We’ve made plans to leave our favorite city in the world – a place I (Luke) wanted to live for a decade before I moved here, and still my favorite place I’ve ever lived. Ashley and I are doing this by choice, and we know this represents a privilege. We’re moving to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in mid-July.

There’s a list of reasons – good ones. We miss our families and the places we grew up. It takes a lot of work to get to see them, and opportunities are especially rare to show our kids anything from where I grew up. We miss my siblings and their growing families. Our kids miss their grandparents. And our kids are always, always sick, and we’re just too far for any regular help from family. 

We also see the move as providing more opportunities to be outdoors (on a daily basis around the house, and also on vacations/breaks), and for a longer portion of the year. I’m hopeful the change in climate (not to be confused with Climate Change) could help lessen pain that I’ve dealt with – basically forever – and that has been getting worse.

I’m also ready for a new challenge professionally. This move allows me more freedom to pursue other opportunities and dreams. With this transition, contemplating a more seismic shift seems less daunting than it would have in the past.

All valid reasons, all true, all sensible. But that’s not all of it.

Our departure from Chicago comes from all of the reasons above, but it’s also as simple as: it seems like we’re supposed to choose the gentler, softer route. At least for this next season.

Would we have more by staying in Chicago? More opportunities, more career options, more money, more experiences, more exceptional food, more, more, more?


We can’t anticipate what doors open up to us after we close this one. 

We feel confident we’ll have enough of all those things (and we know most can’t say the same), regardless of what we choose. It’s hard to close a door on the possibility of More, but we believe it’s time for us to find contentment in Enough – and to prioritize other values we also cherish. The monumental interruptions and traumas of the past few years have taught us to slow down, to appreciate rest and margin, and to cherish time with loved ones. 

There are lots of relationships, experiences, and elements of life in Chicago that are excruciating to leave. It’s our favorite place we’ve ever lived, after all. And our community is by far the biggest reason we’ve stayed for almost ten years. 

We have concerns about this move too. Our eldest daughter currently attends the largest, most diverse elementary school in Chicago. There’s nothing like it in Oklahoma, or most anyplace else. 

We don’t ascribe to many of the politics or the values painted on Oklahoma – at least from a distant or national vantage point. We know we’ll find people going after the same things we’re pursuing and wanting for our family (and for our world). And I think there’s also purpose in living counterculturally. 

There are positions and viewpoints we take for granted or assume in our current community in Chicago and a certain level of comfort because of that. We don’t love anticipating how we might feel uncomfortable living in Oklahoma. As people-pleasers, we also don’t love the idea of making other people uncomfortable or feeling the need to challenge others’ views/assumptions. 

We hope we can bring some of the best of Chicago (and New York) to our future communities in Oklahoma, and we hope we’ll find people receptive to us. We know we have plenty to learn from people we will meet, and we look forward to continuing to listen and grow. 

That’s our big bittersweet news.

We’re also looking forward to lots of visits to Chicago (with and without our children) and are so grateful for all the friendships and experiences during our time here.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: