It’s not a love-hate relationship. It is, really, a love-love relationship. I grew up here. Grew up riding the train to the city, staring at myself in the bean (#art) and shopping on State Street. Even paying absurd amounts of money to, you know, ride an elevator and look out a window. Because tourism.
While I’m walking to and from my office, I just stare at the skyscrapers, wondering what goes on behind those many, many windows. I look at the amazingly old buildings and think about all the people that have passed through their doors. I still get goosebumps when I cross the Dearborn Street bridge at night – the view is beautiful.
There are millions of people in the city. 2.175 million, if you were wondering. Endless opportunities for friendship, professional relationships, romantic relationships.
So, you’re probably confused. I’ve spent the last 100 words talking about how much I love Chicago… but the title of this post kind of implies that there’s doubt. Well, here we go.
I will always love the city more than anything. It’s familiar. It’s friendly and welcoming. Big enough to have a million opportunities, but not so big that it’s just… unnecessarily intimidating (looking at you, NYC). My friends are here, my family is here. My roots are here.
But, I have roots in Spain, too. I lived there, and fell in love with the culture there, just two years ago. I still feel an immense sadness when I hear people speaking Spanish, with the familiar accent of Spain. I miss hearing that, and speaking it, daily.
I’m not saying that I need to live in Spain. (Though I would love to, obviously). It’s more the principle of it. The idea that I can go to a completely foreign place and, after just a little while, form roots there. Learn to call it home.
So, what if Chicago isn’t it? What if the most amazing job opportunity is in Seattle? What if the love of my life is in Barcelona? Dublin? Argentina?
Of course, these things may be in Chicago.
But… what if they aren’t?
I’m such an American twenty-something woman, goodness.
(Sorry to be kind of sad this afternoon – just watched Under the Tuscan Sun so I kind of want to buy a villa in Italy now.)