A guest post from At The Pool member, Sara
Dear Future Love Of My Life, whoever the hell you are;
I believe in you.
Now, I could believe in you like Cupid; that when I’m least expecting it you’ll take a shot at my heart and hit it so dead center I’ll be powerless to stop my adoration of you.
I could believe in you like the Easter Bunny; that one spring morning I’ll wake up, put on a pretty dress, go run outside, and you’ll show up to give me lilies and chocolate.
I could believe in you like the Tooth Fairy; that if I go through the growing pains of giving up the immature parts of myself I’ve outgrown, I’ll wake to a reward for my surrender, and proof that my pain wasn’t for naught.
I could believe in you like Santa; that if I’m good and I do everything right this year, and I don’t do anything bad, you’ll show up this winter after hearing my wishes, present me with everything on my list, and eat all my cookies.
I could believe in you like Mermaids; that I simply haven’t swum out deep enough to find you, but if I keep exploring different waters, just when I think I can’t swim any further, you’ll save me from drowning and be my hero.
I could believe in you like Werewolves; that one night at random you could turn on me and present claws, so I should be cautious about getting too close.
I could believe in you like Leprechauns; that you’ll scamper in one day with too much gold and I should be wary of things that are short and green and always chasing the next rainbow.
I could believe in you like Monsters in my closet. That you hide. And you won’t really show yourself to me and that scares me more than seeing you in the light, no mater how beastly.
I could believe in you like Vampires, that if I let you drain even a sip of life out of me now, no matter how hard I try tomorrow my cheeks will look less rosy to you, and the more appealing a new fresh victim will become.
I could believe in you like unicorns or ghosts or fairies or goblins or all sorts of other fantasy things I have yet to see or ever shake hands with.
But I won’t.
I will believe in you like rainstorms. That being real wont make you less spectacular. That being non-fiction won’t make you any less magical. That you may not arrive exactly when I thought you would, or where I thought you would, but I will be grateful nonetheless when you do. I will keep aware that if I allow too much of you to wash over me, I could get swept away, so please understand when I keep a few roots anchored.
Yes, I will believe in you like rainstorms. I won’t build dams to contain you out of fear of drought; I’ve long since learned how to dig my own wells.
But I’ll build up my thirst to appreciate you, and -okay, I’ll keep a few cisterns in my heart to hold what you decide to gift to me for safekeeping, because I’ll also accept the fact that you will have seasons, and many other parts of your life to water. And I will be grateful for that.
I will believe in you like rainstorms; so one day you will believe in me like land and let yourself fall.
A guest post from our UChicago Brand Ambassador Rita Sokolova
I have been trying to stop checking the weather first thing in the morning. If I put my zip code into the search bar of Accuweather.com on any given day these past few weeks, I get a low number, an even lower real feel temperature, and some choice adjectives describing the weather as “frigid,” which is meteorologist code for “It’s miserable. Don’t even bother leaving bed.” If I let this be the first thing I see every morning, I lose all desire to step outside, let alone venture off campus and explore Chicago. When the mercury dips, there are two ways I try to save myself from apathy: a warm coat, and memories of warmer times.
I was fortunate enough to be able to travel a bit this summer, and coming home after a month-long adventure left me a bit bummed. I thought Chicago had nothing to offer and ended up wasting a too many days in the infinite abyss of the interwebs. I couldn’t shake off the feeling that somewhere out there was a wonderful adventure and that I had no way of getting there. If not for a friend with a knack for gardening, I would have stayed that way through summer, autumn, and winter.
One morning, we decided it would be a good idea to bike to Promontory Point before sunrise with a makeshift picnic breakfast and a book of poetry. We wanted to get there before sunrise and have a surreal experience that is the stuff of novels and epiphanies. I remember biking in the warm morning darkness with a basket full of bagels and a tub of cream cheese as my friend biked ahead of me with the carrots practically overflowing from his backpack. When we got to the Point, the sky looked like cotton candy on steroids. The sun was just starting to peek out from behind Lake Michigan, and at that moment, I felt so ridiculous for doubting the fact that beauty can exist right outside your door. That’s a lesson that can be even harder to remember when the world is cold and dreary, but don’t let the things you can’t quite change get in the way of living magic. Put a coat on and get out there.