Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Ripe for Change: An Evolving View

The Vista Tower construction site from my window
The biggest construction project in Chicago is taking place directly across the river from our condo. The Vista Tower in Lakeshore East  will eventually be the third tallest building in the city (after the Willis and Trump Towers), but right now it's a massive squatty lump of cranes and concrete and it's ruining my view, damn it.

We knew Vista Tower would be built when we bought our Riverview condo a year ago, but it didn't seem to matter. It was the views of the lake and river that sold us and they aren't going anywhere. And, as I said to Liam, we're not moving to Streeterville because we want  a quiet little neighborhood where everything stays the same. We want to be part of a vibrant, growing city that has a lot of action and excitement!  I still feel that way, but I'm beginning to mourn the loss of the view I've come to love.

This weekend I could see the stages of Lollapalooza from my balcony. Today, framed by bright yellow cranes, I'm enjoying the sun shining on the jets of Buckingham Fountain and the wall of historic buildings on South Michigan Avenue. But I won't be able to do that much longer. The Vista Tower is rising up a brisk pace, and long before it reaches its full height of 95 stories, my 16th floor view of Grant Park and much of the sky above it will be gone. For good. 


Change is hard, right? I'm dealing with a lot of it these days and I bet you are too. My kids move out of the house, my dog moves to Florida, my husband takes a job out of state, we sell our family home and move into two new ones, my writing takes a detour - those are big life changes. Then there are niggling physical changes - like my vision is getting worse, and my joints ache in the morning, and my cranky feet reject almost every cute shoe at Nordstom. And I can't even deal with the overwhelming global and political changes that have occurred over the last year. Ugh. Why can't things just stay the same?

It's easy to think of change as loss. 

Which I've decided is a completely unhelpful outlook.

I choose to see change is growth. Yes, it's uncomfortable, but it's a completely natural process.  Everything changes, absolutely everything. Our bodies, our relationships, our points of view, our surroundings, our jobs, our passions, our friends and family. We can resist the change, we can lament it, but that won't prevent anything and only makes the transition more painful. So, barring a real tragedy, I say embrace change! When something ends it makes room for something new (and possibly even better) to move in. 

So sure, I miss my kids, but we have the best times and a real appreciation for each other now when we're together.  And yes, my vision is bad but now I can pop over to Warby Parker to add some cool multi-focal shades to my corrective lens collection. And okay, I can't wear Jimmy Choo stilettos or Valentino pointy toed flats (um, actually I never did) but I can rock a whole new array of cushy, supportive shoes as I walk through this wonderful city. *

Who need Manolo when
you've got Mephisto?
Warby Parker shades round out
my corrective lens collection.
And about that view I'm losing? The Jeanne Gang designed building is going to be simply stunning so maybe I'll even prefer the new "vista." And bonus - according to my realtor, the sales of those ultra-expensive condos across the river should help boost our condo's real estate value.  So here's to change!

My eventual view. Pretty cool.
Photo via @chicagoarchitecture.org

* I do so much walking now that I live in the city, a comfy shoe guide is definitely in the works.

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