Last week I attended the Writing Chicago conference. I had a crazy busy week last week for many reason. It was the end of the month. I faced both newspaper deadlines and I had to get everything done two days in advance, so I could be in the moment at the conference, with no interfering brain waves or competing agendas. I’m also preparing for a flute duet at a local music festival. It’s just a little thing, but I want to do well. As
So, I trusted everything would work out. It did. In an unexpected way. Being here NOW has it’s ups and downs.
I mapped out my route to Writing Chicago on the Metra. It would take me as long on the train as by car, if I had smooth sailing through traffic. That’s a no-brainer. It’s Construction Season. I’d be traveling during rush-hour. Metra is by far my best bet. Transfer at Oglivy Station, take the northbound to Evanston. I’ll easily get my 10,000 steps in to meet my FitBit goal. Plus, lots of time to read, while I’m on the train.
So, I arrived at the correct stop for Northwestern, set my GPS to my pre-determined “walk” and set off. I like the little blue dot, I can follow on the map because invariably I make the first turn incorrectly. I did. No problem. I gave myself plenty of time for my meandering.
Wait a minute. This can’t be right. I’m heading away from Northwestern. Check the blue dot. I’m on target. Maybe there’s a building across town. I better stop and ask. Sometimes the GPS is wrong. And, I do often get lost. As my then 8-year-old once said,
An hour to get there and a half hour for getting lost.
I stopped at an Oriental Rug store to ask for direction. No one recognized the name of the hall, Wieboldt. Maybe I pronounced it wrong. I got out my itinerary.
Ummm… “You need to be in Chicago, not Evanston,” the young woman said.
Brittany, the young woman, took me outside and showed me how to get there on the El-train. No problem, know how to do that.
I set off again. Indeed, I was a little dismayed with myself, but I’m here NOW. Oh well, may as well enjoy the journey.
“Wait,” Brittany said. “I’m going to Oglivy station anyways. I’ll take you.”
We chatted as she drove. Brittany is an interior designer who happened to be in the Carpet Store because the owner is her client. She’s got another client at Oglivy. She’s been in Chicago for about seven years. She grew up not far from where I live now.
I got to Writing Chicago just in time to get to my first workshop. She refused even a little compensation for going out of her way for me. I offered to plug her free-lance business. Nope.