Finding My Place In Chicago

Moving 2000 miles away from home wasn’t easy, and as I walked into class not knowing anyone I wondered how I was going to find my place here, not only at DePaul but in the windy city. After seeing this view of the city the next day this only made me more nervous. Looking at the city from an aerial point of view made me feel so small which led me to believe I was never going to be able to find my place in such a large city.

And so as we first began walking during the week I was uncomfortable with the idea of walking without a destination to go to. It wasn’t until the near end of Tuesday when I saw this mural.

That was when I first felt a part of the city. This mural enclosed with images of the Puerto Rican flag gave me such a sense of pride and comfort. Because being Puerto Rican is such a big part of who I am, this sight was the beginning of my ongoing search for places throughout the city that gave me this feeling. And it made me more contented with the idea of walking without a destination in mind or at least taking the road less traveled.

It wasn’t until Thursday that I had this feeling again. We had traveled to Rogers Park and had a guest tour from Wendy Bright. As our tour was coming to an end Wendy took us to one of her favorite places in Rogers Park, Loyola Park. And as we walked out on the jetty it was absolutely mesmerizing. The sight of the lake in the horizon being blurred in the sky and continuing for what seemed like forever.

And as we continued walking we saw this man on the jetty, with his dark trench coat swaying in the wind and his headphone in I could only imagine he was listening to some deep classical music.

This man was the perfect icon for the location. Seeing him made me realize we are all searching for something. How we find it is up to us and so the meaning of immersion week for me was about finding my place in the city. And while I have found a few places already, this week has given me the confidence and foresight to continue my search for my place here at DePaul and in the boundless city of Chicago.