The Beauty of Dreams
I have spent years constructing this dream when I graduated college: I would move to Chicago, get the perfect public relations job and quickly become the envied big city girl among my group of friends. After months of painful job searching upon graduating from Grand Valley State University, fate finally stepped in, and I was presented with a great opportunity to work for v-Fluence, a predominantly virtual interactive public affairs and marketing firm. I jumped at the chance to make my big city dream a reality, and before I knew it, my childhood room was being loaded into the back of a U-Haul, and I was on my way to The Windy City.
However, two months later and looking back, the transition from suburban Warren, MI to Chicago has not been nearly as easy as I had expected. Initially, the high of a "real life" job and a new city kept me afloat. But only a few weeks into my move, that wore off, and I found myself intimidated by the big city and working from my new home, which surprised me as I've always considered myself especially outgoing and assertive. But here I was, 300 miles from the only faces I've ever known and basically confined to my home (by choice) with no co-workers to chat or break for lunch with during the day.
That's not to say that a predominantly virtual environment hasn't had its perks; in fact, without them, I wouldn't have come to Chicago in the first place. With no downtown office, I didn't have to worry about the nuances or high costs of commuting or having to afford (and park) a car, which made the city's higher living costs easier to manage. And the flexibility of working for v-Fluence has been a huge time-saver. In fact, I was first in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles when I had to obtain a new driver's license, making that experience surprisingly painless and quick. I also manage to avoid long lines at the grocery store on Saturday afternoons by choosing to do my shopping during the middle of the week. And my compulsive obsession for a clean apartment is easy to maintain because I can load the dishwasher, make my bed or fold the laundry during my much-needed 10-minute breaks from the computer.
And I finally made a personal resolution to not let an "officeless" work environment keep me from living the life I had dreamed of. I began attending a regular scrapbooking night, where I soon made friends with not only my fellow scrapbookers but also the employees. And, in time, I've managed to connect with other Chicago newcomers via new friends, friends of friends and so on. I can't forget to mention the Chicago team members either, who have been helpful in answering questions, offering suggestions and providing encouragement. And when I'm feeling incredibly desperate for social interaction or a change of scenery, I now pack up my laptop and head over to a local wi-fi spot.
Suddenly, what I thought was turning into a big city nightmare has recently turned into a big city bliss. And those dreams from college have now become a reality.
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