I have lived in Chicago ever since finishing up college, but this was never my intent.
Like many of my friends - I thought I’d work here for a year then move overseas, out west or perhaps be swept away to some other exotic destination. This nomadic idea fits well with my personality. I am by my very nature a wanderer, an impulsive person (just ask anyone who knows me) and someone whom gets bored without new challenges.
So my assumption was that in order to keep things interesting, I would naturally want to move from Chicago. I mean … what’s wrong with wanting to change your city backdrop every few years? In my mind a different place, new people & exciting things would always be just over the horizon … not in my backyard.
But then Chicago sucked me in. I got stuck.
After exploring this city I realized that my previous rationale was all wrong. In two years I would never be able to explore & do all the cool things in Chicago - not even close. I realized that there will always be a list of great new restaurants, undiscovered neighborhoods and ridiculous creative / entrepreneurial outlets here that I have not yet discovered.
So I thought - Instead of always moving on and out, why not stay here & expand my version of it? Keep exploring. Do all the things I’ve meant to do. Be a new & more adventurous me. Go after it. See what happens. Leave no stone unturned. And what’s better than letting this bustling city of Chicago be the backdrop to all that?
Well, nothing - at least at the moment.
So I’ve lived in Chicago for 5 years now. And while I may never be in the “know” as much as this woman, I’m so thankful this Dabble thing has given me all kinds of excuses to do what I love - discover the cool, new and amazing people & things to do here in Chicago.
Whether it’s meeting with cabaret singers this afternoon (can’t wait to talk to these ladies!) or chatting metalworking classes over a coors light in Ukrainian Village (courtesy of the nice folks at mwmw) - It’s safe to say that my thirst (and hunger) for Chicago will never be satiated.
I graduated from college. My thought at the time? Sure, the proverbial “ugh, now on to real life” came to mind. My years of suspended reality were coming to a screeching halt.
But I chose to look on the bright side of things. More free time! No more tests! The ability to pick up any book of my choosing and finish it at will. Deadlines, schmeadlines (we’ll ignore what the working world would soon bring about).
But after some time, I realized: was it so bright? I actually craved opportunities to learn. And I wasn’t about to sign up for graduate school… yet.
So, I decided to seek out opportunities to learn. They all seemed to come in the form of 10-week courses for $400 or more. Hmmm. Sure, I could set aside a small “mind expansion” pot and satiate my learning craving. But more than anything, I was interested in dipping my toe into a bunch of things. If I wanted to try my hand at perfecting my photography skills, did that mean that I had to forego French lessons until the pot grew to $400 again? I didn’t feel capable of choosing between my many interests. So instead, I froze up, suffering from a massive dose of inertia. For at least three years. Then, I finally justified that Printmaking class I’d been eyeing.
What I REALLY wanted was the ability to dabble. Try my hand at jewelry-making one week, calligraphy the next. And if I then wanted to take my toe-dipping to the next level and dive into deeper waters, I could do so with a bit more confidence and the readiness to commit.
Tell me: do you struggle with my dilemma? How many classes have been on your “list” for years? I’d love to hear.
(Photo courtesy of debalalou via Flickr.)