A Flower In The Concrete: My Move To Chicago
One year ago.
I was living with Mel’s parents in Indy with the image of having things figured out on the outside. In reality I was a mess. Finding a new job. Moving to a city that scared me. Leaving behind a lot of things and people I loved. It was all a lot to take in for this girl!
This move to Chicago was an internal need to be closer to my family and boyfriend and I knew it was right. But it was a challenge on my mental and physical health.
One year later.
I was sitting on a flight home from an amazing weekend trip to San Diego when I started to think back to everything I did this year. I could feel the change that had come over me. As Maggie Rogers so kindly wrote for us all, I was back in my body.
Here’s to the year that brought me back. That made me fight, cry, laugh, sing, and dance my heart to shreds. I know my body and mind accomplished a lot.
I never want to give this year back no matter the ups and downs. Here are some of the good and bad that encompassed my year:
I wrote a lot of things people will never read. My roommate and I convinced ourselves for several weeks we had a ghost in our apartment. Huge thanks to my dad for driving to the city at 8 am to verify for us that there was not a ghost. There were a lot of quiet walks to coffee shops for tea and $12 smoothies because they were just so damn good.
I met new friends that assured me I would be okay here and I really needed that. I realized I love hot yoga and got to watch 2 different sunsets on airplane rides around the world. I cried in my car several times. I cried in a bar from laughing so hard. I ate a lot of sushi and pizza. I danced in my living room, in a dance class, and at too many bars to count. I reconnected with friends from high school and said goodbye to others. I laughed my ass off watching the Bachelor and Bachelorette with my girls.
I fell in love with my new life.
I walked a 5k because running is hard and then drank beers to cheers that. I visited my parents a lot. We’re only 50 mins away now and those were some of my favorite nights this year. My brother and his wife decided it was time to grow this fam of ours and I cried happy tears. My boyfriend surprised me with a puppy and I cried more happy tears. I lost my favorite scarf yet was surprised 2 months later by a new one from my mom that was more beautiful then the last. I read 5 books and learned that podcasts were my best friend during my hour long commute. I cut my hair then wished it was long again 2 months later. I lost weight, gained weight, and tried to love my body for what it was as many days as I mentally could (it ended up being a lot of days and I’m so proud of myself). I loved my friends hard but I said no to a lot of things that I knew I didn’t have time for. Mike and I found new favorite restaurants and held hands a lot.
I was gentle with myself this year, that was the best of all.
Change is not easy for anyone and I could have approached this year with a different attitude. I could have longed for Indy and my other life and not opened up to a new one. I could have stayed where I was. That would have been the easy path and there were a lot of days I wanted to go back to that. I’m not sure when I fully redirected myself. When I began to find myself again. If I hadn’t left Indy I wouldn’t feel the way I do today about myself or my life. I would have been content but not fully present. I wouldn’t have met new friends and pushed myself to tears to only bounce back smiling my face off. Do it. Find yourself again. Push yourself and make yourself uncomfortable. Break. Sometimes that’s the best way back to yourself.
I miss Indy everyday. The life and friends I left behind there. But Chicago is a new love for me and it feels good to have several places that now feel like home.
This messy year was simply finding what truly makes me happy. Things I had lost for a while. This year I bloomed. A flower in the Chicago concrete.
Xo For Now,