Last year, Chicago had a brutal winter. It was cold, snowy, and totally miserable. As a result of that winter I noticed more and more people saying, “This is it. I'm leaving because of this.” And I understand it! I've lived in this city for 36 of my 37 years, and I understand completely.
Then I realized that this upcoming winter is going to be my last winter in Chicago for the foreseeable future. My family and I are moving to Denver in the spring.
Putting it out there
We're a two-location family household. We have some family members in this area, and some in the Denver area, with assorted folks in other states that are relatively easy to visit. We've managed it pretty well, but a few changes over the past few months led my wife and I to make this decision.
In essence, we put the notion that we wanted to move out there. Now, I've put things out there in the past and many of them haven't gone anywhere. But this one did. Shortly after this decision, I opened myself up to looking for jobs that would be comfortable with this type of move – that is, starting in Chicago and later moving to Denver. Friends provided referrals and ideas, and I got in touch with several people in Denver.
But one day a couple of months ago, I went to the park with my son. I ran into a friend from college, and she started telling me about her awesome job at this great company. She casually mentioned they were hiring but I figured, “Well, that's not for me since we're not staying here.” And yet, I checked out their site and found an open position in Denver that would be a great fit. Within a few weeks, I had a job offer practically as I had imagined. Amazing.
So that's the part two of the new job announcement that was on Twitter: yes, I'm joining the good people at Rightpoint. In the spring, I'll be located in the Denver office full-time.
Lasts and firsts
Last week, I left my job at Centralis. At one point one of my former coworkers kept saying, partially in jest, “This is the last time you'll...” Like when I got a bottle of water out of the fridge. “The last time you'll get a bottle of water from the fridge!” Soon, there were no more lasts.
While we'll be back to Chicago regularly, we've started working on a list (surprise!) of the things we need to do in the city before we leave for good. Some of them may very well be the last whatevers. I'm also excited for the first whatevers in Denver.
The only time I've lived outside of Chicago was, in fact, in Denver over 10 years ago. It was a very different time, and I was a very different person. Yes, leaving Chicago will be hard. Chicago will always be home. I'll always hear the “DING-DONG! DOORS CLOSING!" of the El. I'll always be most comfortable with the grid layout for streets. I'll always see that skyline and feel it in my heart.
But I am making room for a new home in myself, too.