If you had asked me sometime during my preteen to teenage years where I wanted to live and what I wanted to do, I would have told you that I wanted to be a writer and ski instructor, and live out in Colorado. I wanted to ski during the winters and write during the summers. Dreams are funny things. The way they change and shift. I never expected them to come true. I am moving to Denver with my dear family sometime late fall or early winter.
In my heart I am a Midwestern girl. I grew up in Minneapolis and often joke that no one leaves Minnesota and if they do, they always move back eventually. I wouldn't be surprised if I end up back "home" when I'm 90. I love my family in the Midwest. And after 12 years in Chicago, moving isn’t easy. I have many dear friends here in the Windy City and a wonderful writing community. So mountains are something I never really mapped out.
I will miss a lot of things. I will miss writing in coffee shops with Kayla Gordon and my writer buddies. Some people bar hop. We coffee shop hop. I will miss the chocolate-covered donuts at Bridgeport Coffee. I will miss long walks along Lake Michigan with my dog. I love the way the water shines like a giant dime spread out silver under the sun.
I will miss the Hyde Parkers, people who forget they live in a big city and say hello when you walk by. I will miss the languages you hear on the sidewalk. It's like a small town in a big city. I can’t go anywhere without meeting people I know and getting hugs from friends on the street. I will miss their familiar faces. (As I write this, I am actually wearing a Hyde Park T-shirt.)
Many of my stories have a Midwestern edge to them. "Painting With Fire" was inspired by Chicago and A "Storm of Stories" has its share of Chicago flavor sprinkled in. Will Denver be my new muse?
Although I feel sad to go, I’m also excited. It’s a new beginning and I am hopeful. I am looking forward to meeting new people, to moving into a new place, going skiing, hiking and biking and running around in the mountains, to finding new stories and adding new friends. It’s time for a new adventure. I am hopeful that my life ahead will be full of good things -- hopefully love, some craziness and lots of possibility. It has been so far. And as hard as it sometimes is, I thank my lucky stars.