I moved to Chicago with my best friend after college. We watched High Fidelity a few hundred times in our dorm room, which reasonably impacted the decision on where to begin our adult lives. The Double Door, The Biograph, and John Cusack all made the city look so cool to a small town girl whose own music collection consisted mostly of movie soundtracks.
Over the course of the next nine years, I embarked on my career as a graphic designer, met my bearded husband Rob, adopted a mutt, started my own business, and birthed the most awesome baby in the universe. A lot has happened in this city that I still think is very cool.
I don't know exactly when it happened, but my ambition started taking a back seat to family. Don't get me wrong, I'm not throwing in the towel and living a life entirely in sweatpants. I still have personal goals that help me get up in the morning. But priorities have shifted. Of course having a kid makes one realize pretty quickly that a community and support system is paramount to parental sanity. Whatever the turning point was (*kid*), Rob and I no longer thought 'We're so lucky to live here' as we approached the skyline, returning after trips away. Suddenly, it just felt exhausting to come home. That's when we knew it was time to move on...
I grew up in a small town outside of Green Bay, Wisconsin. It is the epitome of 'family-friendly.' Everybody knows everybody. People 'just stop by to say hello.' And my family is still there (mostly within a mile radius of each other). What I'm describing sounds nice, but if 18 year-old me were a betting person, I would not have placed money on my return.
Nelson Mendela said "There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find how you yourself have altered."
I think that's a very ego-centric way of looking at the world, Nelson. But I do like to remind myself that coming full circle isn't exactly going backwards. Because it is a big lifestyle change and I do have panicky thoughts like 'this may be career suicide' and 'what if I can't find myself a decent taco and/or manicure.' Then again, there are super exciting aspects like owning a home, having more of a life out-of-doors, and being near my parents.
And that dilemma, my friends, is the point of this bloggy blog -- to document this time in our lives and to relate to anyone else who has come home or thinks about coming home.