Update: Embracing Change

Hi all,

Shortly after I launched this blog, I had to leave the city, Chicago,  for a new job that brought me back to Illinois’ captial, so I apologize for not keeping up. March 2017, I started a job as an account executive at an association management/public affairs firm in Springfield where I conduct PR/media relations for clients.

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I just wanted to shoot this out as a PSA that I will be continuing to give perspective from a young professional navigating life, but extending from a city perspective. I think this is just a good example of what many young people starting out in the workforce go through. Internships, moves, and finally starting that first “real” gig. I quote real because many internships are already more real than many folks like to admit.

I just want to acknowledge that as we all know, change is the only constant in life. I can’t say I know how long I’ll be here, but I want to get back to connecting with you, and trust me, I am not shy of content because I moved — probably have even more.

 

I can’t wait to start my blog schedule up and hope you will join me by engaging in the discussion.

Thanks,

Sadie

 

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Advice for the Noncompetitive Runner

Chicago has 26 miles of lakefront – 19 of those miles are also bike and running paths. This is paradise for athletes and those pursuing a healthy lifestyle. When I moved up to Chicago I fell in love; thanks to the lakefront trail. Ever since college I’ve been running, not because I love the competition of running, but because it helps me unwind. Many times we only associate running as a fast-paced competitive sport or a weight-loss tool; It doesn’t have to be.

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Sometimes we run not to be in shape physically, but to be in shape mentally.

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I completed a half marathon in 2016 to reach one goal: finishing the race. It was less about competing against others, and more about testing my own mental strength. Running and training put me at ease from the stresses of everyday life.

I accomplished something I never thought was possible.

13.1 miles is a long distance for most people, but I’m proof it’s doable. Running is mental soul food. If you have a hard time getting motivated, this is going to sound cheesy…

Find your happy place.

It’s true. Every time I’m running down the trail to the city skyline an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness and amazement hits me like a brick wall. It doesn’t matter if it’s 20 degrees or 80 degrees, I always find myself running here. The view reminds me how lucky I am to be, live, and play in this beautiful city. Not just because it’s scenic, but because living in Chicago was a life goal I have always had from a young age, and here I am. Sometimes we forget how thankful we really should be, and running here – at my happy place – makes me remember.

 

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But, even before I moved to Chicago I found my go-to running spot, which ironically still involved running by a lake. The point is, we can’t always have skyline views as an option, but we can find somewhere beautiful, somewhere we love to escape. You will be surprised how it motivates you to achieve your goals and be thankful for where you are.

Sometimes we need a refresher to do things because we love them and because we love the journey not just the results.

#WhatSadieSays

 

5 Tips for Transplants

Nearly three million people live in Chicago in 77 community areas containing more than one hundred neighborhoods. Diversity makes Chicago…Chicago. For those of us who are transplants coming from small towns or other cities, here are five tips to skim – I’ve learned to embrace these things after moving to one of these Chicago neighborhoods, Lincoln Park, in September.

1. Dress for the weather. Duh, right? We would think this should go unsaid. Even for those of us who have grown up with frigid winters can forget this, and I get why. Coming from a town in central Illinois where winters are brutal, you would think I would’ve been prepared, but in urban environments we’re less likely to have a car or use a car. Residents are more likely to be stuck waiting outside for public transportation or taking long strolls to work. If we dress properly it’s really not that bad… just invest in thermal boots! We all know Chicago basically only has two seasons… Winter and slightly not winter. Don’t believe me? Check out the stats for yourself.

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2. Channel creativity in the kitchen. One thing that threw me off after moving into a tight studio apartment was the (lack of) kitchen. Needless to say I definitely took for granted counter space. Luckily, I was able to make my own, by buying a bar cart and using it to its full potential. Fellow studio apartment dwellers, this is good news. We have an opportunity here to learn to think outside the box and make due with a smaller life in the home to make for a bigger life outside of our apartments. It’s just something to expect (if you’re on a small budget when home hunting). FYI – Buy smaller pans so they fit in the oven and be more efficient with the food you buy in bulk – small portions guys… aka don’t be a hoarder. Not a chef? No worries, me either… At least Chicago is home to more than 7,300 restaurants.

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3. Embrace your inner minimalist. Aside from the small kitchen, most likely space will be pretty tight, if you fall into the category of many YoPros, myself included. You have to remember you’ll be working  most of the time and weekends mostly will be spent out exploring or socializing, so it’s much less noticeable than you would think. Learning to utilize space is a great skill to have. I’ve noticed I even pack lighter now when I travel because I’m used to being more efficient (never thought that would happen).

4. Utilize apps.

Here are a few that are commonly used. I know. Old news. 

Venmo – People will expect you to use this, so it’s wise to get familiar with it. If you haven’t already heard, the payment sharing app is super helpful when you go out in large groups and waiters bring back one bill. At most Chicago restaurants waiters do not split the bill, so Venmo makes it easier to instantly and conveniently pay your friends without anyone fearing they will not get paid. Let’s be real, it’s rare people have cash on them.

Uber/Lyft – If you do not have a car, these ride sharing apps are lifesavers. I’ve saved tons of money and stress using Uber Pool over the past few months. Once you get the hang of getting around this way, you won’t think twice. However, you do have to be aware of surge prices sometimes, but it’s usually not an issue.

Instacart – This is one I’m still familiarizing myself with, but this is widely beneficial when otherwise you have to carry your groceries to and from the nearest store, which may not be close enough. If someone is going to deliver my groceries for me, I will not be upset about it.

Bumble/TinderI mean if there’s a place to embrace dating apps, it’s definitely the city. Even if it doesn’t work out it’s always, ALWAYS, an interesting story. Bumble seems to be a little more favorable for women, but hey, to each his/her own. If it’s not your thing though, can’t say it’s mine, then ditch it. Immediately.

5. Explore. When you’re new in town you may still want to play tourist. Against popular belief… that’s OK. We get it. Chicago is cool. That’s why nearly 40 million people visit the city annually.  I’m still looking to hit up a few museums and I’ve been here a while. But also, some of the most fun I’ve had has been exploring the neighborhoods from Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lakeview to Logan Square and more. Every area is truly unique and usually worth scouting out.

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I was ready for the challenge of giving up my suburban/rural life for an urban one, so learning to be more creative and adaptable was exciting for me; but the lifestyle is not for everyone. Living urban is a lot of work and sometimes requires extra planning, but it’s well worth the hassle that’s #WhatSadieSays.