It is the busiest moving day of the year and I’m joining the moving masses. I’ll be leaving Chicago on Friday, May 27th and head out west. Choosing the new world over the old is never easy. It is, in one word, bittersweet. It is, in many words, the fastest decision I had the longest time to make.
I have spent a few traffic jams and one Taste of Chicago shy of a decade here. All of my adult life, spent in one great city. But I never thought of myself as a settler, and when I moved out to the suburbs, I told myself that it’d be just for a few years here. I was right, but I didn’t know that I would go west instead of returning east to Chicago.
I look forward to a new environment, all new things to see, a new culture to experience. My only regret is that I can’t take you with me. In the end I am sad not because I am leaving Chicago, but because I am leaving my friends. If I could put you in my truck and take you west, I would. Then, we would still be home.
Over the last few weeks, I have come to a realization that I was getting too comfortable, too complacent. Like a couch potato watching his favorite reruns, the plot became predictable and life felt unlived. I could have done something about it. Gotten my faded jeans off the couch and experienced something new. I could have tried very hard. I could have.
But in the end, I know that I love my friends too much to leave them and I know that I’d end up back on the couch without truly changing, so I decided to leave their city, but admire them from a distance.
As a kid, I moved because my parents moved. Almost every year, I moved schools, 11 schools, 12 years, 3 countries. When I went to college, that was the first city I chose to live in. That choice has allowed me to build friendships for longer than I have ever known in my life. This time, I move by choice, but I leave with the greatest gift Chicago has given me — my fiancee. It really is a brave new world.