Moving from Chicago to Indiana, we can now hear crickets and see the stars at night. We’ve traded subway platforms for tree-lined streets and our two-bedroom apartment for a three-bedroom house. Space has become our most cherished possession. There was less of it in Chicago – construction crews taking up most traffic lanes, subway passengers inviting themselves to share seats with you. The skyline, though breathtaking, blocked the sun from giving warmth to tourists and commuters on cold winter days.
Don’t get us wrong – there is a lot that we do love about Chicago. Justen called it home for nearly seven years. Only when we had our son about two years ago did the thought of leaving Chicago cross our minds. Even though we both grew up in small towns, we were able to quickly adapt to city life, the change of pace, urban commutes and a wide range of characters we interacted with on a daily basis. In the winter, we struggled to dig out parking spots for our car, Candis staking a claim to them with a lawn chair. Our small patio that only had room for one or two chairs became our little oasis (even though there was a billboard that hung over it like a neon chandelier).
Being in such close proximity to others does provide an often-encouraging communal feel. A walk through a few city blocks would provide us with a glimpse into the lives of people from all over the world trying to weave a place for themselves into the fabrics of the city. We were often amazed at the precise use of space in Chicago – each block carefully designed. True to its nickname The Second City, the streets are often redesigned with conspicuous exactitude to serve a whole new purpose in the same old place.
Much complexity goes into what appears simple. “Simple” often refers to a finished product of intricate detail. In Indiana, we no longer have to dig out our cars on the road because we have a driveway and garage of our own. Candis can enjoy a lawn chair on our patio with our son rather than utilizing it to fight for a parking space. We also have a balcony and a patio – and not a billboard in sight! Candis is able to dedicate time to her practice and start cooking again. The city bus is often half full. Our Simple shoes that once pounded the pavement of the Windy City now crunch the fall leaves of Indiana. We have been able to slow down and be together more often. We’re at ease as we explore our new surroundings, finding a new simplicity of our own.
"FINDING A NEW SIMPLICITY OF OUR OWN."