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Monday, February 16, 2015

I am Worthy of a City Like Evanston!

This summer, June 2015, will mark our family's four year anniversary moving to Evanston and what a wonderful four years it has been. (I know it's early to write about summer, but a girl has to dream!) That's our Penske rental truck in the photo above filled with everything we owned upon arrival!

Moving to a new city without jobs and only one friend is a huge risk for any individual, let alone a family to take, but we had a hunch our new city would reward our courage. What we didn't realize is just how big of a reward Evanston would provide each of us.

Our two children (often referred to as roommates who don't pay rent) made wonderful friends both at school and in the neighborhood. Some friends are still around after four years but thanks to the ebb and flow of new citizens, they've both made plenty of new friends every year. That is a huge gift. They enrolled in amazing schools that offered extra curricular activities to support their sports and creative needs and in those schools they are supported by teachers and staff who welcomed them openly regardless of their newness. 

My husband and I have made friends, not as quickly as neither of us play organized sports or joined knitting clubs, who will be friends for life and we continue to make new friends both at work and in our neighborhood. After pretty significant searches we are both able to find means of income in our city, not having to commute more than 15 minutes on a bike. 

The list of benefits could go on but the truest benefits have been the friendship and connections that have come so easy in Evanston because the people living here are warm and open and excited to engage in the community they live in. 

This past year I've started many blog posts in an attempt to recognize this milestone and to thank the people of Evanston who have made us feel welcome. Tonight after watching a TED Talk, it's finally evident what my deepest feelings are about our move and that is "My family is worthy of living in a city like Evanston." Not my family "deserves" or my family is "owed" but my family is worthy and by that I mean the following; we are worthy of friendly neighbors willing to get to know the new people on the block regardless of how we look or how big or small our house is, we are worthy of a walkable city that provides resources like a robust public library and public transportation supported by the tax dollars of a giving community, we are worthy of an engaged City Government that polls citizens and answers emails and phone calls, we are worthy of a beautiful lakefront that is public and manicured and shared with everyone, we are worthy of a diverse community that supports artists and teachers and entrepreneurs alike and we are worthy of a community who opens its doors and hearts to newbies when they have lived here since 1904.

I am grateful for the City of Evanston and filled with joy that my family chose to live here. Watch this TED Talk featuring the great work of BrenĂ© Brown and hopefully you will feel the same way about where you are living now or where you choose to live next.

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