My brother’s wedding, an event that had been pushed off for two years due to COVID, was on New Year’s Eve. And after a flurry of unexpected events that threatened my attendance, my partner and I made the split second decision to drive from Chicago to Florida in order to make it on time. There wasn’t anything in the world that was going to make me miss it.
While driving, I had a moment where I noticed an improvement in my mood. I was… happier.
“Was I like this for a while?”
“Did it just happen?”
As I thought through those questions, I scanned my surroundings and all I saw were palm trees and sunshine… and maybe that’s all it was.
Humans are very adaptive creatures. We’ve learned to adapt to many kinds of environments and even though this is something we are CAPABLE of… I strongly believe that we all have conditions in which we naturally thrive. After having spent approximately 15 years in Illinois, I feel I’ve been fighting against the grain for a long time… and I think I’m finally done.
I’ve never been proud of or excited about having survived “snow-pocalypses” or negative-whatever-degree weather. When I moved to Chicago, I think I was hoping that my love for big city life would offset the cold. After all, something people say is that summer-time Chicago makes it worth pushing through the winters. But after three years in Chicago, I’ve noticed that while my mood does improve with the oncoming of summer, it also seems to restore itself a little less every year… and has been decreasing more with every winter.
In the colder months, I’m getting grumpier and quicker to anger – especially when I think of shoveling snow. More and more, I’ve started to choose to stay home rather than go out – which is totally against my nature. In the winter, I’m consistently losing the habits I’d proudly built throughout the warmer months of the year – habits that I’ve proven to sustain when I live in consistently warmer climates. And quite often, I’ll find myself wishing and day-dreaming of being somewhere warm.
I DO LOVE to go skiing, snowboarding, hiking, visiting, and exploring in the cold. But I am, without a doubt now, just not meant for LIVING in the cold.
It’s time to make a change.
It’s time to thrive.
It’s time to spread my wings and fly.
And that time is now.