It’s seriously crazy that I’m saying this, but this past Friday marked my second anniversary of living in Chicago! Last year I wrote about lessons learned in my first year, and those three lessons all ring true today. I’ve continued to grow in my independence (which is one of my greatest achievements), am still trying to take advantage of all this amazing city has to offer, and becoming more confident in the path that God has carved out for me. With that said, I thought it might be fun to do a ’round two’, and share more of the lessons learned from moving to a new city.
Living in a new city forces you to pick your priorities and decide what’s most important to you. For instance, you may find yourself missing your friends and family back home, but decide that pursuing a career in your new city is what matters most at the moment – or vice versa. It’s definitely a sobering experience, and has made me feel like more of an “adult” when it comes to making those decisions. The most important to thing to remember is that when making those choices, you have to make them based upon what’s best for you – and only you. It may be tempting to take other people’s opinions into consideration, but no one understands what you value most more than you.
This has been something at the top of my mind for the past two years. I consider myself extremely lucky for the fact that I have amazing best friends back at home from middle school and all the way through college. I love them dearly, and oftentimes wish I could be at home to spend more time with them. That’s when balancing and prioritizing comes into place. While you may not always be able to hang out with them physically, it’s important to maintain those friendships by talking and sharing life experiences all the time, and visiting whenever you’re available. By maintaining that consistent contact, it feels as if you never left.
On the flip side, moving to a new city also forces you to prioritize meeting new people and developing friendships. Seeing which friends who have made it into this second year with me is awesome and extremely special. I feel grateful that I’ve been able to make such great friends out here, and know that they will be in my life for a long time – no matter where we may live.
In the past two years there have been multiple times when my strength has been tested – both in my personal life and in my career – and I’ve learned that I have the resiliency to fight through them and stick it out. Whenever I’ve experienced a troubling time, it always feels like I won’t make it through, but I have. Thankfully God has blessed me and held my hand through it all, but it makes me feel proud that there’s resiliency deep down inside of me. If you had talked me to two years ago, I’m not sure if I would have been able to see it within myself!
These past two years in Chicago have been such a whirlwind, and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for me!
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