A year in Chicago!

1 05 2009

I can’t believe it’s been a year already.

It seriously seems like just yesterday I was pulling out of my driveway back home with my life packed up in a 14′ uhaul. I have never felt so sad, uncertain, and downright scared in my entire life. I also never imagined it would take over 9 hours, when it was only supposed to take 6 1/2 (Chris has a weak stomach and literally had to stop at every rest stop along the ohio turnpike).

Some key points from my first year in the Windy City:

  • moved here without a job, spent the summer unemployed (while having no $$ sucked, going to the beach all day was pretty awesome. so were the daiquiris consumed)
  • Attended the first Colonel Tribune tweetup, made my first friends in Chicago.
  • Finally got a job in August at Thorek Hospital. 3-11pm shift officially killed my social life for a bit.
  • Made my first trip home 5 months after I had moved. I have never felt so homesick in my life. I miss all my family and friends back home so much.
  • Jumped ship from Thorek in October when I was offered a full time position at Open Advanced MRI for more $$ and closer to home.
  • Returned to Pittsburgh for my favourite holiday- Thanksgiving. An obscene amount of turkey, carrots, and mashed potatoes were consumed by me.
  • The first word that comes to mind when I think of my first winter in Chicago: BRUTAL. Seriously, is it ever necessary for temperatures to reach -17˚ before factoring in windchill?!
  • I got engaged shortly after the WORST Christmas in history. It was so bad, I refuse to even discuss the details.
  • I went to the Winter Classic with my new friend Jessi O. marking my first experience at Wrigley Field. Kind of ironic to see a hockey game at a baseball field, but whatever. No one sang the Canadian National Anthem louder than me (at least in my head, that probably had to do with the earmuffs).
  • The friends I’ve made and things to do in my planner have grown exponentially, but I feel like I’m losing touch with friends back home. I don’t want to give up the old to make room for the new.
  • I thought for sure I was going to move back to Pittsburgh either shortly before or after the wedding, but now I’m not so sure. Chicago has dug its way into my cold, bitter heart. I think it has a lot to do with the aforementioned friendships.
  • I’m finally solidifying some wedding plans. And slowly turning into a Bridezilla. I call my mom at least once a day to discuss something about the wedding.
  • I still miss my mom every day.
  • Today marks the halfway point on my lease! In another year, we’ll be free!! And hopefully in a much more roomy space that we OWN.

With the year that’s come and gone, it’s incredible to look back at the things that I’ve done and how I’ve changed as a person. If my self today went back in time and told my 21 year old self that in the not too distant future I would be living in Chicago, I would have never believed it. I would also start wondering whether or not my future self had a mental breakdown or was into some crazy drugs.

And even though lately more often than not I lie awake in bed at night and have anxiety attacks over the lack of control I sometimes feel for my future, I am anxious to see what my second year will bring. With knowing what a roller coaster the first year was, this year I’ll know to enjoy the ride.


happenings v.10.1

10 05 2008

I’ve officially been a resident of Chicago, IL for a little over a week now. Finally. I made it. It wasn’t without a few hiccups along the way, mostly not being packed 2 days before the move and enlisting the help of my aunt and grandmother. Then there was the wonderful 9 hour journey that really should’ve only taken 7. Groan. Chris spent the better part of the week claiming to be recovering from post uhaul stress syndrome. 


Anyway, we’re finally settling in and the place is coming together nicely. Its a gorgeous condo in the South Loop a few blocks from everything basically. Unfortunately my USB cable for my camera decided to go missing after we started to unpack so no pictures to share yet. 


I’ve had 2 interviews since I got here. I’m still really hoping to get the one but I’d be excited if I got hired for either of them. I still have my fingers crossed that I get the job in Evanston even though its a bit far. 


The transition from long-distance relationship to living together has been much smoother than I anticipated. Both of us seem to be adapting well, and I know I’m happy and he seems to be too. I learned from the last time I lived with someone that communication is very important so its been something to work on but so much easier this time around. 


I still know very few people around here so I’m homesick for all my PA friends but I’m sure that will come with time. Chris takes me out with his friends but I usually feel awkward. I get the impression I’m intruding into their group. Fortunately, my old roommate Adam lives here and a few twitter friends do too, so that helps me feel less alone. 


And to wrap it all up, five things I’ve done/learned since I moved here:

1. I cannot cook lo mein noodles. EPIC FAIL on that one. I will be attempting to again though.
2. 1/2 mile is not that far to walk, UNLESS you are wearing flip flops. Then it feels eternal.
3. I am now licensed to drive in the state of IL. My car is in PA. I prefer the CTA anyway.
4. It really is windy here. This is not good for hair, unless you prefer the windblown look.
5. Life goes on without cable TV, except during hockey season. Other than that, I rarely miss it.  


I miss a few things about Pittsburgh (namely some food, friends, and of course the ability to watch the Pens kick the Flyers ass), but I noticed that there have been a higher ratio of days happy to days unhappy since I moved here. I don’t think thats a coincidence. 

The Future Freaks Me Out!

4 03 2008

I really am beginning to freak out. Chris is doing his best to tell me everything will work out and to relax. The problem with someone telling me to relax is that it usually has the opposite effect.

 A deadline has been set for when I should be in Chicago. Chris has gladly taken the burden of apartment hunting, while I focus on job hunting and boards. Its only been a week (or less for some applications) but I haven’t heard back from anywhere yet and this is unnerving to me. I have no reason to panic yet, a week isn’t very long when it comes to applying for jobs. But as the days go by I become more anxious. I just want so badly for this whole moving experience to go as smooth as possible.

All of this anxiety has robbed me of my sleep, so Richard suggested making lists to take my mind off things. Instead of making a list of things I need to do (and thus amplifying my anxiety) I’m making a list of things that make me happy. I love making lists, don’t you?

Happy list!
•rainy/snowy days where I can stay in bed all day
•pumpkin spice lattes
•singing in the car
•celebrity gossip (guilty pleasure)
•cute animals
•holding hands
•the smell of baked goods in the oven
•reading a good book
•bubble baths
•the fleeting times when I actually enjoy digging my toes into the sand
•walks on warm summer nights
•good conversations

I could continue but I think the list may have served its purpose of distracting me and draining my brain at the same time. Richard always has good advice, and it usually works out well for me when I actually take it. 
Perhaps the next time I post I will have good news on the job hunting front. I could only hope! *fingers crossed* 

In Fear and Faith

26 02 2008

The madness has begun. I spent a better part of my night last night preparing my resumé for the job search. Today I applied for about 7 jobs, and I’m sure that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I also scheduled my CT boards, for which I got audited, adding to the stress of it all. Once I get applications in at more places, the real fun begins.

 I absolutely hate waiting. I am probably the most impatient person I know. When I want something, I want it now and I don’t usually consider or care much at what cost. I do know that waiting to hear back for an interview, and if I’m fortunate to be offered a position, is going to kill me. I know the stress of taking my boards and waiting to hear if I passed not only the exam but the audit as well is going to leave me with the shortest nails a human can possibly have.

 I have a good job in Pittsburgh. I have friends and family here. And yet I’m about to give that all up. For love. This past weekend in Chicago confirmed to me that is where I’m meant to be. Pittsburgh is who I was, but it is not me anymore. Chicago is. And even though I’m scared of all these changes about to happen, I’m ready. Life is too short not to be happy, so I’m no longer waiting for opportunities to come to me. I’m going to be solely responsible for my happiness.

So wish me luck in the upcoming few months, I’m sure as hell going to need it.