Our home and our community can be a major component in the way we define ourselves. It is also an important part of the way we present ourselves to others.
There are many reasons why someone may choose a particular place to live: they may have family nearby, perhaps they moved for a job, it’s where they grew up, they went to college there and stayed after graduating, moved for a romantic partner, it was all they could afford, etc.
So the first part of this week’s question is just that: what are the circumstances that led you to be where you currently live? Do you like it? Why or why not?
There is another aspect to the question, as well. What are the things about the place where you live that you enjoy? Is it the neighbors? The quirky shops nearby? Perhaps it is surrounded by nature, or gives off a modern vibe that energizes you.
Maybe you don’t like where you live, and are hoping to move someday. What is it you don’t like? What will you be looking for? Where would be the ideal place for you?
Ultimately, we conflate who we are and where we live, for better or worse. What does your choice say about you?
Why do you live where you live?
Related questions: Why do we like what we like? Why do we put up with unhappiness? What makes a place feel like home? What makes a community?
3 thoughts on “Why Do You Live Where You Live?”
During my early childhood years — through age 9 — I grew up in north Minneapolis. A parents’ divorce and my mom remarrying brought me to rural Wisconsin.
Living in poverty for most of my childhood / teen years made affordability the top reason for nearly all the decisions I made. So when it came time for applying for college, acceptance at the University of Minnesota and tuition reciprocity with Wisconsin brought me back to Minneapolis. An uncle’s gracious rental arrangement along with my Wisconsin-dad’s help in me getting my first job in Minneapolis also made the choice more affordable.
The rest is inertia.
I now live in Minneapolis’ twin city, St. Paul. I am lucky to be married to my amazing spouse, Rebecca, in a home that I love. These two factors will likely keep me in St. Paul for the rest of my life.
That said, I hate winter. I cannot emphasize this enough; I super-duper detest winter. If I had reflected on this and prioritized it more as I made the choice of college, I could have very likely ended up moving to a warmer locale.
My life could have been completely different.
I was raised in Western Washington. After the untimely death of my father, we fell into extreme poverty and were living in an old, beat up airstream trailer in Puyallup. When my mother remarried, we moved to the rual community of Enumclaw where my parents built a small, but comfortable, house. After a few years, we moved again, to Tacoma, where my parents built another, larger home. After high school I moved around to various apartments in the Tacoma area. I met my husband while living in one of these apartments and we married shortly after. We moved around to several rentals in Tacoma before finally settling in a our own home.
I LOVE living here! I love my home that sits in what is called a “rural buffer zone”. I am less than 15 minutes from the downtown core of Tacoma (third largest city in the state) yet, it feels like I’m in the country. I have 3 acres of land to utilize as I wish, though I don’t have the physical ability to do everything that I would like to do. My neighbors all have similar sized lots so we all have relative privacy when we want, but, are close enough to get to know each other well.
In Washington we are blessed to have various environments that rarely exist in such close proximity to each other. In a single day I can travel from desert to alpine meadow to temperate rainforest to ocean.
I mostly love the weather here. We sit on the same parallel as Quebec City, Canada, but because of the marine influence of the Pacific Ocean, our hardiness zone is 8b, the same as cities in Texas. That maritime influence gives us relatively warm winters and cool summers.
The one thing I don’t love here is the rain. Though it doesn’t rain all the time, winters are wet. Typically from late November to February it rains with very few breaks.
I’m also not particularly fond of the high cost of living. Though home costs are still moderately affordable in counties south of us, north of us home prices are out of control. Depending on neighborhood, a moderate family home in Seattle will cost you $750 thousand. 40 miles south, in a similar neighborhood in Tacoma, that same home would be under $400.
Despite that, I don’t think I would ever want to live anywhere else.
My husband and I have been moving around a lot lately.
We grew up in lower North East Minneapolis. It was a Polish and Italian neighborhood where large families lived.
I lived in the same house the entire time I grew up.
When my future husband and I met, we lived on the same block.
I felt secure and safe. So after we married we stayed NE for many years.
Slowly we moved to the north, Fridley, Brooklyn Center, now the far side of Brooklyn Park.
We are in the apartment building we are in for several reasons.
Primarily due to the fact that we needed to find a home that my husband could come home to. The option was assisted living. I didn’t like the option very much.
I searched for a place with no stairs, keyless entry, and cheep rent. I had two weeks to find one.
I feel lucky to have found our current home. A very old apartment, with incredibly respectful neighbors. Close to just about everything! And QUIET!!
With all the challenges before me, I think I did an excellent job of finding a home that will work for us for a while.