30th July, 2018
This incredible last week in Madison has given me some time to reflect (in between the packing, last minute to-do’s, and getting engaged). So for my first post, I thought I’d share a bit of background and thoughts before I go.
If life went according to "plan" I would have spent the last three years in Chicago. While considering the endless post-grad options, I visited places like Boston and San Francisco, but in comparing cities I always ended up coming back to the fact that, to me, none could live up to Chicago. As a kid in the northern suburbs, I loved taking the Metra in to the city to spend the day at the zoo, a Cubs game, or museum (The Shedd combined two of my favorite things with a dolphin show overlooking Lake Michigan so I was sold).
That connection with the city assured me on my choice and I quickly accepted an internship at Upshot Marketing Agency, with the plan being that it would turn in to a full time job when the internship ended. Unfortunately that full time offer wouldn’t come until 3 months later. So summer ended along with the internship, and, discouraged, I headed back to my parent’s house and started the application process again. From Lansing, I would take the train at 8 am, get to the city around noon, go to an interview, and then take the afternoon train back. After doing this a few times, I heard about an opportunity at WFAA in Madison. Madison wasn’t even on my radar, but I figured applying to another job wasn’t getting in the way of doing nothing at my parent’s house (while all my friends were at work or class), so why not.
I interviewed in Madison towards the very end of September, which completely sold me. It was starting to get a little brisk but the capitol square, state street, and lakes were still buzzing with people, while all the trees were a bright yellow. It seemed perfect. Me being me, it felt a little difficult to deviate from the plan, but when I got the offer, I couldn’t turn it down.
Madison has ended up being the best experience I could have asked for.
I’ve loved every concert on the square, where we (kind of) listened to music while drinking and hanging out on the capitol lawn.
Every movie at the terrace, roaming the aisles in search of a table no matter how early we showed up (because this town basically lives at the terrace).
Every Wednesday morning November Project, running/dying on Bascom hill but still finishing the workout (I will not miss you Bascom).
Every evening at Hoofers, staying out on the boat until the whistle blows and the sun almost sets. But especially the night of the commodore’s cup ball that would make me realize I was an idiot for not dating Al sooner.
And of course, every incredible friend I’ve made here. I feel so lucky that my life strayed from “the plan” a little bit…
I’m not crying, you’re crying….
But with all that I have loved about this place, I could not be more excited about the next adventures we have ahead, flying out tomorrow to spend the next three months in Europe, and then finding another home in Chicago after that.