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Playing the Market

Let’s just get this out of the way now: At this point, the only way I may be seeing the doctor again will be if-God forbid-my disc herniates again! After our plans Saturday night fizzled, I haven’t heard much from the good doc. Was it my screw-up; was it his? In the land of dating, these things are so ambiguous, sometimes you never really know where you stand or what someone’s thinking. Was it something I blogged? If that’s the case, I agree with the readers who commented that he knows what I do for a living (and mind you, that was one of the things he seemed most impressed with), so none of this should’ve been a surprise. But I’m not one to dwell on things, so let’s move on.Speaking of moving on: I haven’t always been good with change. I tend to stick with what’s familiar, which is odd for someone whose job it is to go out and discover new places. I mean, sure, I’ll try anything once-almost anything, that is-but I like routine: pizza slices as big as my body from Santullo’s, mini-Reubens from Eleven City Diner, Heineken beer, the occasional Jager shot, Effen Black Cherry and 7-Up. My need for routine also explains why I’ve lived in the same condo for nine years now. Nine years is a long time, considering I moved in when I was 23. I had just landed my first real job, with Microsoft’s Chicago Sidewalk in 1998, when I started renting the apartment that is now my beloved Old Town condo. I’m a die-hard fan of the neighborhood. I love that it’s smack-dab in the middle of everything but still feels quaint. The mom-and-pop shops add nostalgic charm, and the high-end boutiques put a major dent in my wallet. Even better, my neighborhood comforts me when other things in my life haven’t been as certain-whether it’s a job, a friend, or a guy. I’ve been living in limbo for a couple of years now, trying to decide whether to change things up and move to Bucktown, stay where I’m at and renovate, or move to a bigger condo in the neighborhood. In the back of my mind, I keep thinking that I don’t want to move to another transitional condo for another handful of years. I guess I never thought I’d be faced with the dilemma of moving, solo, at age 32. After years of going back and forth-and talking to anyone who would listen-I’ve decided to stay in my building and move to a bigger condo on a higher floor (with a spectacular view of the lake!). For me, it’s not about playing the real estate market and doing what’s best with my money-although that would be the smart thing. It’s about moving on. It might sound silly, but for me, someone who craves routine, this is a life-altering decision. That exposed-brick ceiling I’ve studied for the last nine years when I’m mulling over life’s big questions won’t be there. Neither will the spot on my carpet where I spilled red wine during a crazy (but fun) fling with my best guy friend from Sidewalk. But like everything else in life, you can’t really progress without making some changes. As a wise friend said to me recently, “Change is change, and change is growth, and I can’t change and grow-and expect everything else to remain the same.” On that note: Last Girl Standing is taking time off for the holidays and will return to Chicagomag.com on Thursday, January 4. In the meantime, I’ll be reading your comments and responding to some of them, so please share your thoughts on the changes you’ve been making this year. Maybe I can even learn from them! Happy holidays, and a festive new year.

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