The 3 Things I’ve Learned Since Moving to Chicago

I can’t believe I’m saying this – but last Wednesday marked one year since moving to Chicago! It’s been an interesting (and fun) year to say the least, but I am definitely glad that this is my home for now. With that said, I thought it might be fun to share some of the things that I’ve learned since moving here! Let’s get started. 

A New Sense of Independence

Now I’m sure my parents would disagree with this (LOL), but I feel like I’ve truly gained a new sense of independence since moving here. I moved to a brand-new city on my own, and pretty much knew just three people upon my arrival. I’m grateful to have made great friends since then, but often have moments where I think that everyone I know is in Cleveland and that I’m missing out. That is until I realize that I am so blessed to be living in such an amazing city that is just full of opportunities! Not knowing many familiar faces has also forced me to step outside of my comfort zone and be okay with doing tons of things by myself… and there’s nothing wrong with that. Now if I want to explore the city, I don’t feel weird if someone doesn’t come with me. In fact, I’ve actually grown to love doing some things alone (only child syndrome), and it feels super rewarding knowing that I don’t have to rely on anyone else. I’d also like to think that I’ve become quite the handy woman 😉

Everyone Has Their Own Journey

There have been so many times this past year when I have compared myself to others and felt down. Although it’s still a bit of a challenge – I’ve grown to accept that everyone has a different journey and you can’t compare yourself to anyone… we all have different beginnings, middles and ends. Sometimes it’s tough to see the various things that people are doing, but I try to remember that God has a plan and I’m just along for the ride. I have to sit back and enjoy!

Soak in Every Moment

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in things that are out of my control, that I forget to just let go and enjoy the moment. I’ll think about something that won’t happen until years down the road, until I realize that I have to be more present and just enjoy where I’m at right now. On a smaller scale, my friends will tell you that I used to LOVE my bed freshman year (trust me, they still talk about it), but now I’m barely in it! I’m always doing new things on the weekend and trying to take advantage of life while I can. There’s been so many weekends where I wish it will rain so I have a valid excuse to stay inside my apartment! However, my favorite saying that everyone hates is, “When you look back on life, you’re never going to say you were happy you stayed in the bed that one day!” Chicago has brought out a new me!

Shop the outfit below:

Denim Jacket: Gap (LOVE it!) // Dress: Nordstrom (sold out, similar) // Earrings: Kendra Scott // Mules: Kenneth Cole (the best shoes ever!) // Purse: Old Navy (identical)

Photos by Julie Kennedy

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  1. 8.19.17
    Kris said:

    Chicago sounds so fun! I love your outfit shots, you’re adorable!

    Have an awesome day!
    xx Kris

    • 8.20.17
      Lauren O. said:

      Thanks so much, Kris! You’re too sweet & have made my day! And yes, Chicago is the best – you have to visit!

  2. 8.17.17
    Amy Arnold said:

    Fun post and update! I’ve only been once, but I loved it when I was there. Such a pretty dress on you.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • 8.17.17
      Lauren O. said:

      Thanks so much, Amy! And yes – it’s such a great city! You’ll have to let me know next time you visit!

  3. 8.16.17
    Rach said:

    Happy one year living in Chicago!! I do hope that we cross paths one day. (Btw, I live right by where these photos are taken!). So glad it has been a learning and positive experience!

    • 8.17.17
      Lauren O. said:

      Thanks a ton, Rach – I really appreciate it!! I hope we do too!! And no way?! I absolutely loved the area & am hoping to spend more time over there! 🙂

  4. 8.16.17
    Deanna said:

    You describe your journey in such a vivid way, I felt like I was on it with you. You are the reminder I needed that the USA is a place where hard work pays off, and dreams really do come true. Thanks for sending that positive karma into the world today. We need it. I also enjoyed your fashions. They are 60’s hip, 70’s casual, 80’s chic, 90’s fly and 20’s with an Oliver’stwist!

    • 8.17.17
      Lauren O. said:

      Thanks so much, Deanna! Your words mean a lot and are so encouraging!! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂 And love the comment about the fashion! LOL

  5. 8.16.17
    barristerv said:

    I am absolutely touched by your post. What wisdom you have developed at such a young age. Your parents must be proud. By the way I love the outfit. The dress is totally beautiful on you!!

    • 8.17.17
      Lauren O. said:

      LOL thank you very much, mom!! Glad you like it!

  6. 8.16.17
    Jessica said:

    It’s good that you are able to have these reflections! Moving to a new city is always scary but fun and it makes you feel a new sense of independence!

    Jessica |

    • 8.16.17
      Lauren O. said:

      Thanks so much, Jessica! It was definitely scary at first, but I finally feel settled in!!

Hi, I'm Lauren!

Thanks for stopping by! I'm a 20-something living in Cleveland, Ohio - sharing my love for all the things! If you love fashion, travel, reading, and local finds - then you're in the right place!