I am essentially writing this tonight to prove to you all that I’m actually still here and that I care about this space. The past month has been a little crazy—more about that below—but in a way I’m glad that my life in the real world has occupied so much of my time away from the digital world.
So many things have happened in the past month, and while I’d love to spend time spewing all my thoughts about these various events and things, it’s probably best to keep this in a list format for now.
Living in the Windy City
February 2nd marked my official move date to Chicago, and I’ve been with Sam since then. It’s been a wonderful change of scenery, and it’s nice to be back with my husband full-time instead of driving back and forth between two places.
Working in The Loop
For a long time I wasn’t receiving any interst at the 40-50 different places I applied over the last six months. I had first interviews and even fourth interviews, but never an offer. Then all of a sudden, the first week in February, I found myself juggling two (very, very different) job opportunities and had to make a choice. It wasn’t easy, but I know I made the right choice by accepting a position at Inventables.
This job is in an entirely different industry than anything I’ve ever done: I spend my days working customer support cases instead of designing/marketing. I can’t emphasize enough how important it’s been for me to branch completely out from my comfort zone in terms of my job. My thoughts are fresh, I’m challenged every day, and I am growing leaps and bounds on so many different fronts.
Part of me still misses the marketing and design world, but I get to use the creative problem-solving part of my brain to help others build really awesome projects with our machines. The company is also fantastic, and I’m so excited that my long job search lead me to this place.
Vacationing Out West
Sam and I are still pretty travel-centric these days (I think we always will be), and when I still didn’t have a job on the horizon in January we decided to use my transition to Chicago as an opportunity to take a trip. Sam’s job is slow this time of year, so it worked out! Living close to a major airport hub means cheaper flights to a huge variety of destinations, which is right up our alley.
We booked roundtrip tickets to Las Vegas, but spent the majority of our trip hiking in Zion National Park, The Grand Canyon, Sedona, and Lower Antelope Canyon. It was a perfect reset for us both, and we finally had the quality time together we’d been longing for after living apart for so long. I am so excited to share our trip (and lots of awesome photos) on this blog very soon!
New Experiences and Exciting Challenges
One of my personal goals for this new adventure in Chicago was to really challenge myself to push my boundaries. Even though I’ve not had a ton of opportunities to do this yet (we took a weeklong vacation and I was sick for a few days with a stomach-bug thing), a few crazy and cool things have taken place:
- The day I left TC for Chicago, I had to testify in court for a drug bust I witnessed back in 2015. It was full-out Law & Order-type stuff, folks. Aside from being totally intimidated by the process, it was also really cool to be a part of a trial and sit on the witness stand. The defendant pleaded not guilty, so I may have to travel back and do it again depending on what happens. Crazy!
- My bike was stolen the first day I rode it to work last week. That was definitely a wake-up call to my naïve, trusting nature. I didn’t honestly think someone would cut my bike lock off in the middle of the day in the West Loop, but, hey! I only need to learn that lesson once! Biking in Chicago is an adrenaline rush every time, and so far it’s my favorite way to get around (even though it also terrifies me a little). I’m anticipating a few broken bones at some point, because it’s freaky dangerous.
- Back in TC, I was involved in a ton of extra-curricular and volunteer groups. One thing I loved about moving was having an excuse to walk away from all those obligations and really think about how I want to focus my time, energy, and effort in a new community. So far, I’ve yet to join any particular group or club, and I’m reveling in all the little things I can do for myself. Plus, it means I can spend time with Sam now that we are together again. Most people shy away from the busy-busy life of living in an urban environment, but I’ve found that my life is easier right now in a lot of ways because I’m not juggling too many things. This way when I make the decision to start volunteering again, I know it’ll be with my whole heart and because I’ve given a lot of thought to what’s worth my time. When I pick something up again, I know it’ll be worth it.
- Earlier this week, I went to my first ever nude drawing session. Even though I was super nervous about both drawing someone (sketching has always been my weakest artistic trait) and sitting in a room with strangers staring at a naked person, it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. For two hours, I lost myself in the study of form, shadow, shape, and charcoal. I’m already looking forward to the session next month and honing my drawing skills over the rest of this year. Here are two of my drawings from the session:
- One of the best things about all this free time is I’ve been able to write more of my book. If I have a night to myself when Sam is working (and there isn’t something to cook or some chores to do), my preference is to write my book. It’s still my goal to have a working draft ready by the end of the year, and it’s already March! The good news is that I’ve hit 110,000 words…but the bad news is that I still have a lot of words I need to get down before I can start the editing process. Every day I find something that inspires a little blip in my tale, and I’ve learned so many things about my characters I never knew until I started spending time with them in my head. At this point, the final plot is nearly complete in my mind. It’s fun to play out scenes and conversations in my head even when I’m not writing, which also helps me when I get the chance to sit down and write. In short, if my presence on this blog has been lacking lately, it’s only because I’ve dedicated all my writing time to my story.
Ok. WOW. I wanted to just write a little summary of my life, but apparently you lucky readers get the entire synopsis of this past month. Now you can see where my head and heart are at these days, and learn more about what occupies my time (should those things of any interest to you).
I promise to continue writing in this space, because it’s also important to me, but the best way to keep up on my day-to-day activities is following me on Instagram (yes, I’m back on there, too), or Snapchat (username: mstych). Snapchat is sort of my jam, and it’s definitely what I update the most.