^^ Sweet home Chicago
A long, long time ago…just kidding, just like three years back really 🙂 I moved away from the only home I ever knew, sweet home Chicago, 800ish miles away to the East Coast (first VA & now I’m somewhat nestled in PA).
When I think about these experiences, it brings out a lot emotions in me, some good and some bad. I wanted to share some of the pros and the cons I have felt and dealt with these past few years. For those of you who may be deciding to leave the only home you’ve ever known. Or maybe you’re just moving a little further away. It is by no means an easy decision. Moving away from family and friends is hard no matter what the circumstances are. Whatever the case may be, here’s what I have taken away from this experience thus far and I hope maybe it will help you in your thought process.
Also, please keep in mind I moved away while I was 7 months pregnant, so being a new mom in a new state was very hard and altered my experience in many ways!
(Let’s start with the positives, shall we, since they say it’s good to look on bright side)
pros of moving to another state:
- New experiences everywhere: probably my favorite part about this whole journey was when we moved into this amazing area called Arlington that was just a few miles from D.C. In fact, when my brother came to visit, he rode his bike to see the White House. Getting out and experiencing new places, new bites to eat, new sites, new opportunities were around every corner and every street. Now we live near farms and I get to experience a whole new scene: picking my own apples, blueberries, abundance of farmer’s markets (my fav), and all kinds of antique stores.
- You have a chance at a fresh new start: when I left Chicago, it felt like I could leave all the baggage behind and start new. I wasn’t the same person I was in college anymore, so any drama or unhappy moments just kind of disappeared. Any mistakes that I had made just didn’t seem to follow me around as much anymore. I was able to start fresh, to find a new identity, maybe even try out a new name. I totally did that one year at summer camp in middle school. I tried out Jessie and it totally didn’t fit/work for me, not to mention I never answered to it.
- You get to truly focus on you: you’ve been giving the tools you needed to succeed, and now it’s time to get out there and do something for yourself. You get to chose your own path, your own happiness, your future. Whether that is moving away to be with a special someone, or taking an amazing job opportunity, you do what you need to for yourself. It goes in line with one of my favorite quotes, “there are two gifts we should give our children, one is roots, the other is wings”. We will always know exactly where our home and our roots are, but we also need to have the courage and strength to leave them to explore new ground. No one will ever take away your home, because it’s more than simply a location or a pin on a map, it’s in your heart and in your mind. Moving to another state takes courage and energy, but you will be rewarded with strength and growth. Are you tired of the same scene? Are you tired of feeling like there is more out there? Maybe it’s time to explore something else.
cons of moving to another state:
- I have not been able to “replace” my friends: I hate using the word replace, because of course, I can never replace the friends I have back in Chicago, they are pretty amazing and I would never ever want to in a million years, but mostly I have to yet to find friendships similar to them here. Like deep rooted friends, those you’d call in the middle of the night in tears, those friends for me are still 800 miles away. I’m still looking for a group I can feel a part of here, and sadly, I haven’t quite found it yet. Friends here and there, but nothing as substantial and deep as I had back home. But I’m happy doing my own things lately and exploring little bits and pieces of me in ways I haven’t before. Some part of me thinks I haven’t made as many friends as I would have hoped because I won’t let myself, (enter some type of fear here, maybe moving on?) or maybe because I found all my close friends during college and we had the time, energy, and cash from our shift to head out after work and blow it all on drinks at bars, come to work the next morning hungover and maybe even throw up in the back bathroom at work in between taking tables (say whaaaat, that never happened). What they say is true, you really do find your forever friends in college, before you “adult” and have children. You get to be stupid, fun, and make a million memories. Most days I think that my lack of opening up to meet friends is true, but most days, I’m like, I’m a mama, I’m tired. You want to grab a drink at 9 pm? Are you joking? Netflix & bed, mmmkay? Maybe I’m just looking for a girlfriend who wants to lay in bed and drink Merlot with me and chat about the good and the ugly of motherhood. If that sounds like you, come on over. Only if you bring wine of course.
- Holidays suck: the first are the worst, and then it goes like this, I’ll definitely be home this year for Christmas, but then something comes up and money is tight and you just can’t. And then you say, well I will DEFINITELY be home for next Christmas, and then it rolls around again and you didn’t make it. And it’s a real bummer. Holiday’s are a time to really bond and spend time with the people you love the most, so of course it’s a sting of sadness when everyone you love isn’t near. It’s so easy to think you’ll be back for everything and won’t miss anything, but then weddings and baby showers go by, and you only have so much money in your budget that you have to pick and chose. In 2016, I lost two of my closest friends in a one month span. Oh my heart. I flew back for both funerals. I feel a lot of regret moving in hindsight, knowing I could have had more time. But that is just how life works, right?
Overall, the ride has had a lot of ups and downs, but with time, the sting of being homesick goes away more and more. Of course I still have my days where I sulk around thinking about all my friends and family, but I’m truly blessed to have a new experience. I’d like to head back to Chicago one of these days, but for now I’m trying to find in this new adventure.