Yesterday was a hot, humid, beautiful Chicago summer day. I made plans with friends, coworkers, and classmates to head to Millenium Park to watch the movie La La Land at the Jay Pritzhker Pavilion. As it often happens, things came up for some folks so the final count was four and we made our way to the park planning to get there a half an hour before the movie started. Our bags were full with blankets, bottles of wine, snacks and excitement.
Unfortunately for us, the entire city had the same idea. By the time we got near the pavilion, it was so packed you could barely even walk. I am stubborn, so I had to be sure before I gave up. I politely shuffled along waiting to get past the crowd and to see if the grass miraculously had some space open. When I finally got close I couldn’t even see the green of the grass anymore. Coming into focus was a mess of people and belongings crammed next to and on top of one another filling every inch of the field.
I turned around and waved for my friends to give up and head away from the crowd. As we left the entrance we came in was being blocked and barricaded to try to manage the overwhelming crowd. What now?
These tend to be my worst moments. The uncertainty and disappointment throws me into a frenzied panic and I end up shutting down. Not this time! Sure, I was frustrated. At first I was walking ahead of my friends with the destructive wheels in my head spinning, but I stopped it. If you aren’t from Chicago, Millenium Park is huge and surrounded by other parks and endless possibilities. I started thinking of our options instead of giving in to my crazy.
We decided to head towards Buckingham Fountain. Along the way we joked of our misfortune. My friends sat on benches for the most part, but my stubborn self did not abandon my picnic dreams. Although the evening had a disastrous beginning it had a wonderful ending. I laid out my blanket in front of the benches facing the fountain and sat comfortably listening to the water, laying in the sun, looking at my beautiful city and laughing with my friends.