Away from the Lights.

Have you ever been so far away from a city that you can see the stars dot the night sky? I'm not just talking about a few stars here and there. I am referring to a mind-blowing, holy moly, this universe is infinitely larger than I am, amount of stars. It never ceases to help put things in perspective.

As I am sure you are already aware, especially if you follow Smak on social media, I am out in the Pacific Northwest spending the week with my brother. Vacation could not have come at a better time. The city, work, the hustle and bustle...it has all been wearing down on me, leaving me both emotionally and physically drained. Whether a product of society or some internal dilemma of my own doing, I've always found it difficult to distance myself from things.  People's opinions become the glaring elephant in the room. To-do lists are the Mt. Everest of tasks. This past Saturday as my cousin drove north from Seattle, I told myself one thing, "Let go." Leave the to-do lists in Chicago. Be in the moment. Allow myself to enjoy and cherish the time in the Pacific Northwest. But most importantly, relax.

I've only been here a few days, but I can already notice a difference. Waking up and walking out onto the back deck to enjoy my morning cup of coffee, looking out across the farms, mountains lining the horizon. It is infinitely clear that I am far removed from normal city life.

Here I am now, sitting here enjoying the sun and the breeze, trying to think about how I can practically take this all back with me. There won't be any dinners in the barn, twinkle lights draped from the rafters. No hikes in the woods, waves hitting the shore below. No more street performers at farmers markets calling you out for tweeting during their show. So what do I do once I get back to Chicago? It's a question that I'm not quite sure how to answer. Knowing myself, I will get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the city. So for now, rather than allowing myself to worry about the future, I am going to put this laptop away and enjoy where I am here and now, away from the lights of the Second City.

Tommy.