightful and educational adages, my favorite has consistently been some variation of "what goes around comes around"/"you reap what you sow"/"karma's a bitch" etc etc..., mainly because i take serious, evil pleasure in watching people get what they have coming to them (MWAH-HA-HA, or however that maniacal laughter is spelled). however, i've recently become obsessed with the darling little idiom, "you can go back, but you can never go home again."

on a recent visit to my favorite city and former stomping grounds, chicago, i realized just how true that statement was. there i was, back in the city where i spent so much time (where i learned how to use public transportation, how to survive a total mental breakdown (yay!), where i learned that sunday afternoon is the most enjoyable time of the week to drink, where i once fell in a gutter, spraining my ankle, on a sunday afternoon (fill in the blanks, people), where i turned down a threesome (one of the most ridiculous things ever, BTW), engaged in many shady activities, and managed to spend a lot of time having fun without actually achieving very many "grown up" goals), and i was instantly struck by the truth of that statement. there i was, walking down the same streets i'd wandered so many times before, yet somehow, everything was different. i was different, my life was different, the city was different... hell, even the air was different (since the smoking ban went into effect after i left, i realized that many bars in chicago freaking STINK like yucky, murky closets that haven't been aired out in centuries, but have recently had a gaggle of teenagers playing seven minutes in heaven inside of them).

it was a strange sensation, really, but overall, i think i realized that although chicago will never be "home" again, i'm ok with that. chicago felt like "home" before because of the friends and relationships i had while living there, not because it's where i slept at night. its streets were so welcoming and comforting to me before, not because of the mortar and pavement beneath my feet, but because of the life i shared while walking there with people i cared about. naturally, there are still people i love and care about in chicago, but with time and distance, all things must change, including the connections i once had with the people who live there. so, chicago's not home for me anymore... but that doesn't mean i'll look back on my life there with anything less than fondness. i love the CITY itself, but i think, for me, chicago will always be a bit of a ghost town.

wow, i just got all serious and shit.

ok, well, anyway, the point of my long, rambling, not entirely sensible blog is: adages rule. so the next time you're listening to someone gripe about their life, tell them to "buck up," "keep a stiff upper lip," and "go forth and procreate." because sex makes everyone happier.

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