Sometimes I still can’t even believe I’m here. When I quit my job to pursue an editorial career less than a year ago, I ended every day with the hope that I would get my breakthrough – and now wake up every morning to a studio in Chicago.
Looking back on my journey up to this point, it’s a weird concept to think I was so focused on trying to land a full time editorial job that I never truly considered what my life would be like once I actually did. Yet here I am – across the country from my family and a step closer to creating the life I imagined.
With today marking an official month since my move to Chicago, I wanted to share the best parts of my experience so far. From watching the snow fall on Cloud Gate to walking to my favorite coffee shop, I couldn’t ask for a better place to grow as a professional and discover (more of) myself as a person. You probably already know how much I love Chicago, so here are some quick highlights on why.
1. I’m walking distance to Lake Michigan
I’m not sure what’s more confusing – the fact that 99.9% of my personal writing is inspired by water or that I openly just admitted that. What is it about large bodies of water that’s so touching to me? I have no idea – maybe it’s because the idea of the ocean brings a sense of calm or because it represents a state of being free. Regardless, I’m now minutes away from Lake Michigan and the feeling I get when I catch sight of it on my commute is one I’ll never get tired of.
2. I use public transportation
And I literally mean it, because I don’t actually have a car in Chicago. As someone who comes from Houston, a city where a car is your only means of survival (unless it’s a week day from 4-7 pm where you’re drowning in traffic), this was a surprisingly easy lifestyle change. Blame it on my driving skills (nervous laughter) or my general (lack of) sense in direction, but I enjoy taking the bus and the L. Also, there’s nothing more satisfying than walking through the neighborhoods of Chicago and recognizing how beautiful the architecture is and how alive the people are.
3. I’ve seen Cloud Gate covered in snow
During the weekend of my move, it started snowing – and the first thing I did was go to Cloud Gate. It probably comes off as typical and unoriginal, but I don’t really care. The gesture just seemed fitting – it was the combination of my white aesthetic with an iconic sculpture that now represents a meaningful moment in my life. Although I don’t frequently visit Cloud Gate, the realization that it’s within reach continues to inspire me – so many people visit this sculpture and now I’m one of the people who can call it home.
4. I’m decorating my first studio
Everyone has that moment where they take a step back and recognize they’re becoming an adult – and mine was when all of my furniture was delivered to my home with the expectation that I was the one that had to put it all together. So with that being said, I’ve already started this process and will take photos to reveal my place once it’s done. Shoutout to the home tours I’ve written and the interior designers I follow, because life is hard and decorating a space is even harder.
5. I can say I’m not settling
It’s bittersweet to realize I somewhat lost sight of how special Houston was to me due to how attached I was to the idea of leaving it. But now that I’ve actually moved, I’m so proud to say that I spent half of my 20s in a place that significantly shaped me.
Moving over a thousand miles away from the comfort of routine, friends, and family is everything you probably think it is – challenging yet also extremely gratifying. I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss Houston, but I made the decision to do whatever it took to reach my goals and this move was a part of it. While I’m not sure what the future holds, I’ll never stop believing that there are greater things to accomplish and bigger adventures to go on. So am I a dreamer? No, I’m just someone who is willing to believe that dreams are meant to come true. And here I am still pursuing mine.
Photo Credit: @lisswade
What lessons have you learned from moving to a new city?