Friday, November 2, 2012

If I Could Live Anywhere...

If I could live anywhere, where would I live?

This is one of those questions that, even ten years ago, would have been pretty easy for me to answer. Back then, I probably would have said something about traveling and not staying in one place for very long, about wanting to see many different cultures and lifestyles, about wanting to know what all my options were before settling down to buy a home and become part of a particular community.

That is a pre-mamahood answer, for sure. Now, even though I still have the occasional travel bug and desire to explore distant lands, the greatest factor in my desired location is the proximity it provides to family.

I spent the majority of my twenties consciously and unconsciously putting a distance between myself and my family. I suppose it was part of what I needed to do, to figure out my own direction and feel like I was making my own decisions.

Then, in my very early thirties, I returned home, at first more out of need than out of want. Since that time, and especially since becoming a mother, I've re-realized the incredible value of family, and the value of being physically close to our family. Seeing Emmy build relationships with our extended family members, through frequent visits and communication, has been one of the best parts of parenting, and one I wouldn't trade, even for an exciting trip around the world.


  1. I agree. When I was young I wanted to get out of the little town I grew up in. My wings felt clipped. I felt like I was missing out on a big, big world.

    Now that I've moved across the country, from North Carolina to Washington, all I want is that small, mid-western town.

    I wasn't able to truly appreciate the small, hometown feel and the loyalty of my family until I ventured off on my own. I did a lot of growing up. Funny how you have to get way off track to realize who you are and where you belong.

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, Ashley. I totally had the same feelings as you - being from suburban Upstate NY, I felt like there was
      SO much more out there in the world waiting to be discovered - people, places, etc., and that staying local was just not the right choice.
      I was also running away from my roots - having always been the "good girl" who lived by other people's rules, I needed to figure out my own set of rules, and claim my own life on many levels.
      Out in L.A., I found lots of like-minded people - a lot of folks who had sacrificed close ties with their families and histories, in order to pursue their own needs. But in the end, I always felt like an East Coast girl observing a West Coast lifestyle. Despite having lots of fun in a "big city," I never really meshed with the LA culture.
      Having returned to the smallish, suburban community of my childhood, there are still days that I miss the excitement and opportunities of city life. But the thrill of big city living, in the long run, pales when compared to the thrill of feeling constantly connected to family...
      Again, many thanks for your comments - truly appreciated.