At the end of this month I'll have made it to one full year in Chicago, so like the sentimental lady I am I decided that I'm going to try to focus my posts this month on that. It could be one post, it could be more (but realistically it probably won't be more than four, max, cause y'all already know I struggle to actually get this updated frequently).
This is a question I get asked all. the. time. People who are from the Midwest want to know why anyone, ever, would want to leave California for Illinois and transplants from other cities are curious why Chicago over anywhere else in the world. It's a valid question, and I get it, but it's also like asking someone why they got a certain tattoo that they have. Usually there are a lot of reasons and like 90% of them are personal and it's very hard to summarize in a soundbite for a stranger. These are some of the responses I've given over the past year, some that I wish I had given, and blended in among all of them is the truth.
-I heard the weather was great.
-I wanted a broader understanding of middle America.
-I had friends in Chicago and I had visited a couple times and walked around the city by myself thinking "I could do this."
-I wanted to push the borders of my comfort zone.
-If I'm being honest I'm actually more comfortable when I've thrust myself into a situation where no one knows me and I'm learning about a new place than I am surrounded by things that are familiar.
-I was bored.
-I want to be an old woman with stories; I want to be able to tell anyone who'll listen about the years I spent in Chicago and what it's like to see snow fall from the sky/see fireflies/stand on a rooftop and see nothing but flatness for miles all around.
-Because if I had never moved here I would never know that snow actually sparkles on the ground like a frozen spell.
-because Los Angeles is huge & unwieldy & difficult & wonderful and the traffic, THE TRAFFIC. Because I spent years hating her and then woke up one day to realize she had won me over. It was too real, I knew if I stayed I'd have to commit to her and I couldn't yet.
-because no one loves their city like Chicagoans love their city. After growing up in a place too cool to openly display any civic pride, it's incredible to see the sheer number of Chicago flag tattoos (and who even knew cities had flags??)
-because that love is contagious, and has me all smitten with Chicago's magic.