It was a whirlwind couple of weeks preparing for my move across the country to the Pacific Northwest.
I said goodbye to so many friends and realized how many people in Chicago I love and care about. It took me almost ten years for Chicago to feel like home... just in time to pack up and move somewhere else. Nonetheless, I am someone who likes to leave on a high note. I feel strongly that it's time for me to leave. I don't want to live here forever, and it's now or never.
My check engine light came on the day before I was supposed to leave, so I stayed another night and was able to attend the viewing party for CNN's Chicagoland, episode 7. Crushers Club was featured in the episode. It made Chicago look insanely dangerous. I've never had problems living here (aside from my wallet getting stolen when I first moved here), but I've only lived on the north side, like most other white people, unfortunately.
I will miss this city. It's tough. It's gritty. I think it's made me a stronger and more confident person living here. A lot has changed here since Carl Sandburg wrote his poem, "Chicago." We are no longer the hog butcher to the world, and I can't tell if our shoulders have gotten bigger or smaller. But Chicago is still "Stormy, husky, brawling," and I will miss that hard edge to the city. I still remember the first time I came through it on a Greyhound bus and fell in love with the brown brick, the industrial areas, the lights, the empty streets at night. Living here, I came to love the diversity of the people here, the myriad of neighborhoods that make the city into a collection of small towns with many distinct characters.
But it's time for me to move on. I leave Chicago with no regrets.