I’m in Chicago, and specifically I’m at the 47th street Red Line stop just between Back of the Yards and Bronzeville. And, as I often am, I’m on my way to the airport.

Though I (obviously) prefer Midway, I’m headed to O’Hare, because the best airline with a hub in my hometown operates from there. And I’m terrified.

I know it’s technically Tuesday, and I know that technically I’m supposed to post these in Mondays, and I know that I’m technically a couple weeks late. 

But the thing is: I’m looking back on the whole of the pandemic, this past two years et al, and in that time there were so many times when I thought I would never be more scared than the scared I was then.

And funnily enough, there was always more scared I could be.

So, as it came to be, there was apparently the “Most Scared™️” I could be, and rather than that time coming in South Africa or Egypt or Georgia, it arrived in Ukraine. And there is where I met my mettle, and found out it was worth far less than I thought it would be.

And so I used every privilege I have – my passport, my meager savings, and my friends – to get back to my home country as soon as possible.

And I left all of my friends behind to make it to Poland on their own.

And it’s not a small feat to say that while I have been reveling in reconnecting with everyone I love, that it’s not without reservations. Because of all the things that I’ve wanted to tell to a younger version of me, especially through the breadth of this pandemic, this recent turn of events is not one of them.

And now that I’ve languished in two weeks in Chicago, I’m now flying to my hometown, where that younger version of me was born. So now I’m tasked with finding a way to explain to her how I’ve behaved, and hopefully she’ll be placated by what we have to come.


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