Today, I wanted to share a letter. A love letter. To the city of Chicago.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I’ve started using a new hashtag on photos that show my newfound love and adoration of the city I’m living in.
We’ve had quite an up and down relationship, haven’t we? Our first few months together turned my world upside down, tore me apart, and threw me. But, my, how we’ve grown together. I’ve come to accept you as a part of me and come into my own, while also being a part of you. Throughout the first winter, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it through a second. But, here we are having survived a second winter, and more in love than ever as we enjoy the brief, perfect summer.
That first winter I was cold, unsure of myself, my teaching, and what meaning it all had. I didn’t know if I liked you, Chicago, and I wasn’t quite sure that I liked myself. Then spring arrived. It came in and warmed everything up, renewing and breathing new life into the earth and trees around me. My eyes opened up as I learned about everything you had to offer me. I explored and adventured and discovered so much to love in this city. I let go of unneeded loads, taking so much off of my shoulders that I felt I was being renewed as well. I realized that being alone doesn’t need to mean being lonely, and that time alone can be oh so sweet.
I now love and treasure the precious little alone time I have- I’ve found that I’m quite good company on my own (and with my cat). I’ve moved 3 times since moving here to Chicago, and have finally found a place that I call and consider to be truly a home. My little apartment with its mis-matched furniture and plants has become a gathering place for friends and meals as well as a hideaway when the only voices I want to hear are those on Law and Order: SVU coming from Netflix on my laptop.
Birthday brunching with the sweet friends this city has brought me.
A year ago, I never knew that it was possible to be this happy or confident. Now, I am so grateful that we’ve been through everything we have- it’s made me a better woman, a stronger woman, and more myself than I’ve ever been. I’ve completely fallen in love with this life that I’m living here and the people I surround myself with.
I don’t yet know if this is a forever thing, sweet Chicago. But I do know that this love has taken a hold on me and has changed me for the better. For that, I am thankful.
To Chicago With Love,