I lived in Iowa for the first 22 years and ten months of my life. Then I moved to Chicago (by way of Hinsdale) where I have been for the past five years. And I love Chicago, I really do. I love the big city, and how much the city has to offer for someone my age. Every night of the week I could find something unique and new to do - four professional sports teams, the ballet, theatre, live music, adult sports teams, book clubs, bar crawls, festivals, two international airports, museums, countless colleges and universities, public transportation, a Great Lake. There is so much to do, and so many possible friends to do it with.
And speaking of friends, several of my very close friends also moved to Chicago shortly after graduation, and got jobs as accountants and teachers and nurses and consultants. And it's been a thrill exploring Chicago and adulthood and friendship with them.
And I have truly loved living here. But by now, my friends have mostly left the city and ventured to the suburbs and beyond. And as I edge closer to thirty and another new chapter, I've begun evaluating what makes a city your home, and the truth is, while Chicago may be my adopted and current place, the answer to "where are you from" will always be Iowa.
As much as I love Chicago, this isn't home.
And when I look around, and try to pinpoint it, there isn't one reason. It's just not Iowa.
And when I zoom further out and contemplate the future and where to raise my children and build my life, it's tough to visualize anywhere but home.