Hey friends! You guys were so sweet in regards to my latest post revealing our teeny, tiny apartment. I felt really loved and every person that’s been to our humble abode in person says, “This is so cozy!” and “It’s actually a lot more spacious than what I imagined!” so that always makes us feel good.

I should inform you of the good news in case we’re not Facebook friends…I got a job! Insert praise hands emoji right about now. After turning down the one corporate job with insane hours, I was feeling quite defeated. However, I spent some time praying and talking with my husband and we both felt an enormous sense of peace that God had something else up His sleeve. That’s the cool thing about God. He’s so much bigger and better than we could ever imagine! He knows no limits. He see’s our worth and full potential when we cannot. He wants what’s best for us.

A woman reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested in a job where I would utilize my writing, networking, and social media skills. I asked her to tell me more and she presented me with a job and a salary that far exceeded our wants or needs. The beautiful thing is, E and I are not out to get rich. Or to work our lives away. (If that were the case I would’ve taken the job mentioned in the post prior.) I cannot say what we’ll both be doing three years from now. Or where we’ll be living. We are following Jesus and trying our best to live an intentional life. One that is obedient and willing to make sacrifices even if we can’t see what’s on the other side. So for now, I’m excited to be a part of a company that I have so much to learn from. I’m praying that I can uplift my coworkers and love them fiercely. If you ask me what I’m looking forward to most, I’d say growing and being stretched in ways that I never could have had I stayed in my previous occupation as an elementary school teacher. Do I miss teaching? Do I miss the kids? Do I wish there were a way to do it all? Yes. Yes. Yes. But I am confident that God has gifted so many passionate, patient, wise, and caring people to be the most incredible teachers in the school systems. And I am confident that He’s used my time as an elementary teacher to prepare me for this new position.

IMG_1360We are loving Chicago, but let me tell ya, it’s different. So different in fact that I’ve been taking notes in my iPhone on all of my observations. I thought it would be fun to share a Midwest, small-town girl’s perspective on the city during this first week…I hope it makes you laugh a little 😉

  • People don’t say hi. Even in the most awkward situations. Like when E and I are in the elevator and it stops, someone else gets in, and we say, “hi there” just to be friendly. Seriously, some people don’t say anything back. They just flat out ignore us. Even those without headphones in their ears.
  • Eating alone in public is quite common and unlike back home, does not feel awkward at all. I’ve done it numerous times already and my personal thoughts are: when you’re exhausted and busy, eating solo is perfect. When you’re not however, I wish people would be open to the warmth of a conversation with a complete stranger. Maybe I’m just a strange one though.
  • Interviews are super competitive. It’s normal to walk in and see ten+ other candidates sitting there waiting for their interview as well. It’s a big city with lots of people…very talented people.
  • How could you survive without google maps? Like seriously people of Chicago, how, before 2005, did you get around??? (No, but really…)
  • It’s obviously super diverse. I love that it’s normal to see people of all different color and nationalities speaking a variety of languages. It makes me see the world as a much bigger place.
  • People tend to be more blunt and will often make you feel dumb if you ask a simple question. Nothing has aggravated me more than when an employee of a restaurant or someplace is downright rude when I ask a question. Though it’s just a cultural difference in the way humans interact here, I will not stop being warm and friendly. I just hope a little bit of it rubs off on them.
  • EVERYTHING costs more. Which is no surprise, but E and I aren’t ashamed to admit that we’re all about that #RamenNoodleLife 😉
  • People don’t hide their crazy. They sing out loud in train station (and continue to despite people yelling, “shut up!”), they argue and get into conflicts publicly with no shame in who’s witnessing it (yes, I saw you hit your boyfriend for texting that other chick, Ja’quia), and they wear some outrageous clothing.
  • I thought the homeless situation was bad back home. Here, I am overwhelmed by the amount of people on the streets. I’m looking into where homeless shelters are at to get on a volunteer schedule in the near future.

I’m curious, have any of you ever relocated and find some of these to be true? 🙂

Anyway, we are truly stoked to be living here and cannot wait to try out a new church on Sunday!

We’ll chat more soon! XO

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11 comments

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Growing up, I lived on 20 acres of country in Mishawaka. Last year my husband and I moved into a duplex in downtown Grand Rapids. It was a complete culture shock. Everyone drinks fancy coffee, living expenses are outrageous, it’s so loud, and I ride my bike and walk almost everywhere I need to. Even though some of these are negatives, I love how social everyone is here, everyone runs and rides their bike, and there is always something to do downtown.
Thanks for sharing about the difficulties of moving!
-Kathleen

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Yes! You get it, Kathleen! There are positives and negatives to every city I’m sure…things we’ll miss about where we came from and things we adore about our new homes! :)Thanks for sharing.

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Let me know if you need any help adjusting to the life or don’t feel like using Google maps of you get lost 🙂 Chicago is my home too!!! Your observations are all spot on too. I love reading your writing Amanda. So happy for you and E.

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Thanks Karli! I feel like I’m getting the hang of it pretty quickly and it’s been super fun. I take the red line almost everyday since it’s SO close to our apartment. Are you living in Chicago currently? We should try to meet up! It’s been SO long since I’ve seen you.

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I experienced the same when I moved to Washington D.C. But I did take that 60hr/week job and it hardened me. I really don’t like it when strangers talk to me during my alone time. The same holds for lots of crazies and homeless. I actually befriended a homeless man who lived near Union Station – I was sad to hear he passe d away a few years ago. Traffic was the WORST – which is why I was thankful DC has the cleanest public transportation in the country. I agree about the interview thing. Especially in politics, it was all about who you know, instead of what you know. I witnessed a guy with 2 DUIs get a coveted position in a congressional office just because his dad is a well-known lobbyist. And about Google Maps? There were ACTUAL maps instead of virtual ones 🙂 My parents still have an atlas in their car.

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Ha! Lis, you crack me up. I remember (vaguely) my parents having an atlas for road trips we’d go on when I was a kid. It’s just so crazy to think about how much times have changed. I’ve become so dependent on google for, well – everything! Ps. Miss you and cannot wait to see you soon for your bachelorette party! XO

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About the homeless situation – there’s a guy who will sometimes sit outside of the Starbucks on Chicago Ave about 1 mintue away from the Chicago/St red line. I got him a water from Starbucks and brought it out to him and he was SO grateful. He literally said “God bless you, thank you, I haven’t had a cold drink in days!”. If you see him (black man, short grey hair) offer to get him something if you can afford it. He’s a sweet guy and I wish I talked to him more on my way to work! <3

Also – groupon EVERYTHING. You'll be surprised at how much you can save! If you and E are looking for date night ideas, the Shedd has some free days and you can always see movies in the park!

I hope you're enjoying the transition even though it can be tough 🙂 You'll do great things!

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Aw, that’s nice of you to do that for him! I counted 9 homeless people that I passed by today…most with their heads hanging down (in shame, would be my guess 🙁 …) As soon as things with my new job settle down a bit I am going to look into volunteering and see what programs are out there for people who have not made it in society. Ah! Thank you for the Groupon tip 🙂 Anytime you’re coming into the city, let me know! Hope all is well with you and that gorgeous baby bump you’re rockin.

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I was in Chicago this weekend for my brother’s fiance’s Bachelorette party. Living two hours away, it wasnt my first time exploring Chicago, but everytime I go I get saddened by how many homeless people there are. I think it’s amazing that volunteering is one of your top priorities once you’re a bit more settled.

And oh my goodness, YES THANK YOU GOOGLE MAPS! My mom, sister, and I went to get coffee for ourselves and the other girls Sunday morning. Starbucks was not too far but we had to do Google maps by foot. It worked out so so well!

As for the rudeness, I think that’s a culture shock anytime we go somewhere we aren’t used to, whether moving or vacationing. They say the Midwest has some of the nicest people. I know there are nice, kind, warm hearted people that live I’m Chicago, but it never ceases to amaze me how many rude people I run into. And I’m 5 minutes from large city myself!

I hope yours and E’s warm hearts rub off on the rude people you run into as you adventure and explore your new home, with Google maps of course! I wish you the best of luck as you begin your new professional journey.

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Good for you for having such a great attitude! We relocated to Chicago in January and after a few months of city living I couldn’t wait to get to the suburbs! I didn’t experience too many rude people but I just felt like it was so isolating. And to be honest, I buy too much stuff at Target to have to walk it home! 🙂

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Haha! Target has a way of making me spend more than I should, too 😉 Did you guys already move back to the burbs?

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