I have no way to travel out of Chicago for work, and my flights out of the city are limited to an occasional return trip.
If I want to go to Europe, I have to get a special travel permit, and if I want a cruise, it costs a lot more than it does in other cities.
I can’t go to any of the world’s major tourist sites, like New York or Paris.
As a result, I’ve been forced to spend more and more time away from my family.
While I’m not the only one, it’s become more and less possible for me to enjoy my family vacations.
I can’t get back to my parents and sister, my extended family, my boyfriends.
I’ve lost most of my friends.
And the hardest thing to cope with is that the city has become a place I’m still scared to leave, a place where I know that I won’t be safe.
If I’m going to live in Chicago, I’d better find a way to make it work for me.
That’s what I did for a long time.
The city I grew up in and grew up near has changed in ways that I don’t fully understand.
I grew into my parents, and now, when I look back, I think of how much I missed being around them.
It’s no secret that Chicagoans are notoriously difficult to get along with.
For me, it wasn’t just a matter of trying to adjust to a new city, but of trying, over time, to get to know them as people and as people.
They didn’t just want to be my friends, I thought.
They wanted to be friends.