I lived in California until I was almost eight. Then I grew up in a couple of small towns in the center of Arizona. I moved to the Phoenix area for college. And when I graduated, I couldn't get back home fast enough to the area that I said I loved so much. I said that I liked living out here, that I preferred it to living in the city.
Three and a half years passed, and all of a sudden on Saturday morning I decided to move back to the city.
But was it sudden or not? I've realized that the idea of moving and simply the idea of location had been brewing in my mind since summer. At this time, I did think I was going to move to a somewhat bigger town not too far away, and so I was trying to get myself used to the idea--but that move didn't work out for various reasons. I was part disappointed and part glad, and part of me didn't even know what I thought anymore, or where I wanted to be anymore. So that was when I started thinking about where people live and why they live there and how they choose where they live.
We can all look at a map and point to someplace where we think it would be nice to live. But we end up living in a certain place because that's where our family is, that's where we have a job, that's where we can afford to live, or other such reasons. What makes the difference, I have come to realize, is what we do with our daily lives and how and where we choose to spend our time.
If I say that I don't like cities because there's too much cement and not enough land, I can get membership at the Botanical Garden, for instance, and go there twice a week or even more if I want. I can walk around or find a place to sit and maybe read or write. I can visit trails and parks--if I don't want to stay cooped up at home, then I don't have to.
And there are other things, too. If I want, I can go see every play that Southwest Shakespeare puts on each season. I can go see Ballet Arizona or Phoenix Symphony performances every once in a while and not have to drive two hours home afterward. I can go to the Art Museum more regularly. My point is, I like these things and I sometimes lament that they haven't been a greater part of my life--but I'll have the opportunity now to make them a part of my life.
In some ways, I've let myself go stagnant, and now I want to get back into a rhythm. I'm taking Christmastime as a break and a chance to finish wrapping up some things over here, and then the plan is to move in January.