Turning a New Leaf in the Windy City

“Change is never easy, you fight to hold on and you fight to let go.”

This quote has been the epitome of my existence over the past month. I have been caught up in the whirlwinds of change and although understandably busy, I have been procrastinating in writing this blog post. Writing to me implies a bold confrontation with my deepest thoughts, feelings and fears. Blogging more specifically adds another layer of caution by bringing an extended audience into the picture. As I type this, I am uncomfortable. I have felt the need to write about my most recent life transition both for myself and for those dear to me, but it is not easy…. change is never easy, nor is confrontation.

I am now living in Chicago. I moved on my birthday. While not an ideal activity to engage in on a day framed for celebration, I acknowledge the unique irony. In a sense, a birthday is a predisposed turning point- it is a distinct time where the sum of your life is displayed in quantitative fact and the hopes for what are yet to come are visibly, yet secretly shared through the fatality of candle flames that flicker under your breath on a birthday cake. A birthday is all too often misunderstood as solely a time for others to acknowledge your existence, but this year, I decided this date is also about self-appreciation.

I decided my career aspirations were worth respecting and acting upon. I have made it a goal to seek work that is meaningful, innovative, exciting and prosperous. I have been determined to resist settling for a position that pays the bills, but leaves me longing. I am ecstatic about my new role as Manager of Learning Resources at Convergence Academies because I am surrounded by colleagues who share my passions, value my contributions, and continue to push the boundaries.

Beyond my career, I felt it was time for a change of scenery. Over the past two years while earning my master’s degree I lived in East Aurora, a village close to my parents that I dreamed of residing in when I was younger. But as I tried living out my fantasy, I came to realize that my dreams had changed. The quaint little town seemed too small for me and the familiar faces portrayed the prominent dissonance I felt since moving back from Rhode Island. While still considered home, I have an ever evolving relationship with the old farm house and country town I grew up in. They define where I come from, but I do not want them to defy the breadth of my potential.

I am on a continual journey to widen my horizon and embrace all life has to offer through discomfort and discovery. By accumulating diverse experiences, perspectives and possibilities I aim to further develop my identity. The world is an immense place filled with so many people and places that I feel I am dis-servicing myself and my reach if I stay in a comfortable, confined space.

I will admit that I am daunted at times by a new city and a new job, but it is better than being haunted by reservations and inactions that have plagued me before.

As I embark on my new adventure, I cannot help but use Mark Twain’s quote as inspiration:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

I have leapt from the safe harbor and now sail in the sky, throwing my ambitions to the midwestern winds, wondering where this Chicago gust will take me; devouring the delicious ambiguity.

4 thoughts on “Turning a New Leaf in the Windy City

  1. Not only proud of your skill at writing , but the fact that you have looked at all aspects of your life and followed a game plan that may not be easy, but fits at this point in time. Love Dad…

  2. I really like this piece! I’m glad you so boldly confronted the specters of both conscience and audience! I hope you continue to do so. My journey into your experience has now become an experience of my own! 🙂

    When the gusts settle. As last eastern breaths make way for fresh midwestern air. When the whirlwind of new opportunity, new experience, and new friendship fades swiftly into the cold winter breeze (FREEEEEZING POLAR VORTEX BREEZE :p) of comfort and predictability…remember…

    “the real voyage of discovery consists NOT in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

  3. Oh Kelsey Lee, you still amaze me! You are still the bravest person I know. I would have never had the courage you have to pack up and move to a new city. I love your spirit and wish you all the best on your newest adventure. I’m sure there will be many more down the road for you!

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