I have now been living in my current Chicago apartment and neighborhood for 2.5 months, and I am grieved to tell you that I am not totally adjusted to living here yet. TWO AND A HALF MONTHS, and still not adjusted! What a shocker, right?
I always have a hard time transitioning, and it is not my favorite, so when I’m living through it I want to skip through to the end. Let’s just breeze through this as quickly as possible. Get those roots down! Feel comfortable in my surroundings. Find a new dentist. Know all the neighborhood tips and tricks.
But would you like to know a terrible secret? It takes TIME to do all those things. It takes time to find your new favorite restaurant, and figure out which restaurants to avoid. It takes time assemble a whole new team of health care providers. It takes time to find a new church. It takes time to know your way around the streets. (I don’t feel completely settled until I can drive most places knowing which lane I need to be in the entire time. Because I am insane. And Chicago makes this complicated because city streets like to add and subtract lanes willy nilly all over the place).
And here is something even worse, not only do all of these things take time, but I think they take me more time than average. Some people love cannon-balling into new situations and learning their way around and trying new things. They jump in fast and the whole process goes pretty quickly and they like it. But I am a nervous fish who takes forever to warm up to things and is miserable during the whole warming up process. You would think cannon-balling would help but I cannot be rushed. I just have to take it at my own pace.
So this time I’m trying to be patient (emphasis on trying). Trying to remember that it’s only been 2.5 months. It’s ok that I don’t have it all figured out yet. And we’re working on it! We have already found our favorite Thai place. We have found the worst restaurant in the world which will be scrupulously avoided henceforth. Andy has a new gastroenterologist. I have not had any city driving-related emotional breakdowns in the past week, #winning. Our apartment is pretty much done and I love it. I’m trying to focus on the good things we’ve achieved instead of focusing on the things that are still lacking.
Today I walked four miles to get two different parking stickers that I needed from two different city office locations. It was a beautiful spring day, and besides if I drove I would be leaving my parking spot during a Cubs day game and I would never get it back, #learning. As I walked around my neighborhood and admired all the daffodils and the forsythia and the magnolias, it all still felt strange, like this was a place I was visiting. It’s not a place that I live.
But given enough time, and more walks (especially now that it’s warmer out), and new experiences accumulating over time, it is going to feel like home. And in the meanwhile, it’s a pretty nice place to visit.