I grew up in Kansas…kind of. I grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, where we quite literally have a street a few blocks from my old house called “State Line” which separates those who reside in Missouri and those who reside in Kansas. It’s pretty weird to grow up with; I delivered pizzas the year before college and would go between the two states every day of my life. But I’m not in Kansas City anymore, and that’s a pretty scary thing to have to deal with.
The Wizard of Oz is a story I know pretty well, though I’ve only ever read the excerpt given, and this first chapter is amazing in terms of setting up a story. Much like Dorothy, I was swept off my feet and transported to somewhere new. In the reading provided we never learned exactly where Dorothy might end up, so to me, this transition was most easily relatable to the two days I spent driving to Chicago in preparation of my move in day. During that day and half or two days, I was initially worried. I had just broken up with my girlfriend after deciding long distance wasn’t worth trying, I’d lost my group of best friends (we all have matching tattoos), and I was moving to a place much bigger and scarier than I had ever known. Sad? Yes. Defeated? No.
Even now that I’ve been in Chicago for nearly three weeks, I’m still plagued with the same problems and anxieties I was facing on my journey here. However, much like Dorothy, I’ve settled into a state of trying to calm down and see where my ride takes me. The difference between me and Dorothy is that I set out on my travels without a Toto. I’ve spent most of college searching for that connection; someone to confide and experience with, and I’ve found a person or two who might be able to fill that. But I’ve struggled a lot with my own emotions and personal issues ever since breaking up with my ex girlfriend, who was my former Toto. Adventure, like most things in life, is a lot more fun with company.
So far, Chicago has been an amazing place. It’s been crazy living in this city and I can’t imagine what my world will look like in four years, four months, four weeks, even four days. The experiences around me are all so new that it’s helped me survive this journey without experiencing as much pain as if I’d been in a more comfortable situation. Change is hard, man, but we’re getting there.(Sam Keefe, City of Stories Student)