I had an interview last week. At another advertising agency. In Boston.
It's a great opportunity. It's a promotion. It's for a great client... And it's in Boston. (Which, even for me - a birdbrain when it comes to geography - is clearly not Chicago.)
Now I tend to talk a big game about being willing to take risks. About not being afraid to try something new, even when success isn't promised. About jumping and hoping the net will appear... Blah, blah, blah. But when push comes to shove, I'm not really living it.
The interview went really well. The opportunity seems really exciting. And yet I emailed them first thing Monday morning to tell them that while I appreciate the consideration, I just don't think I'm at a point where I'm ready to leave Chicago. The timing's just not right.
Oh, I justify it to myself by saving that I love this city. That I absolutely love the group of friends I have here. I love knowing that every spring and fall, the flag football team will come together again. And that every Thursday night, some conglomeration of us will be at Durkin's. That every summer we'll inevitably have a fair share of bbqs and Saturdays in Wrigley and weekends at the beach. That every fall, we'll plan a couple Sunday Fundays to cheer on our respective teams. I love knowing that I can walk less than half a mile in any direction and end up at the door of someone I know. That any time I want to go out - be it Tuesday or Saturday - I won't have any trouble finding someone to join. And that the same can be said any time I want to stay in with a cheesy movie and a glass (or, let's be honest, bottle) of wine on a Friday night.
I couldn't be happier. Really.
There's a comfort in knowing these things. In being surrounded by the familiar. And yet, part of me yearns for the unknown. Wonders if I could make it in another city. If I could start over again. If I'd be able to reconstruct a life just as great as I think this one is. If there's something out there that may be better for me. If there's something I'm missing.
But when it comes down to it and an opportunity presents itself, I clam up. I get, well, scared. Scared about the unknown? Maybe a little. Scared about leaving what I have here in Chicago? You betcha. So scared. I know eventually more and more people will start moving on and moving away and it won't be the same here. But for the moment, I'm trying to keep this going as long as I can. And I guess I don't want to be the one to make it end for myself. At least not right now.
So, I'm not 'jumping' quite yet. But I don't think that'll stop my wondering about what it would be like if I did.