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Three Years in Chicago

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First, I wrote about my journey to Chicago. Time passed by rather quickly, and before I knew it, I was writing about my first year in Chicago. And then my second. And now, another year and come and gone, marking three years in Chicago. Three. Years. There are still days I can’t believe I live here and that this is my life. I live in Chicago. Chicago.

People always ask why I left LA for Chicago. They want to know how I handle the winter and why I chose Chicago of all places. I had never been through a real winter, and once the holidays are over, I don’t think I handle it very well at all. But I love Chicago, and I deal with it. I wasn’t moving for work, and I didn’t know anyone let alone have a love interest in this city. There wasn’t one “rational” reason that brought me here. In November 2010, I spent two days in Chicago. I got off the train in Lincoln Park decided that I should move here. My car lease was up just a few months later, and I didn’t need a car in Chicago. It just made sense at the time.

For those of you who don’t know the story, there was a defining moment when I knew I was moving. After two days in Chicago with my blog friend turned real life friend Kelsey, we drove back to Indiana. I went to church with her and the pastor asked everyone to close their eyes and raise their hand if there was something they felt that God was calling them to do. That if we were afraid, we should have faith and take the leap. That was it. We all opened our eyes, and I started crying. It wasn’t easy, and I didn’t want to move halfway across the country by myself, but I knew I had to do it.

The past three years have been wonderful. Scary, lonely at times, but three of the best years of my life. I went from not knowing anyone to having friends who have become like my family. From calling my mom because I was so excited that I found Trader Joe’s without a map (terrible sense of direction–don’t judge) to telling cab drivers how to get from point a to point b. From not riding any public transportation for at least a year and a half to taking the bus almost every day. From being in a strange new city to living in a place that feels like home.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been going through a lot lately. But at the end of the day, I am happy. It’s been a roller coaster, but I realize how incredibly blessed I am, and I am so grateful. Had I not taken this leap of faith, I wouldn’t have some of the best friends I could have ever hoped for, I doubt that I would have found CrossFit, and I never would have started The Everygirl. This past year has been one of the best years of my life. I don’t know that I’ll be here forever, but I
know that Chicago will always hold a piece of my heart. It’s where my
life began. Every time I walk Buddy to the lake and see that skyline, I can’t help but smile. I’m home.

Happy three years, Chicago.

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  • i hope to move to chicago some day. i work events in a museum and i hope to work in one of the many beautiful museums chicago has one day! i have dreams that i will be writing a post like this in the future.

  • I moved to a city where I didn't know a single person eight years ago… and I'm still here. One of the best things I ever did and made me brave for some many other things. Happy anniversary.

  • Love this post!!! Always enjoy each year when you post about "X year in Chicago" each one has the same love and excitement — and I'm happy for you! We all are!! Best sentence :It's where my life began. awesome.

  • Happy three years! Everytime I see your posts, it makes me want to visit Chicago even more. That photo is gorgeous.

  • I grew up in the Chicago area. I went to college not too far away and then I moved to LA. I returned to Chicago a year later and have not left. There is something about the area that is just a wonderful area.
    Glad that you have found a home.

  • I moved to Boston from LA (sight unseen) 25 years ago and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. 🙂

  • Love! I am born and raised here and truly believe it's one of the greatest cities in the world. So glad to see "outsiders" appreciate it as much as I do. Welcome home! xoxo

  • I love coming to your blog and reading these stories/experiences. We all have difficult times in life, but it's seeing the beauty in thing around us like Lake Michigan that brings us back to reality and joyfulness. I really appreciate you sharing, especially in this stressful time (for me). Thank you! Enjoy your life in Chicago!

  • i can't believe it's been three years! i love that every time you talk about it, you still are so excited and happy, even when you are having a tough time. i am so glad you moved to chicago and started the everygirl! and i hope your doctors appointment went well today!

  • Congrats on your three years in Chicago! I love your blog as well as The Everygirl. I'm always so inspired by them, especially now that I'm getting to make a big move to California for law school. Reading about your experiences and how you've adapted are some of my favorite posts! Hope this blog is around for many more years to come 🙂

    http://www.futurelawyergirl.com

  • Congrats on 3 years! I've only been here a year and I've loved every moment of it. The winters are hard (I'm from Florida) but the cold makes summer that much better 🙂

  • i love chicago, too! i work in tv, so everyone in this industry ends up in LA or NY, but I don't ever want to leave chicago 🙂

  • Thanks, Michelle. Doc thinks it's all stress/snxiety related. Time to start yoga. Need to unwind, unplug, and relax a bit.

  • What do they say? "When you know, you know?" Your willingness to see outside of the season you were in 3 years ago & then your resolution to take that next step (that just so happened to cover 2,000 miles) to do what you had to do is so admirable & heartening. (And I mean that in the most genuine, anti-cliche way.) Encourages the part of my heart that's been feeling a similar change approaching–still waiting for the rest of my heart to catch up. Thank you for the reminder that it's good & okay & right to do what you know to do when you don't know what to do. Looking forward to hugging your neck someday!