As I sit at the back of my parents' van headed to my new apartment in Nashville, I have realised something. I have had a beautiful love affair with Chicago. And like all great loves, it must end before it was stale and dull.
I picked this city on a whim. Prior to moving to Chicago, I had only visited it twice. Once for signing my acceptance papers for college and once for signing my lease to my new apartment. I've chosen to live my life constantly moving for one reason: to experience the most varied environments I possibly can. And Chicago is a terrific start to diversity. Living on Addison and Pine Grove I was smack dab in the middle of three vastly different neighbourhoods. I watched in bewilderment the competitive nature of summer in Wriggly. I celebrated the sheer joy and pride of nights in Boystown. And probably my favourite, I took in the peace and serenity of early afternoons by the water in Lakeview. Two years and nine months later I have experienced so much more and have fallen deeper in love than I ever thought I would.
As we drive I leave behind memories and charming souls that I am so grateful for. All I have left to say is thank you. Thank you to the lake for being the perfect backdrop as I read. Thank you to the Art Institute for the free days. Thank you to the redline for being the breadcrumb and urine trail to the most darling places. Thank you to Panera Bread to stealing my money in exchange for a full belly. Thank you to the Music Box for making my first time a riot. Thank you to all teachers I have had for allowing me to be a better version of myself. Thank you to 938 for bringing me not only luck, but also my favourites. Thank you to Navy Pier for the most delightful tourist watching; I love you even though no one who's lived in Chicago should. Thank you to the snow for making harsh winters worth it. Thank you to the wind for teaching me how to bundle up. Thank you to Tweet for making the world's best veggie susage patties. Thank you to the Adler for reminding me of my eternal love towards the unknown. Thank you to Chicago for breaking a bit of my heart and keeping it safe in the lake so it will always be the first to greet the sun.
Most importantly, thank you to those charming souls. Thank you for comforting me in a new city and showing me that I was not alone. Thank you for making my train wait enthralling with your scarf tied violin and guitar accompanied by your whistling and tap shoes. Thank you for knowing my usual order by heart. Thank you for introducing me to crunchy sweet potato tempura with extra cream cheese. Thank you for the endless talks about My Chemical Romance [RIP] and life's teeny struggles. Thank you for the delightful conversations over creamy tomato soup and mac and cheese. Thank you for showing me that being a grown up doesn't mean growing up. Thank you for the late night parties with interesting people and even more interesting talks. Thank you for making me a bit better with every smile I received.
I will miss you.