An Open Letter to Chicago

I spent so long trying to find the words to write this post.

I’m just going to say it...

Nick and I are moving out of Chicago.
I am scared.  
I am excited.  
I am every feeling you are thinking if you were moving from your city.
My mom told me you are never ready to leave the city, you just try ne day and hopefully on the other side you find out that you are okay. 
Maybe even calmer and happier than your city-self. 
I've lived in Chicago my entire life, it has shaped me to who I am today. 
She has shown me her dark side, her weak side, her strong side and her joyous side. 
She has seen me go through so many milestones. 
She has been there in my lowest points and welcomed me home during my happiest times. 

Leaving Chicago can only be described as like breaking up with a deeply soulful partner that knows you so intimately; 
that not being in that relationship feels like you are losing an aspect of yourself. 
She has given me both everything and at times nothing.
 Her winters may be brutal but her summers easily make up for it. 
The amount of snow she has dumped on me is more than anyone should handle in their lifetime! 
Her hot summer nights with that Lake Michigan breeze made me appreciate her cold lake waters just a little more.

 I am ready and yet so not ready. 
But you know, it is time to go.  

For Chicago being as big as it is I've never felt like a small fish in a big pond. 
Maybe because of which part of Chicago I lived in. From Mt. Greenwood on the South Side of Chicago, to the North Side of the city every part of Chicago has felt like home. 
Which makes leaving Chicago the hardest thing I will have ever done. 
I feel like I have said that before in my life but nothing prepares you for when you tell everyone you are leaving your only home you know. 
The amount of tears I have shed over this could rival the lake I love so dearly. 
(not all sad tears, some were happy)

As each day passed and more boxes surrounded Nick and I we realized that we were both packing up not only items but memories. 
Some of our best memories were spent here in Chicago.
Late night talks on our porch with the best neighbors ever,
to festing it up in the city every weekend. 
We both love the city and always will. 
She will always be our HOME. 
She will always have a piece of our heart and soul.

When I first became a nanny in the city it took me a long time to feel confident in this new role. But the city was a constant companion. 
I knew the city. 
It hadn’t changed just because I had a baby in tow with me.
It gave me sense of security in a time when I didn’t feel confident in my new job. 
It knew me before and was okay with accepting the new Jessica. 
When I was bored or felt disconnected, I simply went outside on the streets and watched and walked along with the vibe of the city.  
Sometimes it helped connect me back to me, other times it made me feel more lonely.
 And that was okay. 

I am not saying goodbye,
 because it’s not like we are moving to Mars. 
 Austin, Texas is about 1,200 miles away so it feels like Mars! 
But, I'm trying to face our impending move with an open heart and space. 
(actual space, not just emotional space) for a lot of unwinding. 
I only know how to be in the city.  
So there’s a lot of unlearning and relearning to embrace.  

And I agree with my mom, I don’t think you are ever really ready to leave the city.
 I think you just have to take the great unknown step and just see what happens.  

So Chicago I love you, respect you and thank you for being a my consistent partner for 32 years. 
I will always check in, visit and keep you updated on how life feels on the other side. Because, just like the waves that break on your beaches it is time for me to see where the next waves will take me.


  1. Chicago is an awesome city and you'll definitely miss it. But I hear Austin is great too! And it's got even better weather. It's always fun to get to experience a new city. Hope you enjoy!

    xx Yasmin

  2. I've never moved out of Washington either, but I think it'll be such a great experience to live in another state! I hear Chicago is amazing but I know you'll learn so much in Austin!


  3. Ahhh, how exciting- but definitely scary! I know you guys will crush it in Austin- it is SUCH a fun town!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  4. This was such an emotional ride. Love it.
    Good luck for the new home :)
    We also recently moved.. not cities though.

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