I lived in Chicago for three years. Within the first 6 months I lived there I had decided that this was not the city for me. It was fun for a while. I lived in a fun neighborhood of young single adults. I was walking distance to several music venues and great shopping.
And then young families moved into the area in droves. While walking to get groceries I used to pass good looking people with great fashion sense. Then it turned into a battle of dodging strollers and getting yelled at by a parent when the child they were dragging along and not paying attention to ran into the shopping bag I was carrying.
I never settled in to Chicago. I could never commit to purchasing a Chicago Card for using public transportation or buying the IPass for speedy passage through the toll booths. I simply could not commit.
I also struggled to make a living in Chicago. The full-time positions I was offered did not pay enough to cover my basic bills to live in a safe neighborhood. I worked a part-time job that ran very hot and cold for how many hours I would work on any given week.
I wasn't sure about what was going to push me to actually leave Chicago until it came along. Just as I had decided it was time to leave I began a series of interviews with a company I had wanted to work for for a very long time. Despite the interview process beginning in Chicago, the position I was ultimately offered was not in Chicago/surrounding suburbs but in a city a few hours east and near where some of my family lives. I accepted the job and quickly wrapped up things in Chicago.
The Chicago Chapter of my life is officially closed and I have very complicated feelings about my time there. I know I will not settle long term in the new place I'm living but it is a good resting point in life where I can travel and find new adventures.