A learning curve

The past couple of weeks have been pretty great. I am finally starting to fall into a rhythm in my surroundings here and there’s a sense of normalcy that has been missing since I left Ohio. Tonight I went to a screenwriting seminar about developing compelling characters and walked there from work. Everything I want to do is centrally located, or else a short L or bus trip away. Last Thursday I went to my first book club meeting and the hostess’s home was a half block from a red line stop north of me.

Work is getting easier; I hit a point where I was feeling really stressed, and even though I still am freaked out a lot I am starting to see myself getting better at my job. I’ve learned so much in the last two and half months and I think as long as I’m okay with constant change and rolling with the punches, it’s not so bad. We are a company of adaptable people, if anything.

One kind of funny thing I’ve noticed about new work places is that there’s a point when people start to notice I have hearing aids. I almost never wear my hair up so it takes a while, and it’s very rare that anyone actually says anything. But on the few days when I have my hair in a pony tail, even if just momentarily at my desk, I can’t help but notice their eyes drawn to my ears, just for a split second.

Most people seem surprised when they notice, or I mention, I have hearing aids, and this makes me happy because I think maybe my loss isn’t as noticeable as I sometimes assume. It also makes me wonder if they’re lying to be polite, but those who have reacted with genuine surprise in impolite ways tend to counteract this. It’ll be a while before I forget the first day I wore my hair up at the department store and a co-worker flatly did a double-take before pointing and shouting, “Hey, you wear hearing aids!” as if to alert me, in case I wasn’t aware.

At work now, no one has said anything, but I made a joke to a girl I sat next to for a week or two after my cube mate left. She was annoyed about some people at work being too noisy. I apologized and said I hadn’t really noticed over the sound of my music I was listening to with headphones.

“But then again, I am kind of deaf,” I said, smiling.

“I know, I saw your things,” she said.

And that was it.

I really wish I had more to write about, but not much else is going on yet. I do, however, want to give an update on the thing people back home ask me the most, and that’s whether or not I’m dating anyone here.

HA!

I definitely am not. I’m not even interested in anyone, which is weird but kind of nice for now. The closest thing I’ve got going for me is a mild fascination with a Jim Halpert-kind-of-lookalike at work and a bizarre pseudo-crush on one of the editors I write for who, not only have I never actually met, but I’m pretty sure (thanks to some light Facebook stalking) has a very cute girlfriend. This is the extent of my love life; thanks for asking.

Still, I can’t help but notice that there are so many very cute boys all over Chicago in the spring. They’re everywhere, I tell you. So, there’s that.

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