Chicago Manifesto 2.0

It’s been a year since I left San Francisco and came to Chicago. It feels a lifetime ago sometimes, not so much others. Lord knows those first few months after I got here I was hiding out in my studio, job searching, sleeping on an air mattress, and stealing wifi from my neighbor so I could watch Charmed. Back then, time went by at the speed of traffic on the Dan Ryan during rush hour (for you San Francisco readers, that’s the same as waiting on the J after 10pm “next train, JJ in 25 minutes…”). But year one is done and I’m ready to tackle year two.

So what do I want out of this second year of my clean slate? Might as well type it out, I always feel that I do a better job of accomplishing things once I’ve written them down. When I wrote my manifesto last year, I had some pretty general items in there, like, be nice to people, and learn how to date. I’ve done a fairly good job being nice to people, even if it has been through gritted teeth, I still did it, like making it through winter (I don’t care what you all say, even if it was the weakest winter in blah blah years, it was still winter, below zero, I lived, so you can all suck it.). I also learned how to date and not have there be any jumping the gun of moving in together after 3 weeks, or saying I love you after 3 days (shameful behavior of a 25 year old, totally my excuse). I don’t like it, but I’ve been doing it and done a damn good job of not being super needy or clingy. The other things, like work out more and eat better…well, I live across the street from a gym, so that’s something, and eating better? I live in Chicago, deep dish pizza and some damn good fried chicken is around the corner, so we’re just going to say that’s a fail, revel in it and the fact that i’ve learned how to sew so I can let my pants out…ugh. Anyway, this entry is about moving forward, so…

I, Royce, being of sound body (thanks chinese food), heart (been on an Ugly Betty kick lately, it’s a feel good show), and mind (solitaire is a surprisingly mental game), do hereby declare this to my Chicago Manifesto 2.0,

This year, I will get back to what I love and have been missing, being a stone cold beyotch. Kidding, mostly. Being nice to everyone has been great, but it’s dull. So, I think I’ll let my snarky side out a little more often, because being nice is not something that you can fake until you make. What I’ve actually been missing is competition. Throwing Mumu Fly High around twice a week and going up against other teams made me feel alive. Swimming against other people and telling myself that I can do a full lap of fly on two breaths because it will bring my time down by 1 or 2 seconds gives me a thrill. So, i’m going to find an outlet for all that, luckily, I’m already part of a swim team, I just need to enter a competition. Also a cheer team out west started a level 6 international open team. score! So cheering and swimming, going to make a comeback in a big way this year. Besides, I have a gold medal to defend in 2014.

While I have put up minimal decorations and made a very sad attempt at ever making any space I’ve lived in feel more like “home,” because I have never stayed anywhere longer than a year (except with Audry, Miguel and Lila), I know I’m not going anywhere. This 350sqft studio will be mine until July 2013, so, I may as well pick a theme and decorate, cause that’s apparently what gays do. Also, I’m going to get a couch. I realize my space is small, but it’ll fit if it is arranged correctly. Mostly I want one because I’m so tired of laying in bed to watch TV, and while I love when my friends come to stay, having someone in your bed you can’t really cuddle with is annoying (except for the cheertator of course, love you Big Spoon).

Speaking of friends I have like three here; Megan, a girl who I met on a plane one night flying back to Chicago and who has actually managed to keep in touch. Jeff, a guy from San Francisco who moved roughly the same time I did and who I do a lot of NorCal lamenting and missing with. Matt, who lives the next neighborhood over, appreciates my love of NES, the fact that I clomp around in heels once in a while and laughs at my stories. These are the people I spend time with, and people, its not all that much time. So, I’m going to make a better effort to expand that list of people. I have quite a few acquaintances, but haven’t done a good job of turning them into friends and I want to. I know a lot of them are really good guys and gals (yes, I know girls here, totally not on purpose of course), so I’m going to do a better job of reaching out.

Speaking of reaching out, I traveled to California four times in this past year. Vegas, Miami and Atlanta all once. Which, really isn’t that bad. But I live in the middle of the country now. It’s a 3 hour flight or less to almost everywhere! Shoot, I can drive to Canada in the same amount of time it used to take me to go from SF to LA. Its time to visit some places I’ve never been. Nashville? You’re on my list. Boston? Hell yeah! Denver? Totally going back. New York City? I’m good, thanks though! Kidding, kidding, I jest, kinda. But I do need to take my CA trips down a notch. One reason is because my parents refuse to visit me if I’ve been out west and seen them in a 2 or 3 month span, which is how they’ve gotten away with not visiting for a year. Also, fewer trips to CA mean more money in my pocket, which I have been using to pay for fun I’ve already had (thanks Visa).

Speaking of cash, it’s time to make more. When I moved here, I’d never stepped foot in this state, city, didn’t really know anyone, didn’t have a place to live or stay and had no job. Well, I’m no longer starting on the hardest level of Sim City, I’ve made some headway. Job, check. Place to live, check. Friends, check-ish. Money, getting there. What will help is if I’m able to stay at my job until I get a promotion. I’m not going to lie, I get bored easily. But the firm I’m working at now is doing a really good job of challenging me and when I’m kicking ass, they tell me, so I’m pretty damn happy about it. I can see myself there for a while, which is heaven on my credit score and stress levels.

So by the time I get started on Manifesto 3.0, I hope to be making it F*ing rain (on myself, cause I don’t pay strippers unless they can do something I can’t, and thanks to group stunt practices, I can make it clap, so move on hoe, move on), have a small but close group of friends (I mean, I can try, right?), satisfy my thirst for competition, and continue marching happily forward through adulthood.

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