Chicagoan: Year One

On TimeHop this week I was getting images of right before I moved to Chicago and couldn't believe a year has gone by! As I write this I think back about all the amazing experiences Kollin and I have had since moving here.

I wanted to take some time and write about what I've learned in this incredible year! With a new apartment and neighborhood (post to come when decorating is finished) and working full time for both Kollin and I, this has been a year of change, exciting memories and endless laughs. 

1. Long Distance is Still Hard

If you've been reading The Creative Brief for a while, you know that my boyfriend and I dealt with being long distance for three years of college. While Kollin and I are now together in Chicago, other people in my life are now in the distant role. Best friends and family members are now back in Kentucky. No matter where you go in life, you can't always take everyone you want to with you and it has definitely been an adjustment to not have everyone I love in one place.

2. It Still Doesn't Feel Real

Even though I have now lived in the city for a year, there are still mornings on the way to work where I can't help, but admire the beauty and awesomeness that is Chicago. Growing up in a town where skyscrapers weren't the norm and lakes that looked like oceans were far and few between, it definitely takes some getting used to.

3. The Restaurants Beat Everything

I have never been to a place that had so much to offer solely in restaurants. We often joke with people we meet about how we could never eat through this city even if we lived here our entire lives. With restaurants like RPM Italian, Au Cheval, Grace, Velvet Taco, Lillies Q, and many more, it's hard to think of a type of cuisine that you couldn't try here. 

4. Champagne Tastes Better on a Rooftop

Tall skyscrapers means elevated bars. Real estate is hard to come by in the city and your best bet is to look up for the best spots around town to grab a drink. One of my favorites, Cindy's, was the first rooftop patio I went to and I loved every second of it. There is something so fabulous about sipping rosé 25 floors up overlooking Millennium Park feeling like Carrie Bradshaw (I need some Manolos! 🤗)

5. Expect the Unexpected

If you told me two years ago that I would be living in Chicago with my boyfriend in an apartment in the loop, I would tell you you're crazy and wish I was living that life. The thing I have loved most about moving to a new city is realizing that I could have made these decisions and achieved what I wanted at any point and so can anyone else. Being in a new city and meeting new people everyday, I now feel I can truly be myself, live the life I've always wanted and really come into the young woman I've always wanted to be. 

6. Michigan Ave is Dangerous

Living three blocks from Michigan Ave is amazing and completely bonkers. Each morning I pass designer stores like Burberry, Cartier, Stuart Weitzman and Alice and Olivia, and totally think about blowing my entire paycheck. The amazing culture of this city is prevalent everywhere - in the fashion, musicians who perform on the streets, the countless museums and cultural festivals. In a one block radius I've heard four different languages and walked past seven different types of cuisine. The best part? With such a melting pot of culture, I feel completely myself and feel a sense of belonging more than ever before.

If you live in city or are familiar with it I would love your recommendations for yummy eats and cool experiences!