I know I’ve been a bit remiss in the updating of this blog, but it was for good reason. The reason being, in the last two weeks, my life got turned right-side up. Allow me to update you on the happenings in my life.
A couple of weeks ago, as you may have read before, I accepted a job offer at a digital marketing agency in Chicago. Two things to point out here:
1) I love digital marketing. I always have felt when working in print design that there was something else that I needed to incorporate into my professional life; that “something else” was marketing and/or strategy. Basically, I wanted to know the “why” and the “meaning” behind my work. I wanted to be apart of the strategy behind the campaigns. I wanted to develop the strategy and campaign for the assets I was designing. In the last couple of years, client demands and my own passion catapulted me into the world of social. Social media marketing was exactly what I was desiring and Critical Mass recognized that and gave me an offer.
2) I love Chicago; I always have. Ever since I was a little boy, I had dreamt of living in Chicago. Chicago always had a connection with my family and myself. It’s not just the “tall” buildings, it’s the culture, the lifestyle, the movement of the city. It’s not that Milwaukee imprisoned me for 11 years, it’s more that I was a bit complacent for 11 years. Now, I had the means and opportunity coupled with the desire to move to the best city in the United States.
With all that said, I accepted the offer and as a result, things and events started to move really, really fast.
Moving is no easy task and most certainly, moving to another city isn’t either. Within two weeks, I needed to find a place to stay, pack my bags and head down to start work. At the time of me accepting the position, I was, for all intents and purposes, upwardly mobile. I didn’t have a lease that I was tied into, no girlfriend and no pets. Most of my things were already packed up and I was ready to go.
However, finding a place to stay was the inherent difficulty. Originally, it was planned that I would stay with a friend for a month until I located a more permanent residence from which I could launch my campaign to take on Chicago. Well, for reasons I won’t go into here, things fell through with my friend. I know you’re asking yourself why. Well, let’s just say, it was a conflict of interest.
Moving on, I had two contingency plans:
Plan B: Locate an apartment and tap into savings to get it. Relocate the most minimal amount of personal belongings and set up shop until I can make the full-up move down.
Plan C: Commute via Amtrak to and from Chicago everyday.
Obviously, I chose to tackle Plan B. With only 5 days left until I start my kick-ass position at CM; I took the train down to Chicago to locate my new digs. Since I was under a time constraint, my options were a bit limited. I decided to go with a pretty rad studio apartment. I signed the letters of intent and headed back to Milwaukee. The following day, I realized that I may have made a mistake. I called up the broker and informed them that I wanted a larger place. They gave me options, and I signed on a place a few hours later, without even stepping foot into it.
I had my place, I had my bags packed and I had an amazing friend ready to drive me down to Chicago with 4 days left before I start.
Another reason why I haven’t been on top of the blog, was that I had to say goodbye to my close friends in Milwaukee. I realized that for the close friends, I wanted to say goodbye in person. This plan really took up a lot of my time; and I wouldn’t have it any other way. For some, the goodbyes were bittersweet, for others it was a celebration of moving forward. Cries and smiles seemed to be the specials of the day.
I also had a going away party at my favorite night spot, Hi Hat. Hi Hat always had a special place in my heart. For the last 11 years, so many great things and people came out of that business. With having that party, I knew that what I thought was the ideal was turning to the real. I AM moving to Chicago. I was amazed by the amount and diversity of people who came out to send me on my way; that was a bittersweet moment.
With a goodbye, comes a hello. Sunday, the day before I started, I packed up my buddy’s car and we drove down to Chicago. I picked up the keys to my place and headed over to unwrap my new apartment. To my surprise, it was a pretty sweet place in a killer neighborhood. Also, my job turns out be even more amazing than what I had envisioned. I’m working with people of extreme passion and knowledge. They are all very welcoming to boot. I have a feeling I have a lot to offer and am exited for this opportunity to learn so many more things.
I have been living in Chicago for about a week now and already there are somethings that I have learned beyond what I knew already.
1) Express busses are the way to go when commuting to the loop. Forget the train; it’s way too packed during rush and not to mention, it takes forever.
2) The cost of living is comparable to Milwaukee minus the cost of consumables. What do I mean by consumables? I mean food, household goods, luxury items and overall anything you need to live day-to-day. It’s only about 30% more, but it’s still within reason.
3) People in the morning are not happy. I’m not expecting people to be walking on sunshine at 7am, but come on, you don’t have to be a dick about it. (Maybe that will be one thing I can help change. Yeah right. Leif makes 3 million people happy in the morning.)
4) Overall, once you get passed the 7am grumpy stage, people are very genuine and helpful. I am stunned by the generosity and gratuity of people here. All you have to do is ask.
5) I thought people like the nightlife in Milwaukee, but man, I wasn’t prepared for Chicago night owls. I’m sorry Milwaukee, these people are pros down here; you have a run for your money.
6) Despite what people say, Chicago is very clean, very clean.
7) You never have to worry about being too far away from a CVS/Walgreens, Chase Bank, Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts.
8) I think I’m going to like it here.
Well, there you have it, the last two weeks of my life. I’m sure, as things progress and become a bit more normal, I will be writing more on this blog. And not to worry, I will be writing more content about social media, art and music soon.