July 11, 2010
One month from now, I’ll be writing a blog post from a coffee shop in Chicago about life in the Windy City. Seven months from now, I’ll be right here writing a blog post about moving back.
Lord willing, of course.
A few weeks ago, I pulled the proverbial trigger on something I probably should have done years ago: Taking a risk. Doing something reckless. “Giving it a shot.”
Having been birthed and raised in the suburbs north of Dallas, I’ve never lived outside of a circle 20 miles in diameter. I went to a local college, living with my wonderful parents (and sisters) until six months before graduation. I took jobs always where close friends worked. It’s been great, and I wouldn’t change the past decade even if I could. But nowhere in all of that have I ever really done anything a little crazy or risky. Nothing that put me outside of the comfortable world I’ve always known. And having no reason to move or branch out, I’m on track to stay here for my entire life.
And don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that. But as I get a bit older and I look back on my adult life, those little “what ifs” start to rear their heads, and I can’t help but wonder how things would have ended up if I had branched out a bit. Normally I would internalize all of that and use it as fodder for future self-loathing. But not this time.
Past decisions are over and done; time has washed its hands of them. There is nothing I can do to change my early 20s. But there is something I can do to change my late 20s. So here goes.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to live in the city. Urban lifestyle is so appealingly different from my hitherto suburban experience. Waking up on the 23rd story of a rundown apartment building, walking two blocks through the crowded streets to catch a train to take me across town so that I can spend the morning reading in the park. Sighing as I groggily realize it’s another stormy Thursday, until the sight of my ridiculously oversized umbrella makes me smile and I whistle over the rainy din as I walk to work. Well, that just sounds charming.
But staying there, settling down, and raising a family in the hubbub of the city? That sounds slightly less charming. So my solution is this strange extended business trip / vacation / walkabout hybrid. My plan is to live there for six to nine months, then come back.
The proverbial trigger that I pulled was putting in an official two weeks’ notice at my job of three and a half years, which will end this Wednesday. On top of that, I’m moving most of my stuff into storage in the next few days, and staying with my parents for a few weeks while I get the other details worked out. A lot still has to come together for me to actually make the move, but I’m hoping to be up in Chicago within the next three weeks. Again, Lord willing.
I’m also working on (yet another) Cabeeb.com overhaul that will be better suited to chronicle my little adventure, amongst other things. Though it will likely not fully come together until I’m well into said adventure.
If you’re the praying type, I would definitely appreciate prayers leading up to and in the midst of this. I’m ashamed to admit that I initially made this decision with very little prayerful consideration. But now as I’m praying, not for confirmation but for unbiased direction, God has given me several affirmations that this is what I should be pursuing right now. It might fall apart, or change midway into something completely different. But for now, this is what I think I’m supposed to be doing. I just want to be poised to follow wherever He leads me every step of the way.
I’m ecstatic, terrified, anxious, overwhelmed, and at peace all at once. It’s a strange place to be, and unlike any point in my life so far. But I absolutely love it.
Even if something happens tomorrow that completely demolishes the plan, leaving me jobless and homeless, I won’t regret one bit of it. Because for once, I gave it a shot. I put it all on the line and went full tilt from the light to the hazy twilight of the unknown. When I’m 70, I won’t look back on the summer of my 27th year and think “What if…”
Like I said, Lord willing.