I’m taking time out before the meal preparations start to tell you more about our big news, presented in brief in my previous post. Chicago!
Let me back up.
When we started to talk about leaving DC, we were both unhappy in our jobs. We were tired of our commutes, tired of living in the suburbs, tired of the cost of living somewhere just a little too expensive. We had a lease that was ending, and a fabulous job opportunity for Shane. We were Ready To Go.
We’ve now been in the mitten for a little over two years, and (in the spirit of the day) have much for which we’re thankful. We have good jobs and many good friends. We’ve been able to pursue our interests – beer, mopeds, knitting, running, cooking, records, gardening – and have had storage space to accommodate all of those interests. We’re healthy, though Shane has been fighting a nasty cold all week, as are our cat friends. Our families and most of our friends are within half a day’s drive, as are several major cities and lots of gorgeous nature.
So why move?
Because we’re craving city life. Because every time we go to Chicago and see allllllllllllllll of our friends, we feel grumpy that we don’t live closer. Because having a newish nephew has made us acutely aware of the passage of time and how much we’re missing by only seeing him a few times a year. Because we’ve only gone to a handful of shows in the time that we’ve lived here. Because it’s frankly not that much more expensive than Ann Arbor, but offers so much more to a childless couple in their 30s who want to have fun before they’re too old to be fun. Because we didn’t get the full city experience living in the ‘burbs of DC. Because it’s a major hub for airlines and a world class destination for good food and coffee. Because I’m a Cubs fan. Because so many of the people that made Champaign home are now in Chicago, and because Champaign is 2.5 hours away by train. Because there’s a lake and beaches in the interminable summer. Because it’s a city of neighborhoods, each with their distinct identity. Because it has an established bike (and moped) culture. And because we’re ready for a change.
After several conversations this summer, we decided that we wanted to focus our energy in this direction. We weren’t sure if or when it would happen, but we wanted to make it happen. We started applying for jobs, realizing that if they didn’t happen, we were still in a very good place, and the worst it meant would be that we would be in that good place a while longer. In October, on the heels of a few weeks of ridiculous travel, Shane interviewed at DePaul, and a few weeks ago, he was offered the job. Chicago!
So what happens next? At some point in December, a moving company will pack up our apartment and load it onto a truck and drive it to Chicago. We’ll go home for Christmas, then come back here to move me into a month-to-month sublet and to load up the van with some cats and the stuff Shane will need until the movers arrive. I’ll help him get settled so that he can start his new job on January 2, and then we’ll do the back and forth thing until I can find a job. There will be lots of visits and Skype calls and separation angst, but hopefully it won’t last too long, and by the spring we’ll be together again in our new city. And we absolutely can’t wait.