Goodbye, New York. Hello again, Chicago!

It’s Not Goodbye

Good morning, my friends. An update on the personal front that I’ve been holding off on sharing publicly for some time…

brooklyn-bridge-park

I’m moving.

Away from New York.

… In three weeks!

manhattan t-shirt

I know. You’re like… Wait, what? Really? Why?

There have been so many changes happening in my life over the last six months (how is it June?) and I’m still in a bit of shock, but I’m so HAPPY to be able to share the news with all of you… at last. FINALLY!

I have been quietly putting these plans into place for some time now, but I wasn’t able to share them until paperwork was signed, leases were broken, new apartments were found and whatnot. Formalities, you know?

But alas, away I go. And here’s why…

manhattan-bridge-at-sunset

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ON WHAT’S TO COME…

In a nutshell, I’m moving back to Chicago with SoulCycle to open (/teach at) the brand’s second studio. In the LOOP, baby! (On Wacker between LaSalle and Clark.) I can’t even BEGIN to explain my excitement and gratitude for this opportunity.

soulcycle-instructors-in-chicago

Despite my adventurous spirit, SoulCycle is home. It just really, truly is.

If you don’t believe me when I write shit like this, I really encourage you to come take a class if/when you can. (And for those of you who are still wondering “What the hell is SoulCycle?” don’t worry; I’m almost finished with a post on this — but here’s the back-story on my journey, if you haven’t yet read it.)

soulcycle-gif

You know the story of how I found Soul and let it change my life — but what I haven’t really talked about is how it’s helped me come to terms with the notion that “home” isn’t actually a geographical concept to me anymore.

So, I’m going, going, back back to CHI-TOWN, CHI-TOWN. Can’t wait to ride with you guys!

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ON EMBRACING CHICAGO…

Man, I’m excited. And honestly, I hesitate to tell you that I’m moving “back” to Chicago — because I’m not reverting “back” to anything. Like, at all. Location-wise, sure (I lived there for six years after I graduated), but when you have a renewed sense of passion, fulfillment and purpose, it makes everything feel new, exciting and fresh.

After all, your perspective is reality, right?

goose island Chicago, summertime chi

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ON LEAVING  NEW YORK…

Now, this is the hard part. The conflicted nostalgia (where that writer’s block crept in).

New York City has been the backdrop for oh so many snapshots of my mid- to late-twenties — and that encompasses the good, the bad, and the very hungover.

I have a lot of thoughts on both loving and leaving New York — and at the moment, it seems impossible to put into writing how I feel about the unpredictable, exhilarating, heartbreaking nature of a city that’s truly shaped me over the past few years.

So, I ultimately decided that that’s a post for another day — closer to the move date (you know I love an excuse to write about my love affair with this city).

In all honesty, though, here’s the thing: I’m ready. I’m ready to leave New York.

williamsburg-piers-nyc-skyline

I’m surprised that I feel that way, too, as I used to think this city would never ever have an expiration date for me.

It does — for now, at least.

More than two years ago, I moved to New York with less than two weeks’ notice and the passion of something newly discovered. I remember feeling an utter certainty that this was the only place on earth where I needed to be in order discover exactly who I was… And I did. New York has 100% made me into who I am.

love this city. But she’s like that lover hurts you over and over, yet you forgive and forget time-and-time again…

striped-overnight-bag

That isn’t to say I am disappointed I moved here in the first place — quite the opposite, actually! And I’d do it all over again, too.

Here, I’ve worked amazing jobs, met some unbelievable people (you know who you are and I can’t wait for you to visit!), and created more memories than I could have ever even imagined. I’ve tasted success, I’ve felt (a lot of) failure and I’ve learned to live on a dime.

New York City exposed my creative soul, unleashed a more adventurous spirit and — quite frankly, brought out just a hint of masochism. (Where else does one willingly forfeit their work/life balance, credit score and a rent-stabilized living space?) It unearthed my passions, led me to a stronger purpose, and gave me a platform to leverage in sharing my voice. And damn — for that, I’m really grateful.

manhattan-and-brooklyn-bridge

Later this month, we’ll talk about the behind-the-scenes from the last two years.

For now, though, today’s post is simply this: I’m ready to move on. I yearn for what’s next.

I am mentally checked out of New York — which (I didn’t realize at the time, but) I think was partially evident when I chose not to attend Fashion Week back in February. Remember that?

manhattan-bridge-dumbo

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ON TIMING…

So one day a few months ago, SoulCycle presented the opportunity.

They asked the question… And of course, my answer was yes. A resounding FUCK YES!

soulcycle-e63rd-street

Life is chaotic and unexpected, but that’s the way it’s always going to be. And it’s important to follow your heart.

You can’t just sit around and wait for things to fall into place, because that’s what happens when you actually put one foot in front of the other.

As I’ve learned from leaving Chicago and quitting my full-time job, it will never be exactly the right moment (to do anything). Never. But, you know what? You’ve just got to trust the timing of your OWN life.

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Now, the first question everyone asks me after I tell them I’m moving is: “How’s Jess handling this?”

Seriously. Like, everyone. (Jess of Bows & Sequins is my BFF and partner-in-crime.) I’ll let her answer that question, though, as she’s sharing an update on her end today as well… Read her story here!

nyc blogger collaboration   

So, three weeks left in my beloved New York.

It’s pretty crazy to think about how much has changed since I started writing corals + cognacs nearly five years ago. I know that some of you have been here since the humble beginning — which, not so ironically, began in Chicago.

It always comes full-circle, doesn’t it?

white-maxi-dress

Chicago, I’m coming home.

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To be continued… 

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