Thanks for reading and commenting on my unemployment series. (I said series in my *Pastor Hannah voice* If you go to New Life you should be laughing by now).
Unknown asked why I wasn't interested in moving back to Chicago. AND had Pittsburgh changed my perspective on Chicago.
I hadn't really given much thought to the why (I typically just do what I want to do), but let's explore it here.
1. I always wanted to live in New York or D.C. Moving back to Chicago more than likely would close the door on the possibility of moving to those cities in the near future.
2. As far as Pittsburgh changing my perspective on Chicago, yes, there are a few things Chicagoans deal with that no one should have to:
- Cost of living - (now this makes no sense since I'm moving to New York, but) Moving to Pittsburgh gave me a new perspective on how cutting my living costs can improve my life.
- Traffic - Chicago traffic is stupid. Not just relative to Pittsburgh "traffic," but in comparison to itself in recent history. Every time I'm home it's worse than it was before. It makes me miserable sitting in that traffic.
- Weather - There are milder temperatures available in places that still have winters. I do not HAVE to be cold for 9 months out of the year. It's been literally freezing on the 4th of July before and people act like they don't remember wearing sweatshirts on the lakefront. It's miserable sometimes. Nice to visit, sucky to live like that.
3. Going back to Chicago without having a desire to go back to Chicago felt like giving up, almost like being defeated by getting laid off. Pittsburgh made me so uncomfortable and helped me to grow as a person. I feel like it would be a cop out to get laid off in Pittsburgh and then return to my comfort zone because family is there and my professional network there is strong. I'm not saying I want to struggle, but I do want to grow. I'm just not sure how much growth there is for me in Chicago at this point in my career or personal life.
4. My social life is easier outside of Chicago. Being home is overwhelming. I know too many people and my family is too big. So many times I had to choose between a family member's event and a very close friend's event and even though, they probably don't care AS much, it's important for me to be present, when I can be present. But when I don't live there, my baby shower and church function duties aren't at crazy levels. I can go out or not go out because my relationships aren't that deep. And when I'm in town, people make it a priority to see me vs. missing each other constantly because we work too much. Maybe I'm crazy, but feeling like I can't get to everyone makes me sad and I don't want to be sad.
5. Chicago is home and even though it's perfect, I've done it already. So when I'm at a crossroads and I have to pick between something I've done already and something I've never done, I'm almost always going to pick the adventure, the unknown.
6. I'm pretty sure Chicago is going to be my final stop. Moving is hard. The details and logistics are taxing, but I'm also stricken with grief having to leave my church family in Pittsburgh. This is the same type of grief I experienced when I left my family in friends in Chicago. And that I felt for the first year that I was living in Pittsburgh... Crying in the cab on the way to the airport every time I visited (which was like twice a month)... Excusing myself to the bathroom to ball my eyes out at my going away party, then covering up my tears and making jokes so no one else would cry or notice I was crying.
I'm pretty sick of this feeling. Even if there's a better job, a better opportunity, a better life, leaving anywhere is SO HARD for me. So when I go back to Chicago, I don't think I'll be able to leave it again. So I don't to go back until I'm done exploring.
I'm thinking maybe New York, London and a city in the south, then home. But who cares what I'm thinking. God might have a life for me in Alaska. We'll see.