In 1999, months after graduating college, my boyfriend drove a U-Haul truck from Indiana to move into a small studio on Wrightwood in bustling Lincoln Park. A few months later, my parents helped me move my few things into an even smaller studio on Sheridan and Wellington and our life together began. We fell in love with the walkability, accessibility, options and diversity of the city and it became our home.
We spent our weekends biking the lakefront and eagerly tried out restaurants and venues around the city. Within years we were married at the Chicago Historical Society, an ode to our city, and bought our first condo on Ashland in West Lakeview. When we welcomed our son, it seemed obvious to give him the middle name of Ashland.
Mere weeks before our daughter joined the family we bought our home in our beloved Roscoe Village. We had researched the schools and were committed to raising our children in the family-friendly area of the city.
But, Chicago – you have let me down. I’m tired, worn and frustrated.
I’ve advocated for years for Chicago Public Schools. There are incredible teachers, administration, parents and community fighting for the success of their neighborhood schools. The politics and bureaucracy has frustrated me beyond words.
Taxes are too high for schools to loose significant funding even threatening bankruptcy. Most recently it was discovered that there is lead in a drinking fountain my daughter (and many other children) have most likely drank from multiple times.
Guns are a major problem everywhere, but Chicago you have hurt my heart repeatedly with the disgustingly high number of shootings daily. Statistics from innocent lives lost this weekend alone has sent me into a sure panic.
Adding fuel to fire is traffic, construction, over priced parking meters and the high price of living.
I’m sad; I really wanted to make this work. I love the people I’ve met, my yoga students, my kids’ schools and the fact I can walk everywhere I need to go.
We aren’t moving far, but it won’t be the same. I’m trying to be hopeful for a new beginning and a simpler, quieter and easier life. We have come along way since our studio apartments.
For those of you that are staying, I admire your fight and strength and will miss raising my kids with extremely interesting and unique families.
You’ve pissed me off Chicago, but I will always love you.
With hope and sadness,
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