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Three Years in Chicago

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First, I wrote about my journey to Chicago. Time passed by rather quickly, and before I knew it, I was writing about my first year in Chicago. And then my second. And now, another year and come and gone, marking three years in Chicago. Three. Years. There are still days I can’t believe I live here and that this is my life. I live in Chicago. Chicago.

People always ask why I left LA for Chicago. They want to know how I handle the winter and why I chose Chicago of all places. I had never been through a real winter, and once the holidays are over, I don’t think I handle it very well at all. But I love Chicago, and I deal with it. I wasn’t moving for work, and I didn’t know anyone let alone have a love interest in this city. There wasn’t one “rational” reason that brought me here. In November 2010, I spent two days in Chicago. I got off the train in Lincoln Park decided that I should move here. My car lease was up just a few months later, and I didn’t need a car in Chicago. It just made sense at the time.

For those of you who don’t know the story, there was a defining moment when I knew I was moving. After two days in Chicago with my blog friend turned real life friend Kelsey, we drove back to Indiana. I went to church with her and the pastor asked everyone to close their eyes and raise their hand if there was something they felt that God was calling them to do. That if we were afraid, we should have faith and take the leap. That was it. We all opened our eyes, and I started crying. It wasn’t easy, and I didn’t want to move halfway across the country by myself, but I knew I had to do it.

The past three years have been wonderful. Scary, lonely at times, but three of the best years of my life. I went from not knowing anyone to having friends who have become like my family. From calling my mom because I was so excited that I found Trader Joe’s without a map (terrible sense of direction–don’t judge) to telling cab drivers how to get from point a to point b. From not riding any public transportation for at least a year and a half to taking the bus almost every day. From being in a strange new city to living in a place that feels like home.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been going through a lot lately. But at the end of the day, I am happy. It’s been a roller coaster, but I realize how
incredibly blessed I am, and I am so grateful. Had I not taken this leap of faith, I wouldn’t have some of the best friends I could have ever hoped for, I doubt that I would have found CrossFit, and I never would have met Alaina and started The Everygirl. This past year has been one of the best years of my life. I don’t know that I’ll be here forever, but I
know that Chicago will always hold a piece of my heart. It’s where my
life began. Every time I walk Buddy to the lake and see that skyline, I can’t help but smile. I’m home.

Happy three years, Chicago.

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