For nearly 3 years, I’ve been fortunate enough to view this skyline on a daily basis. Whether driving around the city, taking Michael’s boat on the lake or just seeing a glimpse of the mountainous concrete as I walked to Filter, I can’t quite get over how amazing my life has been since I moved here.
I’ve connected with individuals in profound ways I’d never experienced prior. I’ve seen pieces of art crafted by Lichtenstein, Picasso and artifacts nearly as old as culture itself. I got my Masters (Note: There is a technicality here, as my actual diploma was sent to an incorrect address and has never been recovered) and wrote a huge paper about Samuel Beckett, which was in and of itself trying. These things have all been amazing, but there are really two things that I’ve gained in Chicago that I care about much more than this- Sallie and Blueye.
Sallie- My Favorite Attraction in Chicago
I won Sallie over in Chicago. I’ll never forget the moment when it clicked in both of our heads that things were perfect. Walking into Boka, first date, coats checked, congratulations (note: I earlier lied to the hostess saying it was our one-year anniversary because they were all booked. Fortunately, someone canceled and no one wants a “husband” ruin an anniversary) and time to take a seat.
As the hostess took us down the dimly lit hall to our falsely acquired table, I felt a slight, subtle touch on the back of my elbow. As I nervously turned, I saw Sallie’s smile, affirming me that I’d done good. It was then that I knew I’d marry Sallie.
It was Chicago that helped me win her over. I’ll never be able to repay this city via taxes, tickets and parking fees for the joy that she’s brought me.
We’ve beat joblessness. We’ve eaten way too much ramen (probably more than the college years). We’ve endured puppy training. We grieved together. That’s what Chicago means to me with Sallie- a place where we fell in love when it was beautiful and learned to love when it was not.
Blueye is a really great place to work. Here are a few of my favorite things about the company:
The amount of dogs we’ve allowed in our office
Playing pranks on Pat
Taking a day off to golf with BidMyWay
Hosting the First Ever Blueye Basketball Tournament
Five-Days spent Planning Tony’s 70th Birthday
It’s a really great work environment and my time here has been amazing to date. Shannon, Michael and Abby (hereafter referred to as “The Bosses”) have put a great deal of trust in me over the past year. From Profit-Loss reports to hiring new employees, I’ve done numerous tasks of which I felt inadequate.
"The Bosses" however knew that it would benefit myself and the company to do things I’ve never done before. Or, in the words of Dr. Seuss, "If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good."
I’ve never been in an environment (school included) that encouraged self-improvement as much as Blueye, whether intentional or unintentional. I’ve become a much better person, husband, employee and thinker because “The Bosses” gave me the opportunity to do exactly that- be a good person, husband, employee and thinker.
I remember my first presentation with a client. I was not only nervous, but looking back, most likely completely unprepared. I went in, flashing lights, moving parts, enthusiasm and walked out with a happy client and let me tell you, nothing feels better than totally nailing a presentation.
Well over a hundred projects and presentations later, my paradigm has changed. The unknown, the lack of knowledge is no longer something to fear. It’s no longer something to shy away from.
It’s an opportunity. An opportunity to expand your skill sets. An opportunity to become a better you.
I would have never shed my fear of inadequacy if it weren’t for the great deal of trust that Blueye has placed in me. That’s how I know that Blueye will blow up this year and for many many years to come.
My dad once told me that there will come a day when I start thinking differently and stop inserting the natural “I” into my thought processes, but begin thinking about “We” and “She.”
I didn’t know what he meant at the time, but it’s clear now.
He knew that I would reach a point where my decisions considered Sallie first. He knew that I would start thinking through things with the context of “How does this improve my relationship with Sallie”.
It took me a while. But, recently, I’ve started thinking about life, where Sallie and I needed to be. I’ve started thinking financially for the first time in 25 years.
Chicago has taught us how to love, persevere, trust and grow.
It’s because of Chicago that I can announce that Sallie and I are moving to Portland, Oregon later this month.
We’re excited, terrified, joyful…well, we’re experiencing about a million feelings simultaneously, but I know good things are in the future.
I’m joining the Chirpify team. I can’t describe how excited I am to be joining a team that is building something as revolutionary. All I really need to say is that it’s going to be amazing.
Sallie is joining Edward Wadsworth. I know she’s excited to get back with the team and her favorite clients.
We feel as if this opportunity is what’s best for Sallie and I professionally, relationally and spiritually.
That’s not to say it’s not going to be hard. It will be. But regardless of difficulty, we’ll be okay because this is the right thing for us.
Chicago, Blueye, Friends, Family- it’s because of you, your time, your trust and your nurture that Sallie and I are able to take the next step in our marriage. I’ll miss that skyline, but I’m glad to obtain a new one.