I live near the place I grew up. It makes a clichéd sort of sense—the farm kid who grew up, got married, started a family, and settled in down the road. There is a certain comfort, a cozy security to that thought. But in my case it’s not quite true.
In almost every community, country or city I have ever stayed I have asked myself, “Can I see myself living here?” Also, my husband is from the big city. There are career opportunities and higher pay scales where he comes from. When we were first married we lived in between my home and his. It was an industrial sort of place with a Wal-Mart and a McDonalds and a forest out the back where you could get lost on the trails. Those two cities aren’t bad places. I know good people who love to call them home. And that, I think, is what matters.
I’ve had a couple conversations over the past week that have left me thinking about the importance of where you live. One was with a friend who has created a local job for herself that fits within her industry. We both grew up here and, while we agree that there are downsides to our hometown, we have both made the conscious decision to return. It’s empowering, in a way, to be a young adult who has intentionally chosen somewhere to be happy.
For now, Mr. M. and I like it here. The town is a good size, for us. We like the temperate weather and all of the four beautiful seasons. We love the local agriculture and the community. It’s nice to have family nearby. We think this is a wholesome sort of place to raise kids. We like being surrounded by mountains and forest, raising our own food, and having a community of people who live close enough and casually enough to get together often. For those reasons, we’ve decided to make it work.
That’s not to say this will be home forever, but for now we’ve decided to live where we love.