So, Allow Me To Bring You Up To Speed….

So, the craziness that is my life.  Yeehaw.

So, I’ve traveled back to Chicago.  It only took a few hours to understand what I’ve been missing.  When I walk the streets of Chicago, I feel alive.  I feel whole.  It only took a few moments of walking to the nearest train station, and hopping the El, to know why Alaska will never be my final destination.

Anyplace I live has to be alive. Chicago is alive.  It feels like a living organism, that writhes and undulates underneath your feet.  Anywhere that I live has to have the breadth and depth of culture, and activity, and diversity that Chicago presents.  I need all of that.  The violence, the disparity, the homelessness…it all presents another facet of life that I need.  Here, I have something to fight for, and things to live for.  As one of my favorite Lamb of God songs exclaims, “NOW YOU’VE GOT SOMETHING, TO DIE FOR!!!!”

So, needless to say I immediately ran back to Gracie Barra Chicago.  It was great to see all of the guys.  It was even better to actually get into a class.  I was super worried, because i happened to walk in on the morning of an Advanced class.  But, I actually remembered several of the techniques we worked on, but immediately learned something.  That’s what I love about training, and particularly at Gracie.  Nothing is static.  One of the techniques we covered I’d seen several times, but there’s a tweak here, or a change there, “this is how you might do it, or might have done it, but this might be a little more effective….”  LOVE!!!!  MAD LOVE!!!!  I traveled over 3,000 miles to train, and it was worth every damn mile.  I would’ve done those miles on my feet if need be.

And allow me to answer the question I’ve gotten several times this week:
Yes, I could’ve stayed in Alaska and trained.  I could’ve gone to Canada, hell, maybe even California or Seattle.  But the atmosphere and depth of talent and character at Gracie Barra Chicago cannot be beat.  I feel comfortable there.  Much like Chicago, it feels like home.  Will I always train there?  I honestly don’t think so, but as time and occasion allows, that’s where I want to train.  I also hope to visit a few other schools this summer (Brazil 021, 10th Planet North Chicago, etc…)  but Gracie Barra is home, and it’s family.

So, apartment hunting….not so good so far.  I’ve looked at places, I’ve met people…but none of them feel quite….right! I’m following my gut.  I got a few possibilities still in the works, and fortunately, I have a few days to relax (it was becoming quite stressful) and think over my options, and choose that which will be best for me.  This will be a developing story for sure.

Currently, I’m out in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago, tutoring the daughter of a very dear friend, and the daughter is a dear friend in her own right.  We’ve doing ACT prep, which I have fairly good experience with.  We’re using Kaplan premiere, and I think it’s going well.  We’re moving on a truncated timetable, but I think we can be effective.  Time will tell, but it’s going great so far, and we will be doubling back to the math in a day or two, and then spend our final few days practicing our faces off.

I hope this finds you all well.  Once I find myself with semi-reliable internet access, I’ll be updating this more frequently.  Even being in Chicago a week, my brain just seems more alive.  I find questions coming to my head, my idle thought being more diverse, and productive.  More stimuli, more cerebral action.

Talk to you all soon I hope.  If you’re here in Chicago, I hope to see you.  If you’re in Alaska, I’ll send a postcard ……naaaaahhhhhhhh!

~DM

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