Our journey to leaving LA was somehow both slow and fast. Living in a new place was always a dream of mine. The kind so intense your heart feels weaker just thinking about it. As an adult, I fell hard for big cities: New York, Chicago, Tokyo, London, Seattle. It became an obsession. I yearned for a life Los Angeles failed to offer me. Bustling metropolis. Walkability. Weather. Yet it was nothing more than that—a dream. A hazy glow of “maybe one day” hopes.
We caught a few glimpses of moving as Alejandro’s career grew at Starbucks. Then watched the doors close, time and time again. God wanted us here. My heart broke each time it happened. However, like most things, a fresh perspective and some distance helped me understand something: there were hard things we needed to experience here. We needed to be surrounded by family, friends, and a church body that would hold on to us tightly and walk beside us when the darkness struck.
And struck hard it did. After losing my Dad in 2017, we felt God call us to try for a baby. It meant weening myself off of anxiety/OCD medication and ride an emotional roller coaster in 2018 I was mentally unprepared for. (More on that to come). But God lead us through. We entered 2019 bruised and worn (and not pregnant) yet overwhelmed by God’s faithfulness. Needless to say, we were ready for a restart. We needed a restart.
I visited my therapist in April for a checkup and spent the last half of the appointment answering a question he posed: what was my ideal living situation? My answer was immediate—a condo with a view in downtown Chicago. I laughed about it, like I always did. However, he encouraged me to play with the idea; talk about it with Alejandro; pray over it. I left feeling recharged and light hearted. I didn’t know what it all meant but did just that—told Alejandro. He smiled and listened. He indulged my dreams. We prayed about it and left it at that.
A weekend later, Alejandro approached me with one of the few looks on his face that says he’s not about to make a joke. He handed me his phone, showing me an email. For a job posting, for operational managers, for a new Roastery. In Chicago.
We read that email with mouths wide open.
It then took a couple of fast and furious weeks of reading about the position, working on his resume and cover letter, and finally applying. We were in a daze of what was reality. We jumped—head first—throwing our hands up to God. If this is where you want us, open all the doors.
And open all the doors he did. Alejandro interviewed four times. Then got the job just a few weeks later. Come May, about a month later, we realized—we were moving to Chicago.
It’s mind blowing. Still is, as I sit, staring out into the vast cityscape of downtown. But while I may now live in Chicago, I will always be an L.A. girl. So, I want to say goodbye. To the city I’ve known for thirty-seven years. A city I’ve loved because it loved me first. L.A., you gave to me all you had and prepared me for a life I’ve always dreamed of.
My love letter to L.A., coming next.