House Hunters Chicago

For years I've tuned into HGTV and watched the bevy of real estate programs - House Hunters, Property Virgins, My First Place - on Wednesday I'll get to put all my acquired knowledge to use as I look for a house in Chicago. After meeting with a realtor last week I've set up the first set of homes to check out.

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Three Years Later
07.09.2012 10:00PM
The date was Thursday, July 9, 2009. I packed my bags and headed for the big city. All this just two weeks after returning from six weeks in Europe to complete my Master of Architecture (okay, that was just a small portion of the six weeks, the rest was spent vacationing). In March 2009 I received an offer from the company I wanted to work for in the city I wanted to work in - it didn’t take me long to make up my mind.

So after twenty-four years in Kentucky (minus the time spent in Champaign, IL; Muncie, IN; and brief summer stops in Washington D.C. and Chicago) I was ready to begin the rest of my life. The job was preservation architect at a leading firm and the city was Chicago. Just like previous life affecting decisions (mainly choosing to attend UIUC and Ball State) I knew this was exactly what I wanted.

That was three years ago. And I’m glad I’m never wrong.

Live couldn’t be better.

(Well that’s not entirely true, it’d be better with working electricity at my new house - but that’s for another blog post of which there will be plenty as I renovate my new house and make it a home.)

Moving to Chicago brought me within a short ‘L’ ride to most of my good friends from UIUC (and even a few BSUers). It’s allowed me to reconnect with friends I hadn’t seen in years (both high school and undergrad) but thanks to Facebook still considered friends. This once shy guy (that’s something you overcome when you find yourself at college knowing absolutely nobody - twice), even has a new group of friends thanks to the intramural soccer league.

(True to form, I still try to avoid co-mingling of disparate groups because its better if all the dirt is spread amongst the groups.)

Everyday at work I’m evolving my dream job into my dream career. I never imagined I’d be rappelling off some of Chicago’s most recognized buildings or traveling to Haiti to document historic houses in disrepair from the historic earthquake. But I am, and it’s fucking awesome. When you love what you do and work with people you like (for the most part) it’s really not a job. Hell I even like some people at work enough to consider them good friends.

You may be asking, “Why this now at three years? What about after a year? Or two”?

Well it started about this time last year, but it finally came full circle within the last few months, as I let my mind wander. (Which, generally, I hate because if I have too much time to think my brain goes into hyper activity and I over think every stupid fucking aspect of everything - which has happened recently as I’ve tried to kill time without electricity. Seriously, it’s no way to live unless you’re fucking Amish.)

This is my life. These are my friends. This is my career. Chicago is my home. And it’s fucking awesome. This is who I am. I’ve made no compromises. And I’m pretty sure that’s why I’m at this point in my life - three years after starting the rest of my life.

Sometimes I wonder what if I hadn’t gone to UIUC (to this day I still cannot remember what drew me to UIUC in the first place - had to be the Morrow Plots)? It was 1A with NC State, but quickly ascended to 1 after I had a horrible experience with all the brick on the NC State campus. Though not going to UIUC wasn’t really an option, since I never officially completed fully the applications for any other college (though Kansas State accepted me pretty much no questions asked, as long as I eventually sent a transcript).

Or what about Ball State? I guess I could technically do this with every decision I’ve ever made in my life. And that would take forever and bore you. But the wondering is usually interrupted by a wry smile and brief chuckle as I remind myself that I did go to UIUC and Ball State.

And those decisions are most likely the reason I’m where I’m at today and loving it.

Because I’m never wrong.

(Thanks to all my family, friends, and everybody else who played a role, no matter how small, during any part of the last 27+ years. As you know I’m not an overly sentimental guy and it’s only three years but everything seems so right. The next step is making my newly purchased house, into a home so you all can visit and enjoy my Chicago life with me.)

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