Your Unsolicited Advice is the Devil
My husband and I are pretty certain we are moving our family to Chicago this spring. We are grown ass adults. We came to this decision after much deliberation. We have done and are doing our research. We are the last folks on the Earth to make a move from Cali to Chi-town haphazardly. While I have reached out to folks for advice, experiential words of wisdom, and potential “do’s and don’ts” to help supplement our lack of knowledge of the State of Illinois, I have not asked anyone to counsel us on whether we should go.Therefore, unsolicited advice is not just unnecessary. It is the devil.
I got into the University of Chicago to study race politics with some of the world’s most accomplished thinkers and teachers. I am beyond honored by this opportunity. And, I am blessed enough to have a husband who supports me unconditionally. Our parents are moderately on-board. They have mixed emotions, but they trust us. Yet, I have received a slew of unwanted, precipitous “advice” from a range of unrelated folks. There are the “oh, I’ve been there before. You don’t want to go there like EVER” people. And, the “I lived there for a while, I wouldn’t recommend it” folks. And, my favorite bunch, the “why would you ever want to leave California for Chicago of all places?” clan. Let me explain what is wrong with these people before you start thinking that I just have a problem listening to other folks.
First, we are two young adults who have lived our entire lives in California. We have both traveled (Daren more than me) but never taken up residence anywhere outside of our birth state. We are looking for something new, and frankly, Orange County hasn’t been that great to us (hence my previous articulation of the difficulty I experience as a black mother amongst few others). As level-headed, planning, deliberate adults, I would like to think our friends and family can trust us with this kind of decision. We have done okay thus far. Lean back on the controlling behavior.
Second, we, shockingly, are not asking anyone’s permission to leave the confines of the State of California. Last I checked, we left the tutelage of our parents over a decade ago. We cleave to one another. We don’t need anyone’s approval. While we would love it if folks were excited for us, we don’t need that to validate us. It’s funny how folks expect to have free reign over their own lives (as they can visit the icicle island known as Chicago but we shouldn’t), but they want control of ours too. Truthfully, we aren’t here for that. We also aren’t here for letting other folks experience life for us and then letting us know if it’s okay for us to proceed. No life regurgitation here please.
Lastly, we have got to do what is best for our family. Right now, that’s moving. Not only is it moving, it’s moving far from home. And, that’s okay. People live there. They are thriving. They are happy. They may be cold. But, they are making it. Californians (even the transplants) have this mindset that the only place to live is California. It’s like everyone else is just posing as living, breathing people, but in actuality, they’re all geographical zombies wandering the Earth until they can get themselves across Cali’s borders. Well, y’all can miss me with that too.
Since announcing our decision to move out of sunny SoCal on social media, we have been privy to plenty of amazing advice from friends. We have had some help narrowing down cities and neighborhoods. We have asked some questions and gotten some great answers. But, what we don’t need is anyone attempting to shield us from ourselves. We have got to live these lives for ourselves. We have got to raise these kids the best we know how. And, we have got to be happy while we do it.
Yes, we know the winters will be horrible, depressing even. But, we want to go find that out for ourselves. You don’t have to be happy for us. We’ll be alright regardless.
So keep your unsolicited advice. And, let us live.
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