i never wanted to move to chicago. just ask spencer...he'll tell you the truth. the truth that i waited until two weeks before we moved to finally decide on a place to live. mostly because i was holding out for something else. but chicago happened...and i am so beyond glad it did.
the other night the mr and i were driving downtown to see our last show while living in the city. we crossed over the river and looked out onto my favorite view of the city. it was a beautiful foggy evening. i started to cry. how am i supposed to leave this city. chicago isn't just a big city. it isn't just fun. it isn't all the good food, shows, cupcakes, parks, sites, museums and shopping (though those are nice perks). no chicago is more than than.
chicago is our home.
chicago became more of a home to me than any other place i've lived. i think it's because so much of my life has happened here in this big city. i've learned more about myself here than i ever have before. i've lost myself and found myself again and again and again. spencer and i have grown closer together here. we've had to rely on each other more than we ever have before. we've had to push forward in faith even when things seem dark and scary. we've held on to each other as we've figured out ourselves, our lives, and our future.
we moved to a new place. made new friends. became part of a new ward. had new challenging callings. we served in the chicago temple. every friday for a couple of years. we left our car. took countless bus rides and train rides. changed our minds. drove our car out to chicago. i worked from home. then i worked from a new office. and worked from home again. we moved apartments. we got pregnant. four times. had one baby. our little miracle baby. survived two of the coldest winters chicago has seen. got pregnant again. had another babe. our little miracle baby 2.0. decided a future for spencer. and then reexamined that future. again and again and again. friends moved away. and more friends moved away. but others moved in. we ate out way too much. have our regulars at multiple places. explored neighborhoods. enjoyed the culture. seen shows. walked out of shows. and wanted to see more. we've visited wisconsin in the fall. detroit in the winter. and various parts of illinois throughout the years.
i didn't expect to love chicago as much as i have. from the first few months here i decided that we should stay. and we considered that. we very much considered staying. we both wanted to stay. we both had high hopes that staying would be the right thing for us. but quietly we were directed by the spirit that staying in chicago wasn't the right thing for us. it took some adjustment to the idea. a lot of adjustment! a few tears, many prayers and lots and lots of faith later we decided it was time for us to leave. to leave chicago. to leave our home.
neither of us is convinced that this is the last we'll see of chicago. deep down i still feel very much connected to this city and i believe it may still play a big part in our lives. we hope that maybe one day, a few years down the road, we'll be able to move back. at least for a time!
of course i will miss chicago. the city lights, the food, the shows, the donuts, the parks, the museums, the shopping, the streets, the sounds, the river, the rain and maybe even the smells. but mostly i will miss home.
the people. they have become our home.
i didn't expect to make so many incredible friends. friends that have become family. i've made girlfriends who have laughed with me, cried with me, held me and lifted me up. i have had my eyes opened to new ideas, opinions and thoughts. i've made friends with people i didn't think would be a friend. these friends that are now my family.
how can i leave these people? my people. my family?
i can leave chicago. but only because i know that leaving is what the lord needs of us right now. i can leave chicago but only because i know that i will be able to take my beautiful experiences and memories with me. i can leave chicago. but it won't be easy.
thank you chicago for giving me the hardest and most beautiful four years of my life. thank you for being my home. for taking care of me and my little family. for bringing me my little family.
goodbye chicago. you will always have a big place in my heart.
i never wanted to move back to utah. just ask spencer....let's hope it turns out as great as chicago...