Off to Chicago We Go!
This morning, we were homeless. As of now, we are new residents of Illinois! Today, my fiance and I packed up everything we had accumulated during the past 5 years of college into 2 cars, held our meowing fussy cat in our lap, and drove 8 hours to start our new life in Chicago. We couldn't have made the big move without the help of our friends and family, and we are forever grateful for all of their support and love!
Also, a big shout out to coffee for always having our back.
This summer before the big move gave us much-needed time to take a deep breath and spend time with family. After graduating from college together in December of 2015, I went straight into working as a toddler teacher at a preschool as my fiance (then-boyfriend!) continued to work in the university lab. When July arrived, we packed up our entire apartment, and completely cleared it out. It's a strange feeling, looking around an empty apartment that you used to call home, and knowing that memories were made in this empty shell. In the dark hours of the early morning, we dropped off the keys to our apartment in our landlord's mailbox before heading to the airport, and jumped on a plane to fly back to Hawaii to visit my family for the summer. The feeling of the warm island breeze hitting my face as I step off an 8 hour flight is something absolutely indescribable. You never know what you have until it's gone... I surely took it for granted before I moved to the mainland! Because home is so far away, I usually visit once or twice a year, 2 weeks at a time. It really isn't long enough, and the time to leave comes too quickly. My goodbyes at the airport always end with me giving into my urge to have a breakdown, tears streaming down my face as I hug my parents and brother. This time, we wanted to stay longer, and in addition, we were going to visit Japan to visit my mom's side of the family! Before leaving for Japan however, my fiance proposed under a bright full moon at the top of the hill from my house, and we headed off to Japan newly engaged. Our time in Japan was filled with love, discovery, and a strong bond of family. I cannot describe in words how happy I felt to see my Ojiichan and Obaachan (grandpa and grandma) again, and to see my entire family accept my fiance into the family with open arms. Regardless of a slight language barrier, love is truly an universal language, and it is felt so deeply.
After flying from Ohio to Hawaii, from Hawaii to Japan, from Japan to Hawaii, and from Hawaii back to Ohio again, our summer adventure finally, and sadly, ended. But a new adventure was about to begin... our next big step in our lives was to relocate to Illinois where my fiance would start his PhD program, and where I would continue to pursue a career in performance and basically figure out my life. His mom helped us drive to Illinois for the big move, and we are forever grateful towards her for her love and support! Especially for watching our naughty cat, Miko over the summer!
We still have a million boxes to unpack, so I'll be back later!