Why TF Did I Move to Chicago?
It’s been 6 months since I moved to Chicago. All I’ve been hearing is, “Chele, what is it like living in Chicago?” “You look like you’re having so much fun!” “There is always something to do there!” “Are you happy that you moved?”
The main question that hits home is, “Am I happy that I moved?”. To be honest, I still do not know the answer to that question. What should have been one of my more comfortable moves, has been more of a stretch move with the hurdles that have come in my way since I got here. Now, do not get me wrong. Chicago is a beautiful city. My friends have been awesome with our brunch meetups once a month. I even made a couple of friends who are also transplants from the South, so they can easily relate. But with no family nearby, it’s still hard to call this place home. I’m just not there yet.
Some of you may be wondering, “Well why did you move to Chicago in the first place?” Good Question! I was living in Albany, GA. I was starting to make friends, I was close to family. My blog was thriving. My Atlanta audience was growing. Things in my personal life were manageable but my career was a different story. My career was stagnated, and I was getting too comfortable. Talking to my girlfriends and family reminded me that everyone’s career was moving forward except for mine. Which made me unhappy. I’ve always been a go-getter so being stag left me feeling unfulfilled and sad. Albany, GA did not make me happy anymore. I knew I needed to get a new job.
I tried getting a job in Atlanta, but nothing was opening for me. My girlfriend, Essence, sent me job opportunities in Chicago and said I should check it out. I thought she was crazy because she knows I was not trying to move back to the Midwest. No offense. It’s just not my scene. Then she sends me this article about how jobs in the food career are steadily growing in Chicago. I was overall her hints, so I applied to a couple of jobs in Chicago just to humor her. Then I ran across a job at the same company that my other girlfriend worked. It just happened to be one of my dream positions. I always said from day 1, I want to travel for food. It’s always been a dream of mine. International food blogger, nutritionist extraordinaire, changing the world’s perception of black women in the food industry while being an inspiration to colored girls everywhere. Changing black people’s diet one plate at a time. Also, I have my consulting business helping Black-owned restaurants thrive in the market. Food Goddess Empire if you will. I knew that would start by me getting a job that would have me travel to different food facilities and gain auditor experience. That was what the job entailed, but there was only one catch, I had to live in Chicago.
The job hiring process was fast but grueling. After weeks of going back and forth. I accepted the job. July 21, 2019, I finally moved to the big city! Chicago is the 3rd largest city in the US and this girl from Huntsville, AL is living in it. Crazy.
My job has been going great. I really have no complaints. I’m on a plane every single week of the month and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Traveling helps me keep my mind off everything else that is going on in my life. I love the fact that I get paid to do something that I love. It’s so surreal. Personal life is going. I have had the luxury of checking out some pretty dope restaurants. My girls and I have a monthly boozy brunch, I check out the fancy restaurants monthly with my boo, Evelina. I go to Harold’s chicken at least once a month. I’m slightly addicted to mild sauce. I discovered the Chicago Day Party scene, but the nightlife took some adjustments. I’ve been spoiled partying in Atlanta all these years. But I can honestly say that I do like how laid back everyone is here. In ATL there is definitely pressure to dress up, wear lashes, hair laid, makeup beat. Even though I love those things, I do love being recognized as natural beauty in Chicago. People appreciate the laid-back type that likes to have fun and go out. That’s appreciated. But I would like to pop out every now and then to show people I still got it. OKKUURRTT.
All in all, I prayed and asked for a growing career. God gave me that. I prayed and asked for a job where I can travel for food. He gave me that. I prayed for more money. He gave me that. I prayed for a solid friend group circle. He gave me that too. Literally everything I prayed for, God gave me. There are a few other things that I prayed for that I know are still in the works. Even though Chicago was not in my plan, it was in God’s plan. (Shout out to Drake) I know that God has me here for a reason. The fact that I still feel uncomfortable should tell me that He has more things in store for me. Love, blog growth, endorsements, sponsorships, entrepreneurship?! Who knows, Lord knows I don’t.
Cheers for me making it to 6 months in the game, and I look forward to seeing what else God has in store.
Chele x The Food Snob