One year from today I came to Chicago, two suitcases and a carry-on in hand, from NYC. I remember that day as if it were yesterday. I spent most of it in an empty apartment, waiting for movers who took for ever to arrive, with a move that constituted the worst moving experience I’ve ever had. And here I am a year from then, in the same apartment, now filled to the gills with my old and some new stuff, and with a new flatmate.
If I had to sum up my year in one word I would say it was hard. I’m not great with change and this one was a big one. I moved away from a city I love, away from my family and friends, to a place I had never even been before but once, for a couple hours. My quality of life improved, in the sense that working professionally full time allows for some commodities that a part time student job, just can’t meet. But my day to day life was filled with emptiness and solitude, and sometimes a boat load of sadness.
The solitude doesn’t bother me much, I like being on my own, doing my own thing whenever I want, it’s the loneliness that does. When you want to reach out and talk to and actually see and touch someone, and you can’t because they, all of them, are so far away, if feels lonely, and feeling alone is not a happy state to be in.
The emptiness came from filling my days with work, that I love to do don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret moving here because I have one of the best jobs in the world, but after weeks, months, of only working, I started asking myself is this it? Is this my life now? All about work?
And the sadness, well the sadness comes when I combine all these things together and realize as great as Chicago is, I wish I was somewhere else, I miss it and it makes me sad.
There are some great things that came with moving here: my job and how much I enjoy it (with all it’s challenges at times, specifically student related), meeting Mike and all the things we’ve done together (we got back together again, I hadn’t mentioned it sorry, it just happened last weekend really, so it’s not like I’m holding out on you, I’ll write more about it later), getting Max (has completely changed my day-to-day and even though I’m still struggling with training him, my life is better because of him), and my new neighborhood (the old one was great, but I love this one too, it’s helped me appreciate this city and all it has to offer).
Overall, counting the not so good days, the crying and the feeling lonely, I’d say the balance is still positive. I feel a sense of accomplishment work-wise, and I enjoy my days here, some days happiness hits me like a pile of bricks and I am overwhelmed by how great my life is, other days things are more normal and yet others, well, we all have bad days now and then. But the balance? The balance is positive, and I’m hoping this next year will only be better.
As I get more acclimated, as I embrace my new city and my life in it a bit more, things fall into place and I feel safer, calmer, happier, and more satisfied. Next year will be great, because it can only get better from here. Here’s to us Chicago, and to our first year of cohabitation, cheers!