We don’t always land where we intend. We envision ourselves in this place or that place, places where we believe we can become the person we’ve always wanted to be. But then we end up some place else.
Sometimes the wind of nostalgia overtakes me. I long for the cities I’ve inhabited in the past, where life was simpler, I was younger, and I felt freer to be myself. Even though I grew up just 40 miles from where I live now, I have sometimes felt like an outsider. I have sometimes felt like I’m not in the right place.
But this is where my life is now. The place I call home may not be my favorite place I’ve lived, but it’s where the love of my life lives, and our family is close by. It’s the place to which my path has led me.
I’ve made a conscious attempt to look for the good in my town, to seek out its charming nuances that make it unique and make it home. I continue to explore beyond my daily routines and try to look a little deeper at the places I frequent.
Here are 7 things you can do to better appreciate the place you call home, followed by a few photos I took in my city when I followed my own advice:
1) Take photos of your neighborhood and the places you frequent. Get creative with the perspective and colors in the photos when taking and editing them.
2) Try out new (to you) local restaurants or bars.
3) Visit your local parks for some green space and fresh air.
4) Find a haven, a place you can go to escape your routine and do something simple you enjoy like read or write. This might be your local library or coffeehouse.
5) Sit outside and watch the sunrise or sunset.
6) Pretend you are a tourist visiting your town for the first time and check out the places of interest.
7) Make a gratitude list of daily pleasures or conveniences you experience living where you do.
I have realized that happiness does not have to be conditional on where you live. There is beauty and light everywhere you are; the trick is finding it and reveling in it. If you truly dislike where you live, and you cannot make an immediate change, it is up to you to make peace with your surroundings.
Wherever you are, be there with all your heart.