Monday, March 31, 2014

Adios, Miami!

I am very happy to say that after giving Miami a try, I have moved back to Chicago and will be starting my new job tomorrow.  This will be the first in a series of posts involving our time in Miami.  I think that after some reflection, I can now be more honest with my thoughts and views.  It wasn't all bad, but it wasn't all great, either.

To provide some background, KB received a job offer in Miami last Spring that seemed too good to pass up.  It meant renting out our place in Chicago, quitting our current jobs, buying a car, leaving our friends, and trying a new life in a new state in a new city - a city in which neither of us had any real experience.  It was a gamble to be sure.  But to prevent us from wondering "what if?" for the rest of our lives, we gave it a shot.  And I am so proud of us for doing so.

There is a joke that Miami is the "Capital of South America", and I will tell you now that it's not really a joke.  The South American influence is so abundant, you get the overwhelming feeling that you are living in another country.  The glitz of South Beach will blind you to how the city operates on a day-to-day basis.  It didn't take long for Miami to lose what little charm it may hold.

In Chicago or even DC for that matter, when meeting a recent transplant who shared that they just moved to the city, it was natural to respond with "hey, welcome to Chicago!" or "oh cool, what neighborhood did you settle in?" or even "what's been your favorite part so far?". When we met people in Miami and told them we were new to the city, their responses every time would be a negatively leading, "how do you like it?" which was said with the chin pulled in and an eyebrow raised.

Well, for us anyway, we didn't like it, and I will give reasons following in the next few days.  Suffice is to say that we went to Miami with all the best intentions.  And we are mature enough to look at Miami and say, "it's not us, it's you", and close the door behind us.

I've been in Chicago (quietly) for just over three weeks, and KB will follow along in another three.  On March 4th, we loaded 95% of our belongings into a moving van, which I then drove the 1,421 miles from Miami to Chicago. 

Leaving a sad, waving KB behind on the sidewalk as I drove away was undoubtedly the hardest thing I've ever done (and I've been through some tough scrapes!). When I finally arrived in Chicago, I text the pic to the left to Kevin.  He said it was one of the prettiest sights he'd ever seen.

Tomorrow I start my new job.  I'm scared and excited.  But will no doubt be going through my day, trying to remember every detail to share with KB later.  Six weeks of living apart is the ultimate price we are paying for this, but the eventual reunion in the city we love will be amazing.