Sunday, September 30, 2012

September 30: Strider

September 30

Learning that the Nazgûl have come to the Northlands, Elrond of Rivendell sends out riders and Glorfindel. Frodo and the Hobbits meet Aragorn at Bree. They leave by morning on path and with one Pony.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September 26: A Far Green Country

September 26

Frodo and the Hobbits stay with Tom Bombadil. Frodo's dream. "That night they heard no noises. But either in his dreams or out of them, he could not tell which, Frodo heard a sweet singing running in his mind: a song that seemed to come like a pale light behind a grey rain-curtain, and growing stronger to turn the veil all to glass and silver, until at last it was rolled back, and a far green country opened before him under a swift sunrise. The vision melted, and Frodo awoke feeling a rather depressing sense of predestination. Everything is fixed, and you can't change it, echoed the ethereal chorus in his memory." Fellowship of the Ring; Book I, Chapter VIII

Sunday, September 23, 2012

September 23: Going on a quest

September 23

Four Riders enter the Shire. Others pursue the Rangers eastward, and return to Greenway. At nightfall, a Black Rider enters Hobbiton. "Shire, Baggins." Frodo leaves Bag End with the One Ring.



Saturday, September 22, 2012

September 22: Black Riders

September 22

Happy Birthday to Frodo and Bilbo Baggins. In the evening, the Black Riders reach Sarn Ford en route Hobbiton. They drive off the guard of Rangers. Gandalf overtakes Shadowfax.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mark 0, 0, 0, 0. The last 0 is for the time parameter.

CHICAGO STREET LEVEL ZERO.

2 North State Street (Madison Street) -- The Compass (0N/0E/0W/0S) 

"By knowing two important streets in Chicago, one can navigate anywhere and not be lost."  Who said this?  I did.


Chicago Street Level Zero and the Two Compass Streets.

THE CHICAGO COMPASS STREETS.


Chicago Street Zero

"In 1909, the city of Chicago decided to fight back against the growing menace of local residents continually getting lost and throwing temper tantrums. To put an end to this epidemic, it created a completely new and foolproof address system. [2]"

There are two main streets that set the standard compass directions for Chicago, according to the Chicago Street Grid System.  Those two streets are Madison Street (or Zero Street) and State Street (or Zero Avenue) [1].

Basically, all streets (and addresses) are based off two main streets in Chicago: State Street and Madison Street, which are the compass streets. They set the grid and address paths in Chicago and Chicagoland.  Essentially, there are 8 blocks in a mile or grid block. So 800N would be Chicago Avenue (8 blocks north or 1 mile north of Madison), just as 800W is Halsted Street. All the numbered streets with exception to 1200S Roosevelt Road (12th Street) and 2200S Cermak Road (22nd Street) follow the grid [1].  All the numbered Avenues follow the same pattern for the most part.  96th Ave (or LaGrange Road) would be 9600W (12 miles west of State Street or 96/8 blocks = 12 miles). So, 8800W aligns with 88th Avenue on the grid.  7500S aligns with 75th Street.  31st Street starts the grid line for 3200S or 3S, 47th Street starts the grid line for 4800S or 5S, 87th Street (10S) and so on.

Chicago Grid in Downtown Chicago

Chicago Grid extending into Du Page County

THE CHICAGO GRID SYSTEM.

10S779 Clarendon Hills Road would be 10 miles SOUTH of Madison Street, 7th block in that mile. Outlying, unincorporated areas of DuPage County use the letter notations in the addresses [3]. So, 10S799 Cass Avenue would be the end of the grid or the last block.  17W102 91st Street would be the first block in the grid, 17 miles WEST of State Street.  So, this begs the question, would 17 miles EAST of State Street encompass all the Eastern Suburbs?  Think about some Chicago Geography for a minute.  Hehe.  Get it?  Ok, the geography lesson is over.

Ok, for one, you all are probably wondering why I even mentioned this here.  Not only will it drive the point of this blog, but it explains WHY my address has letters in it, and WHY Google Maps doesn't understand the Chicago Grid System if you try to locate my address on there.  I had to do the research to understand why my address has letters in it.  It was no different to when I lived in E. Troy, WI where I had the same issue -- W3839 Little Prairie Road.  N8705 Scout Road, etc.

References:
1. "Chicago's Grid System and Street Coordinates," http://www.chicagohomeestates.com/info/chicago_street_guide.
2. "Decoding the chicago street grid system," http://www.domu.com/blog/chicago-grid-system.
3. "Roads and freeways in Chicago," http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roads_and_freeways_in_Chicago.
4. "Lauren Strec," http://www.LaurenStrec.com.
 

"ERIC FAILING DELETIONS."

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Крокодилье время.
Даже если крокодил съел вас у вас есть два выхода.

Shekinya.net - "Pay Attention!"

Mark 0, 0, 0, 0. The last zero is the time parameter. So, what does this blog post have to do with Grid Lines and Addresses?  Just as my previous post explains my new life and change by moving to Chicago, this post is not only informative about the Chicago Grid System and why there are "funky" street addresses in Chicago, but it's also about making a fresh start and beginning point here, staying on the grid blocks of a "path" in life. 

1.  Life is not a straight line.  They can be defined as blocks.  I moved [back] to Chicago on April 29, 2012.  This marks the time parameter for me.  Currently, as I'm typing this post, that puts time at 145 Days, 15 Hr, 52 Min, 27 Sec.

2.  With new beginnings comes an end or a death.  Before I moved here, I would've never thought I could do this.  A year ago today, I thought I was where I needed to be in life -- job, home and relationships.  I never thought I'd consider moving back here.  I thought my life was reaching its fullest.  It wasn't.

After October 13, 2011, something in me died.  Hope!  An ending of a chapter in my life occurred, but the book wasn't finished.  Just as it marked my 38th birthday, it also signified the end of a chapter and a death in my life.  A fire burned in my heart, a dark fire, a cloak, not a passionate one.  When I left Broadvox LLC in August 2011, I was so sure I was heading in the right direction for my career.  I was wrong.  I've lived life with several disappointments as we all have from time to time, but this one hit me abruptly as the hardest.

Filing for unemployment in November 2011 brought some ease to that, but it wasn't satisfying.  I wanted to get back to work and to a great career which I chose for myself in 2006.  I started looking around Cleveland OH for IT jobs.  With only a few leads and very few Interviews, it just became evident that maybe I don't belong in Cleveland.  Talking with some good business friends, I learned that I was not the problem nor any of my experience.  My resume, references and recommendations were all impeccable.  So, it just got me thinking about what I needed to do.  So, just as November 15, 1996 was the end of one chapter in my life by moving back to Cleveland OH from E. Troy Wisconsin, November 15, 2011 was a turning point in my soul and the beginning of a new chapter in my life.  I still find it odd how that time was exactly 15 years apart, and how I didn't make the connection of time until AFTER the fact.

On November 15, 2011, HOPE WAS REKINDLED!  I cried out to God for help and I believe he showed me a "path" in life.  Remember, life is not a straight line.  I believe he truly showed me Chicago [once again].  Recording a dream I had on November 13, 2011, I believe God showed me this "path."  Tuesday morning, November 15, 2011, I had a very thorough and uplifting call from an IT Recruiter in Chicago.  He discovered my profile on Dice, and he was the first IT Recruiter outside of Cleveland whom took interest in my IT experience.  Something in my soul quickly sparked and ignited.  I remember the call and I remember how quickened I was.  I actually took the call at Hinckley Lake that day.  I was sitting at a picnic table with my IT Portfolio.  We discussed at great length my career aspirations and a new direction for my career.  Still, at that time, I was completely unaware of the 15 year mark.  By November 18, I put all this together in my brain.   My soul knew what it wanted or needed, but my brain didn't make the connection until this date.

Sunset over Hinckley Lake, November 2011.

I started adding Chicago to my list for job searching after that.  In January 2012, I visited Chicago to go on some Interviews and I believe to "get a feel of my new home."  I truly felt HOME in my heart for the first time in January 2012.  I've lived in many places in life.  Even in the places I've lived at on my own (N. Royalton, Brunswick and Hinckley), never had I felt such a great sense of being home than I did (and do now).  Sure, my folks will always remain "Home Zero" to me but for myself, MY home is becoming Chicago.


Beginning of a sunset over W Road, La Grange OH, October 2011

Returning to Ohio after my trip, I was later offered a job that would allow me to move to Chicago.  I took that job and started planning for a place to live near Chicago which I finally did on April 29, 2012.  On August 13, 2012, I started a full time position with that company.

Me "daring to take the stand," 103 floors above Chicago
Sears Tower, January 19, 2012


One job interview I had.

Downtown Chicago from Dash

RESETTING THE TIME PARAMETER.

Quite recently, I've had to re-evaluate my life decisions and some relationships.  Growing up, I've kept few friends in life and I've never been quick to make friends.  The friends I've kept close to me over the years know me on a personal level and know my life.   True friends will always know your mind and how you think, even when you screw up.  Those friends are patient with you and forgiving; no one is perfect in life.  I strive to be that patient and forgiving friend.  I've always been a Listener and Mediator between friends as long as I can remember -- never outspoken in the group and always quiet.  That's just me, but when I see a friend suffering with whatever pain or turmoil, I try to help.  If I see a friend who is mistreated or taken advantage of, I don't stand for it -- whoever the affected member is.  I've been always protective of my friends and you don't mess with them.  They are dear to me and mean something to my life.  They are my family!  If you tip the scales, you better be ready to reap some of the consequences and repercussions that come with your decisions or actions -- this even being my own mistakes!  This is something I'm learning now.



This week, I've had to retrace my steps in my life back from Street Zero and Zero Avenue.  I ended some relationships I had in Ohio.  As I said, true friends stick with you in life.  They know you as you know them.  I know who they are, but this week, I've had to re-evaluate my life and who I share it with.  And, with some recent events, this struck a nerve in me!  I was keeping regular communication with my life on the Facebook Timeline with friends and family there.  This week, I was forced to retrace the grid of life from Street Zero.  I've drawn a new line, and I hate to be the friend or individual who has to say, "If you have a problem, don't call me."  It's come down to that now.  I've had to reflect and think about my life again from Avenue Zero.  This will include rebuilding it, not only in a new town and new job, but with new friends and relationships and ending others.  Zero.  New grid blocks!

Looking at my life in Cleveland with relationships and looking back to my cry out to God last November, I can say that I don't belong in Cleveland.  Dating?  It was never part of my life there.  I was online, looking at dating sites for the answer.  Since I've been here in Chicago, I've had one date without being on a dating site.  Meet up groups? Since I've been here in Chicago, I've gone out on several "Single Meet Ups" in the area, and I'm still putting them on my Calendar.  In Cleveland?  No.  I've had a great Summer here, probably the best so far, and I just hope Autumn and Winter continue on a good note.  I reviewed my Facebook Note from November 18th last year.  It stated this:

"Do the remnants of my life still remain in Chicago/Wisconsin?  Is my home there?  Is my career there?  Is my wife there?  And, are my kids there?  New Faith!"

I admit, but I got choked up a bit, re-reading it.  Since I've been here, I've found myself more motivated and willing to break out of my "shell."  I've made it a point to be more social.  Sure, the friends will come, and I've met a couple here.  Facebook is a nice medium to that sometimes, and I did meet one Chicago friend last year (probably April 2011, but not exactly sure), long before I even thought about moving here.  Ok, for the sake of the topic, let's call her Chicago Friend Zero. +Lauren Strec is a local "TV Personality" and Media Host in Chicago [4], and originally I connected with her because I was interested in her Website and some of the PR work she had done was extraordinary.  She was another person who was insightful and, most of all, a great encouragement about "breaking your comfort zone," which she often strongly stressed with good advice.  Ohio was just that for me, a comfort zone, just as I remember the day when I moved BACK on November 15, 1996.  I looked at Ohio as just that: A comfort zone and an escape!  "A Flock of Seagulls" put it perfectly for that moment.  "I Ran . . . So Far Away."  Events are not an accident, even the people you sometimes meet.  Lauren was one of those people.  Shortly after learning about some of the work she had done, I learned that she was a resident of Chicago.  Oökay, not just mere coincidence here in my opinion.

Lauren Strec hosting "Family Night" for Comcast Xfinity

So, finally and truly wanting to "break that comfort zone" as Lauren encouraged, I slowly mustered the courage to do just that!  Looking at the way I worded the note and the order of occurrences, what can I expect next in life?  I've moved back here.  I have work.  Where will life take me next?  I don't know but I just have this strange "gut feeling" that I'm where I need to be; God will show me (I hope He does), and that I still just need to be patient.  I'm still hoping God will help me and answer some personal prayers I've asked Him for.  I'm looking at that picture of the scales again.  Guess what?  They're still uneven.  Just as Chicago wasn't rebuilt in a single day after the Great Fire, the same is true for me.  I'm still breaking a comfort zone on a daily basis. It's not easy and there is still a lot of stress trying to find that niche and it's going to take faith, hope and perserverance to continue on with it.  It's part of finding a new "path" on the grid.  It's slowly making this HOME.  I'm still learning AND being taught Patience and Humility.  Nothing happens overnight and there are still disappointments to face.  "I feel so humiliated today.  The bad is coming all in threes this week."  As I said that to a good friend this past Thursday when all this crap hit the fan, it really made me reflect once again and ask for God's help.  That was this past Wednesday (September 19), but crap just started Sunday.

FORGIVENESS.

In conclusion, never give up on people or your friends.  Forgiveness is strength of the Soul!  Forgiveness is like resetting the time parameter of the Soul!  Never turn you back on a friend who has offered forgiveness or someone who deeply cares about you.  I am a forgiving friend.  Yes, some forgiveness in my life towards others has not always been immediate or forthcoming.  Sometimes, time eases the pain; sometimes, it doesn't.

Forgiveness opened new doorways to me in February.  It also gave me closure with one person I had a difficult business relationship with.  By being able to forgive this person, I believe God opened up my "path" in life and a new job on February 27, 2012.  That was the day I was offered a consulting position with Diebold.

Dream Analysis on February 26, 2012:


"I told you a little about my dream Sunday Night. It involved [a co-worker]. Yeah, go figure right? Let me elaborate some more on what took place.

We were friends, hanging out together and all buddy buddy. Yeah, go figure, right? It pretty much went against my anger. Well, just before that dream finished I was driving in my car somewhere in Lakewood -- not sure where -- looked like Warren Road. I don't remember if [the co-worker] was with me in the car. Well, I remember stopping my car and getting out to change the license plates on my car to a different state (green colored plates).
  
So, [...] I prayed about this. I think God wants me to forgive [the coworker] and reciprocate the forgiveness, meaning asking for his as well. I believe that's what I have to do. I'm going to have to swallow my pride and ask him. That dream was Sunday night; Monday afternoon I got the job. I think there is a lesson to learn from the dream.

I need to forgive [the co-worker]!"

The co-worker and I contacted each other and reciprocated REAL FORGIVENESS, mutual forgiveness.  It can be done.  I was talking to a HUMAN BEING.  I blotted out the co-worker's name here.  If he's reading, he knows.  It was also interesting to hear the co-worker tell me this on the call.  "It was so good of you to call.   It took balls to do what you did!  I'm so glad you finally did -- one of us at least."  I remember it clearly.

In May 2012, my car, which I jokingly refer to as Blackbeak (because it looks like a big ol' black beak), got something new as well.  She was also home, LOL!  Another dream fulfillment?  Ok, so why do I doubt myself!?  Again, my soul knew what it needed!  My brain is slow and doesn't make the connection.

Forgiveness sets us free!

On New Year's Eve 2011, I didn't make any resolutions like I sometimes do.  I had friends over that night for a party and just before we watched the "BALL DROP," all I remember saying was "DIBS!  I called it!"  I rightly called it.  I was ready for something new in my life, and 2012 is MY year.  Without playing "the doubting Thomas" here like I usually do, it's definite that I'm on the right "path."  It's going to be a day-by-day step and a new challenge as I look past this Autumn and Winter, and to what awaits.  I pray it is a good "path" and I still hope for perseverance.

So, just as State Street and Madison Street respectively set "Zero Avenue" and "Zero Street" in Chicago, I believe retracing your steps on the grid of life and forgiveness offer the same points for the soul.  Those same two Chicago Compass Streets also teach us to "stay on the grid and on the 'path' you are given in life!  You can never be lost if you know the directions."

Chicago Street Zero

And to quote Sheldon Cooper, regarding "His Spot" on a couch from the sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, where I got the idea for the title to this blog post.

Episode 2x16, "The Cushion Saturation."

"There.  Nice comfy, cozy.  Zero, zero, zero." Penny.
"There's one more zero.  You forgot the time parameter." Sheldon.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My life starts at the Water Tower in Chicago!


THE CHICAGO FIRE OF 1871.  THE END OF AN ERA.

The Water Tower is an important Chicago Landmark.  It not only was one of the only surviving structures of the Chicago Fire in 1871 (October 8, 1871), but it serves as a reminder of what remained after the Fire.  It is a reminder of what the City endured and a transition into something bigger and better later on. The fire destroyed about 3 square miles of the City Proper, extending from the South Side, Loop to the north in Uptown.  The fire left the city in ruins with many dead.  The fire lasted 3 days, destroying 60% of the City Proper.  Though blamed on Mrs. O'Leary's Cow at the time, the cow was later exonerated.  The fire was blamed on meteors that occurred in the Midwest the night of October 8.

Reference:
[1] "Diebold - Celebrating 150 Years," http://www.diebold.com/150/featurestories_1871.htm
[2] "City Gallery in the Historic Water Tower | Explore Chicago," http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/attractions/dca_tourism/water_tower.html


THE CHICAGO HEART OF A CHICAGO MATTER AND A CHICAGO ATTITUDE.

With Chicago left in ruins after the fire, did that stop Chicagoans?  NO!  Chicago did not lay dead in ruins after the fire.  The people of the city did not look at this as a failure.  The people of the town could've looked at Chicago and said, "Oh, well.  Our city is lost.  Screw it!  Well, that's the end of Chicago.  It'll never be rebuilt."  They didn't!  They rebuilt the city - EVEN BETTER than before!  Today, Chicago serves as one of the most important economical cities in the United States and remains to be an important "economical hub" for the country.  The heart of the matter here is the notion of "giving up."  The Chicago attitude is don't give up.  Be resilient!  With destruction comes rebirth and growth.  The Chicago heart is live your dreams.  Make them a reality.  Sometimes you have to cut your losses and make something bigger and better in your life.  Fire is needed to refine our lives.  The Chicago matter is becoming that change, living it and excelling in it.

75 Minute Architectural Tour.  Part IV: North Branch. September 15, 2012.
18:50.  Of tribune tributes, fiery cows who sling meteors at skunk smelling, windbags.


"ERIC FAILING DELETIONS."

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Крокодилье время
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No question about it.  My own personal, Chicago Fire blazed its strongest on October 13, 2011.  My life seemed ruined!  Just as it marked my 38th birthday, it also marked a death in my life, the ending of a chapter!  Certainty, trust, and hope perished seemingly after that "blaze!"  It was evident before this point that things were going on in my life, involving many decisions.  August 5, 2011, I decided to leave Broadvox LLC, a company I enjoyed being a part of for 5 years.  This job was very pivotal in my career and job experience.  I believe it has cemeted the foundation of my Career change.  After Broadvox, I temporarily took a job (not even worth my time naming the company here) that didn't last very long and with no clear reason whatsoever, I was fired on October 12.  The fire started!  From that day, I had no certainty of things getting better.  I remained this way pretty much for several months.

THE SOUL KNOWS WHAT IT NEEDS TO THRIVE!

Even when the brain doesn't.  On November 13, 2011, I had a vivid dream about Chicago!  I made note of the dream and just as the headline states: "The soul knows what it needs to thrive," I saved the dream.  It also coincided with another date which was synonymous to a change in my life.  November 15, 1996.

November 15, 1996, I made the decision to move back to Ohio.  I was living in Wisconsin at the time and this was the day I moved back to Ohio.  I believe (still do to this day) that I interrupted some plan in my life, and I believe time froze from that point (even moved backwards).  I believe, even at the time, I acted rashly by "chickening" out and running away by moving back to Ohio.  Sure, moving back to Cleveland OH was not a mistake.  The time was used wisely and in that time I was able to grow and prepare myself for whatever lay ahead. 

The soul knows what it needs to thrive, even when the brain doesn't.

On the night of November 13, 2011, I had the dream about Chicago and I didn't realize what that meant or how that affected me until November 15, exactly 15 years after I made the decision to move back to Ohio.  As powerful and vivid as the dream impacted me, the soul knew what it needed even though my brain didn't.  I sank to my knees and laid prostrate in heart and soul to God on November 15, 2011 without first knowing about the dates.  I had hit bottom with despair and my soul cried out in agony that night, and early into November 16.  Very early that morning on the 16th, after praying ALL NIGHT, I believe I was led to look closely at my Wall Photo of the "Dawn over Prairiewood" and at the times-tamp on the back (November 15, 1996).  Astutely astounded and astonished, I believe God was saying in a way, "Remember that day 15 years ago? This is your do-over.  Don't 'botch' it up this time."  Don't quote that but maybe that was my spirit telling me that instead.

The soul knows what it needs to thrive.  God hears you.  November 13, 2011 (Psalm 43:5).
The picture was taken at Adler Planetarium.  I blended the Weeping Willow to create a surreal effect.

Dream Analysis Log entry (November 16, 2011).
"Dream Analysis (11/13/11): 

I recall my Sunday Night/Monday Morning dream.  In one segment, I was sitting on some sort of cliff and the area was fairly wooded.  Below me was the edge of what I heard someone in my dream say it was "Lake Michigan," although it looked somewhat like a portion of Hinckley Lake to me.  It was a bit marshy portion of the lake and I remember seeing some towering willow trees in the marshy portion which was 10 feet from the side I was on.  It was a narrow portion of the lake.  The trees were very tall.  I was sitting on the cliff, just south of the gigantic willow trees and I noticed the wind picking up and blowing the tops of the trees down towards some other people sitting on the cliff (north of me).  The wind was strong enough to bend the branches down and the leaves of the trees flailed around towards the people there.  I didn’t feel the wind as it blew.  Then, suddenly, the wind shifted directly at me and the willow trees stretched out towards me; branches bending down, leaves flailing in the wind.  I felt the impact of the wind in my dream.  It felt strong enough to where I actually felt like I was being whisked away.  I woke up and pondered for a bit.  I didn’t recall it until now.  Yesterday (11/15) I got a call from a recruiter in Chicago."
This is an excerpt of my dream log from that night.  It describes a remote place where there is a lake, willow trees and most notable in the dream is the WIND.  Those are all symbolic of Chicago!  It became clear from November 15, that I knew what I needed to do.  I needed a change in my life.  I started looking for work outside of Cleveland in Chicago.  It was time to start anew, start fresh, rebuild my life.

The soul knows what it needs to thrive, even when the brain doesn't.

School, paying back debts, helping friends, learning a new trade, cleaning up my life, and growing were all a part of my life between November 15, 1996 - October 13, 2011.  That's not the end though.  God is an important part of this change.  On the night of November 15, 2011, I spent all night in heartfelt and soulful prayer to God.  Before making the connection of 15 years earlier, I cried out to God and asked his divine Hand to touch my life.  After making the connection of November 15, 1996, it was clear to me that God does indeed have a plan.

The soul knows what it needs to thrive, even when the brain doesn't.

In January 2012, I visited Chicago for some job interviewing and to get a feel of the City.  It was the first time I was back in Chicago since first moving there in 1994.  It was then and there where I truly could say: "I FEEL LIKE I'M HOME!"  I even expressed this joy with a few friends.  On February 27, 2012, I took a job with Diebold and they allowed my dream to come true by moving to Chicago.  It should be interesting to note, but the Chicago Fire of 1871 is what made Diebold famous today.  Their safes and vaults survived the great blase.  "They were the most sought after safe after the fire."  I started packing in March after a job training trip in San Francisco CA.  This trip really "greased" the wheels for me, making it more clear to me that I needed to start fresh and rebuild my life from "ruins."  "The fire was a major milestone in American history. It turned out to be a major milestone in Diebold's history, too." [1] Once again I believe my subconscious was speaking to me through dreams (even if from God).  I had one dream that pointed out that my time with friends in Ohio was coming to an end.  The dream involved the death of a friend's horse.  This occurred shortly before I visited Chicago in January 2012.  After discussing the dream with a friend, we agreed that the death was a symbolic one not a physical one.

'To see a dead horse in your dream indicates that something in your life that initially offered you strength is now gone. This may refer to a relationship or situation. Consider the phrase "beating a dead horse" to indicate that you may have maximized the usefulness of a certain circumstance.'

The soul knows what it needs to thrive, even when the brain doesn't.

This was another turning point for me.   As I transitioned towards a new change, it was becoming clear that some things would come to an end.  This would include relationships or situations -- beating a dead horse.

On September 16, 2012, I took an evening to ponder and reflect on where my life is at now.  Things don't happen on accident.  My life is not an accident or a whim.  I made the connection with my life and the Chicago Fire of 1871!  I need to rebuild my life.  I need that Chicago Heart, Chicago Attitude to make it all a Chicago Matter.

On Saturday the 15th, I went downtown to take the "75 minute Architecture Tour on the Chicago River," sponsored by Wendella Boats.  It hit home and I was inspired by the 'tour guide' when he emphatically stated, "Chicagoans are very resilient."  The tour guide inspired me most about Chicagoans and their resilience to failure.  "Well that's the end of Chicago."  It wasn't.  I know one reason why I am here!

On the Facebook Timeline, I posted this NOTE on November 16, 2011 (6am):

Why so restless, oh my soul?  I know why I'm so restless this week.  Once again, I'm up this early and I can't sleep.  I just spent over an hour just praying!  It's something I haven't done in awhile.  I now know why I am so unsettled this week.

So, while talking things out with God, I believe I was divinely lead to this picture (in the note); this picture explains (or at least sums) it all up!  Why am I so restless?  Why the ominous dreams?  Why the immediate grabbing feeling I had Tuesday when the IT recruiter called about a job fit for me in Chicago (had to check my phone log to verify)?  Why does it make me feel like I need to do this?

Look at the picture in this note.  Those of you who regularly come to my apartment can verify and have seen it on my wall.  I took this picture the very last morning I spent in Wisconsin, just before moving back to Ohio.  Before Wisconsin, it was Chicago.  I remembered pasting a date on the back.  Naturally curious about the date, having forgotten about the date of the picture through the years, I turned it over and looked.  Yep, November 15, 1996, exactly 15 years ago!  Here's the thing.  Thinking back to that day when I moved back to Ohio, I truly believed -- even at the time, I interrupted some divine plan in my life and acted rashly.  Granted, there were things back in Ohio that had purpose through the years, mainly broadening my career, but from that day on, I often think I "stopped" God's time for my life and that I acted prematurely.  Tonight, it became more clear to me.  November 15 was this past Tuesday, and the day when I started dealing with the IT recruiter for the Chicago position.   A lot of discussion came from talking with that recruiter.  It really grabbed me internally, more so with the other job leads I have open here in Cleveland!

Now, I do believe God can use calendar days to teach us things, and he can use them as mile markers in our life.  My life is surrounded by the number 13 for instance and I've never looked at 13 as unlucky but in fact a number of hope.  I've written about the importance of the number 13 in my stories even.

"It was well known of the elves that if the thirteen pinnacles of nature were altered, there would be no salvation. 'Without thirteen, there is no salvation for us,' they all agreed. 'No hope to an end.'" The Omen of the Winged Prophet.

Maybe this past Tuesday is a wake up call or a first step into a change, a first step for resuming time.  That could explain the dream I had Sunday night.  I look at the last month.  October 10, I had the dream that I got fired.  October 12, I was.  November 13, I have the ominous dream about the Lake.  Ok, what next?  November 15 marks 15 years exactly I've been back in Ohio.  Am I being shown something?  Is it just mere coincidence that these things are all happening?  Did it take me having to talk it out with God tonight to get a better understanding?  Did it take me losing a job to figure this out?

I often have thought "what if?"  What if I stayed in Wisconsin?  What if I had stuck it out with things there?  Maybe my decision to move back to Ohio was rash and not part of the plan.  Well, that's not how life is.  Life is a series of moments and decisions.  You can't go back and change it; you just move on to the next moment.  Maybe, this is the moment where time starts moving again for me.  Maybe, dates just don't matter and it's mere coincidence.  Tonight, and this past week with an unsettled soul, I don't think that at all.  I believe there is something to learn here for me.

Now it's just taking the next step to get to where I need to be.  Do the remnants of my life still remain in Chicago/Wisconsin?  Is my home there?  Is my career there?  Is my wife there?  And, are my kids there?  New Faith!

And while talking it all out, I was once again reminded of my Life Verse in my favorite book of the Bible (Hebrews).  Having tears in my eyes thinking about how it came to me originally (when I lived in Chicago)!  Jeff Korhorn, if you're reading this, you remember.

Hebrews 12:1, 2.
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Well, I hope I can try sleeping now...
If there is ONE thing that God has taught me this past month (again), it's humility!  It's humbled me.


The soul knows what it needs to thrive, even when the brain doesn't.  This picture has stayed with me for the past 15 years.  There was a reason I took it that morning I left Wisconsin.  There was a reason I put a date on the back.  There was a reason I had it framed.  There is a reason it's remained on the wall of each place I've lived.  There's a reason.  It's been a part of me for the past 15 years.

I AM HOME!

After pondering on my life events Sunday the 16th, I can truly say that there is nowhere I've lived where I truly felt at home until I moved to Chicago!  I feel it in my heart and it's becoming an attitude.  I am home!  This is where I need to be.  Although nothing happens overnight, it's going to be a day by day step.  A new change, a new life, new friends, rebuilding my life.  I am home!  I've never had the sense or feeling like I belonged or felt at home than I do now, not in any place I've visited or lived.  It may've taken me most of my life to discover it, but I did.  Chicago is home!



On April 13 and 14, 2012, I scouted out my new home and started moving in.  My official move date was set to April 29, 2012.  Beforehand, when I finally figured out and secured a place to live near Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, the manager of the apartment complex made it a point to say this about my new apartment.  "You have a very nice view of a 'weeping willow' from your bedroom window."  The "Weeping Willow" which stands outside my bedroom window was fulfillment for me that a dream had come true.  Having no prior knowledge or experience where exactly to move to in Chicago, for some reason where I chose to live played off the dream I had November 13 with the Weeping Willows, the Lake and the Wind.  Quite recently, I told someone my Chicago Dream and about the Lake, Willow Trees and Wind.  It was the first time I openly and freely told someone new about that dream.  When I finished telling this person my dream, I saw a shooting star in the sky.