girl, where you been?!
the end of my sad girl era & a mini scrapbook of recent life events.
let’s get one thing out of the way: it’s been a while.
since the end of February up until now, life has really been a whirlwind that I’m only just beginning to get my bearings on.
so what’s been up with me?
well, if you don’t know already, ya girl moved to ✨CHICAGO, IL. ✨
not a lot of people know this, but my desire to move to Chicago started back in 2021.
i reached a point during my stay in Los Angeles where I knew it was no longer a place I wanted to call home and soon began brainstorming potential places to move that felt more in alignment with my needs & lifestyle.
Chicago came to mind because, at my core, I'm a Midwest girl that just so happened to come of age in the South.
being born & raised in Indianapolis, IN, I've taken a couple of quick trips to Chicago as a kid and young adult, but nothing memorable. but I always knew it was someplace that I could always consider if I ever decided to make an orbit back to the Midwest.
in 2021, I decided to take a trip to Chicago to get a feel for how the city moved and see if it would pass the vibe check — and sure enough, it did!
since then, I had my sights set on getting back here for good and on March 6, I gave myself the best pre-birthday present: a new start.
so far, I can't lie… I freakin’ love it here.
It has all the bells and whistles of a city that’s vibrant, but not intimidating.
i can get to my favorite shops, grocery stores, restaurants, and cafès with ease, and while the weather has been gloomy and gray, we recently got a week-long peek into that ‘summertime Chi’ weather that everyone talks about and whew, all I can say is… this summer is about to be different!
right now, things are so funny and beautiful and new.
it honestly amazes me because I remember where I was a year and even 3 months ago and my life (and mind) feels so different from that point in time.
i was deep in my sad girl era, and legit didn’t know if I was coming or going.
this move felt so out of reach that I was becoming content with the idea of just conceding to my ambition and being okay with living a simple life in rural Monck Corner, South Carolina. but when the door opened for me to move into my apartment, I ran straight through it because I refused to live with the regret that might have come if I hadn’t taken the leap.
there’s a quote that’s stuck with me for years that says:
“wherever you go, there you are. no matter where you go, there you are. wherever you go, you will always find yourself.”
and I think about that a lot when it comes to moving to a new place.
uprooting yourself to replant in a whole new environment is a huge leap no matter how many times you have to do it or the place you land.
some people say that it doesn’t automatically fix you or become some sort of antidepressant pill that you take and *voilà*, you’re cured of all sadness and despair.
but from my experience (and I have moved quite a bit in my life), it does do the soul some good to find a place where you feel like you can belong. if Moncks Corner was a puzzle board, I was the puzzle piece in the box that fit none of its edges or corners.
there simply was no place or suiting for me.
but every time I visited Chicago, see pictures of the skyline, listen to K*nye, or watch videos of people talking about their experience here, i felt like a lost piece of me was connecting underneath the surface. and now, at only two months in, i feel like I found a place that finally clicks.
i look forward to getting up to see what the day has in store.
people seem genuine (so far lol).
i have a coffee shop that I’m a regular at.
i finally have my first big girl apartment.
i feel happy here.
and I think it’s finally time to lay my sad girl era to rest.
i’m ready to live out my happy, healed, smiling-for-no-reason, social-butterfly-with-a-bedtime, excited-for-life-girl-era.
it’s time that I leave the darkness behind and get back to what really matters: joy & play.
p.s.: speaking of play (👀) there’s something new and dear to my heart that I’ll be sharing with you all in the coming week that I've been holding on to since 2020!! it’s time to finally release it and I can’t wait to finally share it with y'all soon!
in the meantime: be well!
— ya girl, Aley