Tall Drink of Nerd: Should I Stay or Should I Go?
a blogumn by Amy Robinson
Where do you live? I’m not asking so I can inundate you with campaign mailers or just pop by and drink all your beers. It’s come to my attention recently that geography can have a significant effect on a person. I suppose my real question is: Where should you live?
I’ve lived in a lot of places. I grew up in a town of 900ish folks. We didn’t have a 7-11 or a movie theater or even a stoplight. There is a town whistle that sounds at 7 am, Noon, 1 and 6 pm. There are benefits to living in a small town. Those benefits weren’t as clear to me as an out-of-place teenager. The positives came into crystal focus when my Dad got sick and the town was there to support my parents. That was pretty awesome.
My whole adult life I’ve bounced around a lot of different places: College-town Kansas, Suburban and Urban Chicago, Suburban and Urban Los Angeles and finally The Beach. I was always more at home in urban situations that matched conditions to where I grew up. Seems contradictory right? Well, I like to walk everywhere and would rather shop small, local businesses than load up at the Wal*Mart. Chicago was perfect for most of this, but it was frickin cold!
My life and soul are totally affected by my locale. In the ‘burbs my colors dim. I rarely venture forth or experiment with anything creative. I do fit in a lot of sleeping though. It’s the mix of convenience and opportunity that urban areas offer that lights my fire.
When we moved to Santa Monica in April, after a dozen years in the valley, it was like we moved home. It’s not just the beautiful weather and the lower smog levels, Santa Monica is like a small community attached to a big city. We wander the streets, eat at yummy local cafés, jog at sunrise along the shoreline and watch the sun set into the waves from our rooftop hideaway. Seen is ridiculously happy here. Our neighbors have all been here 20 years+, which is odd in L.A. Friends have even commented that we seem happier and completely in our element here. At last. Life in Santa Monica is stability and excitement mated together. The future has spread out at my feet and once again, I could conquer the world! I absolutely love it here.
But after my Dad passed away, suddenly being close to family was more important than anything else. I started to ponder moving back to be closer to the giant family he created. I want to host Thanksgiving dinner or take my Mom to quilt shows. Now I’m on a big ole fence again, one leg hitched on either side and being pulled between the closeness of family or geographic joy. So before I consult a astrocartographer or fill in the quizzes on FindYourSpot.com I thought I’d hear about your own experiences with location, location, location.