We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.

We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us. ~ Anonymous

Happy Monday, Dear Reader! This post finds me in Elmhurst, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. I’ll be giving my motivational talk “Stop Making Excuses and Start Making Memories” tonight at 7pm. Elmhurst Public Library.

Details HERE: http://andrawatkins.com/event/elmhurst-il-public-library/

And if you live in greater Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I have numerous events in the area this week. Check out my event calendar HERE for all the details.

I’d love to meet you!

I close out my week in Round Lake Beach, Illinois. I’m headlining Round Lake Beach AuthorFest on Saturday, July 30. If you’re in the area, please stop by and say hi.

And if you know people in greater Chicago/greater Milwaukee, PLEASE share this post with them and encourage them to make a memory with me. Meeting current and potential readers is my life blood. I love hearing your stories, knowing your voices and faces, and sharing time one-on-one with you.

It’s the BEST WAY to band together and keep life from escaping us.


This is part of a series of pictures about making memories. If you liked the story why not share it with your friends? Let’s meet on Facebook or Twitter. If you prefer pictures you will surely like my Instagram. I’ve collected inspirational things and more on Pinterest! Any comments? Write them below!

For those of you who didn’t know it, MTM once lived in a little town called Chicago, Illinois. For six years, he ran his own architecture practice. He competed in worldwide architecture competitions, resulting in skyscrapers in Korea that he’s never seen. He was even a finalist in the Oklahoma City Memorial Competition and ended up on CNN.

Last weekend, he took me past a visible remnant of himself by showing me something he designed. On the front of a building in downtown Chicago, an entryway blared out MTM’s signature sensibilities, his clean lines and minimalist style. It was a piece of him that I could reach out and touch, from a time when I didn’t know him.

As we shivered our way around the city, I would catch our reflection, walking side-by-side in a random window glass. And, I wondered: did he ever walk this way and glimpse me? The two of us, together? When he ate fish and chips at his favorite pub, did a girl turn her head and conjure my image in her wake? Give him some clue of who he was seeking before he found me? Before he said hello?

I’ve studied photos of MTM from that time, scanning his younger face for the certainty of me. My favorite one of him from that era wasn’t taken in Chicago, though. It was shot in Japan. He is sitting alone in front of a glassy pond, broken by circular stepping stones, cherry blossoms dropping around him like pink-and-white confetti.

Somehow, I know I was there, too.

I just know it.

Too Much is Just Enough: Seeing the signs and knowing they are true.