Adjustment Disorder

Okay, so the consensus is that moving to a new city is hard. Really hard.

I wrote to a few of my friends yesterday explaining why I’ve been MIA, why I haven’t been returning phone calls or emails, etc. I’ve seriously been hiding out these last couple of weeks. Over the weekend I started getting the “Where are you? Just tell me you’re okay!” emails and calls. It felt so strange…I’m not usually one to be hard to find.

When Greg and I were first talking about the potential of me moving to Chicago I remember thinking how it just really wouldn’t be a big deal. Sure, I’ll move to Chicago! What’s another big city? I’ve lived in Atlanta and New York and Los Angeles…Chicago? Big deal. I’ll be there by September!

I just let out a big sigh. How sweetly optimistic I was.

It hasn’t been terrible. But it has been a lot more challenging than I anticipated. I’ve just been feeling kind of lonely and isolated and directionless. And it’s hard to go from a very together life in Los Angeles to so much uncertainty and insecurity.

I miss my friends and my regular spots. I miss my clinic and my clients and I miss my neighbors. I miss having somewhere to be and people to meet up with at the the drop of a hat.

I really love Chicago, the city. It’s so beautiful and grand and when I’m standing at the lip of the lake on the blurred border of Lincoln Park and East Lakeview and I’m looking south at the city, at the buildings rising up from their reflection in the impossibly blue water, the sky flattening out in a pool of paler blue, clouds wafting by, and the scent of just cut grass thick in the air, there is nowhere I’d rather be. It’s deliriously pleasant.

I’m excited about my life in this new big city. I really am. I’m just feeling impatient. I’m ready to find my new circle of cool friends. I’m ready for an amazing job. I want a favorite breakfast spot and a favorite neighborhood supper joint. I want my new life here to be just as full and exciting as it was in Los Angeles. I’m ready!

Yesterday, coming home from a job interview, I was feeling kind of worn out and depressed and I was thinking of going home and trying to tune into Oprah on my rabbit-eared television set but instead I chopped off all my hair!


I think I just need to stop beating myself up. I’ve only been here for two and a half weeks. Everyone I’ve talked to assures me that this is normal. Of course you’re lonely and feeling displaced, they say. And then they tell me stories about the time they moved to a new place and cried every day and felt lonely and ate too much or too little and were mean to their boyfriend or girlfriend when asked how the job hunt was going. And I always sigh and nod and remind myself to be patient.



  • Bryce
    Posted September 20, 2007 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    I like to cry on the plane. The whole way home from Los Angeles. And yes yes yes, a new city is strange and wonderful and everywhere you go, there you are… Let’s meet up soon 🙂

  • Posted September 23, 2007 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    It took me awhile before getting the kinda depressed feeling when I first moved, but that’s because my wife and career counselor really built up my self esteem about getting an awesome new job. Unfortunately, not having the BA and such, I had the getting a job thing delayed and got something of a crap job then jumped around from temp jobs for awhile until I got my current job. Now, though, I think I’m somewhat where you are except I’ve got lots of things to keep me busy enough not to worry about finding my place in the city.
    As for a breakfast place, though, my wife loves Orange. I forget where it is, but once again, it’s somewhere north of Belmont on Clark I believe.

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