On New Opportunities

I’ve been writing this post in my head for a long time now. We’re leaving Chicago.

It’s always tricky to figure out how to title a post like this – one set of words casts it in a negative light – “leaving Chicago”, “saying goodbye to the city”, etc. while another set of words paints it more positively – “hello backyard!”, “on to new adventures”, etc. The fact is that it’s all very mixed up and complicated and will have amazing, great new things in store for us but at the same time, it will also have things that we’re sad about and will have to mourn the loss of.

It’s not a decision we’ve come to lightly. I’ll spare you the gory details, but suddenly going down to one full time income with a new baby has taken a toll on our finances. Daycare is so expensive here that we both can’t afford to work, but at the same time we can’t afford for us both not too. Talk about a gray area! The logical answer would be to have one of us work part time opposite the other’s schedule, but part time jobs with limited availability are few and far between here. So we have to go where those jobs are.  We’re also pricing out of every decent, affordable area in this city. Rents continue to rise, while salaries don’t. It’s a story that many of you are probably all to familiar with as well.

The other thing that’s been hard for us to admit is that city living has really lost it’s luster. My whole life I wanted to move here, and I’ve had a blast. When were in our early twenties it was great – any restaurant you wanted to go to, transit at your doorstep all hours of the day and night, great bars, museums, the lake just blocks away… we didn’t want to admit defeat. What’s not to like about Chicago? It’s what we always wanted. And we thought being urban parents would be a great experience. But like a relationship going south, the bad things started to outnumber the good. The upstairs neighbors have loud, annoying habits. The person two doors down has a dog that barks incessantly. The commute on the train is crowded and uncomfortable. Violent crime has spread just about everywhere. We’re tired of only grocery shopping what we can carry. Getting an infant around town on public transit is hard on the best days and impossible on the worst. The apartment management is nearly non-existent, so issues with our unit became impossible to get addressed – we went a week without a working stove, and it’s taken us over a year to get window screens on all of our windows. The novelty of walking to the laundromat wore off ages ago. The list goes on and on.

So… we’re moving to the suburbs. Living expenses are ever so slightly cheaper there. We’ll be closer to family. We’ll have more space. We’re getting back to basics – we’re weeding through everything in the apartment and evaluating if it continues to deserve a place in our lives – we’ve got some things we can part with in the yard sale/donate box. But most of this stuff is ours for keeps. We don’t live an extravagant lifestyle at all, so most of what we have serves a purpose. That being said, a lot of stuff is going into storage. Who knows – if we don’t miss it in a year, maybe it’ll get a full cut too. So I guess we’re doing a trial downsizing as part of this move as well.

So, Apartment Farming will continue! Just in suburbia…  who thought I’d ever type that? So, please don’t think I’m pulling the plug here if my posts are sporadic over the next month as we’re in mid-move. There’s plenty going on – like the squirrel cage is working and we’ve gotten our first three tomatoes! And we’re freezing sweet corn for winter like nobody’s business. And I’ve got a lineup of things to sew. Not to mention the fact that tomatoes are about to come on strong and I’m shooting for 49 quarts this year… so August is a busy month indeed. But I’ll check in and let you know how we fare. And I’ll certainly be sharing our suburban Apartment Farm adventures once we’re settled there. Stay tuned…

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4 thoughts on “On New Opportunities

  1. Sad to read you are leaving the city, but so happy you will continue the blog! I hope you will come by the Glenwood Sunday Market one more time before the big move.

    • Thanks Sheree! The Glenwood is actually the thing that we’re going to miss the most! Being able to walk over to the market every Sunday has been such a wonderful part of our lives here. We’re not moving until September, so we’ll definitely be coming through the the end of August.

  2. I can feel your pain! When the hubby and I left the military, we found ourselves (with two little ones) in the tricky day care vs work money situation too. We still do to some degree, which has led to some uncomfortable discussions about where we can afford to live vs the sort of schooling situation we want our kids to be in, and some compromises in both.

    I just wanted to say that I’ve been enjoying your blog since I found it a while back, and I hope you continue blogging about your new adventures! Also, I’m passing on a blog award to you!!

    @ http://nuannaarpoq.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/tuesday-musings/

    • Thanks! This type of move has definitely been a tough decision, but we really think it will work out in the long run.

      Glad you like the blog and I appreciate the award – but I never have time to reciprocate them properly!

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