I left New York City and almost four years of life as a New Yorker on Saturday. I feel like I literally cried for the entire week before leaving. There was a heaviness that I carried around and so many moments that I wanted to shout "Hey everyone, I'm just kidding! I can't leave New York! I'm staying!" then run around hugging everyone I see. And constantly in my head I would think "Wow, this is hard." (Followed by a "that's what she said" because sometimes I am still 13.)
But it was tough. Saying goodbye over and over to good friends was brutal. Letting go of stuff I couldn't figure out how to take with me was painful. I whittled down my posessions, furniture, and wardrobe to 12 boxes + two suitcases. Getting into the back of the car and driving away from my beloved corner of West 74th + Amsterdam broke my heart a little.
Like the never fail crybaby I am, I began to cry as my plane started to back away from the gate and the very kind flight attendant asked if I was ok, then if I was leaving home? I nodded yes and had to smile a bit. I was indeed leaving home but also heading in the direction of home. Chicago has always felt like home to me. And, as a friend reminded me the other day just when I needed it, only a 2:05 hour plane ride away.
So here we come, Chicago. My 12 boxes, two suitcases, and me.