13. North Avenue is not "way up on the north side." In fact, it's barely the north side--a fact I honestly didn't know at the time I started. (Wicker Park as seen from the El.)
12. When I first started, I would go home for lunch (then just 2 miles) and pump milk for my 7-month old. I know some people think that's great. I, on the other hand, resented feeling like a mechanical cow. She couldn't even walk when I started. Me and another worker kicked off "bring your baby to work day"...then "toddler"...then "kindergartner"...And now she's 10. And she has a sister. Here's a picture from our "first annual being your baby to work day." They took over the conference room.
11. Banks get robbed more than you would ever know. I was even in the middle of a bank robbery once. I was oblivious, even as glass doors from out of the previously unnoticed slots in the wall slammed shut. The banks at North/Damen/Milwaukee get robbed all the time. All. The. Time.
10. "Go ahead and ride my bike for bike to work week," she said. "You never forget how to ride." It echoed in my head as I flipped off the bike at Oakley and Fulton while running and errand and dodging a jerk in a truck. Lol!!!!!!
9. Shelby and Jan...two beautiful people, died less than a month apart in early 2010...I was crushed, but better for knowing them. I still sometimes catch myself thinking "wait til I tell Jan!" Jan held her tongue so much but what she did let slip, she was SO right about my ex and what I was letting slide. And, sweet Shelby...it took me YEARS to pick up a Red Eye and play sudoku again. It's just not the same. Nor has any company party ever been. "These people 'round here don't know how to BBQ." Yep, you were right. :)
8. The organization I was hired by grew from a staff of 12 (when I started) to the current number of 86. Only 5 people who still work here were there before me, and one of them was an intern at the time. Long. Slow. Whistle. This was my first headshot (super unprofessional) for a newsletter article on my first project.
7. Penny's Noodle Shop...the front counter lady knows my voice on the phone, and will chat me up when I come in. That is the one place I will for sure come back to for lunch. I will miss her.
6. Hiding in the back booth at Sultan's to avoid a particularly talkative co-worker.
5. Since I began working there I had a second child, bought a house, dropped a husband, moved into an apartment, went through 2 cars, been offered 3 jobs, ran 3 marathons (3.5?) and 13 half marathons, turned 40, lost friends, found friends, and grew to love tofu. The White Sox won the World Series, two IL governors were jailed, and we elected our nation's first black president.
4. I was walking down Milwaukee Avenue when I found out Michael Jackson died. I never went back to that ice cream store we were headed to again.
3. I mastered the art of parallel parking.
2. I kicked my decade+ Diet Pepsi habit once and for all! Hooray!
1. But most of all, i grew to love this little neighborhood. Through the good and the bad..."it's been real!"
Thanks for letting ramble.
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