Do You Love Where You Live?

Do You Love Where You Live?

    "I love it here. After my husband and I settled in Louisville I convinced my father, then my brother, to move here too. We are from Michigan but we love Louisville,"said a young mother of two during casual conversation at a local park.
    I was with a friend, her child and my child. -I hear comments like the aforementioned one a lot about my hometown. Louisville, Ky.
What are the Good Things about Your Current City?

   This city has a good local music scene, a sincere appreciation and respect for local businesses; there's not too much traffic, housing prices are affordable for many, the job economy is above average with an unemployment rate at 4.2% as of Aug. 2016 per, and there are dozens of awesome parks. 

    Louisville was named one of the world's 'best food getaway cities' by Zagat Survey, LLC (this of course plays into having a community supportive of local businesses). It's a good city in which to raise a family most would say, it's 'safe,' or at least it 'feels safe.'
    So, it's a great place to live right?! The majority people that live here would say, "Yes, absolutely." And it is a great place to live, for people that think and feel it's a great place to live. And I bless those people every day in silent reflection. 

    Each time I see a "Home" bumper sticker in the shape of wonderful Kentucky I think to myself, "Good for you! I'm happy for you that you're right where you want to be!"
    I see dozens of such bumper stickers daily, car stickers, house flags... exhibiting great pride in one's home state, home city, home university, home-you-name-it... there's a bumper sticker for it here!     And to feel such a sense of belonging is a beautiful thing. My family is here. I have friends here. My husband has a good job with good benefits here. We love Louisville's parks, local restaurants and bars, but this still doesn't feel like home to me.

Do You Live in a "Great Place" but Don't Feel So Great There?
     I remember, more than a decade ago, my dad picked me up from the Louisville airport, as he always did when I was younger- "Well, are you glad to be home?" he asked with a welcoming smile.
    "You know Dad, when I leave Miami I feel like I am leaving home; It's backwards for me!" I replied, feeling a bit guilty, giving my dad the answer he hadn't anticipated.
    That's how I felt then, circa 2003 and that's how I felt in 2010 when I left Miami Beach, which really was my home for 4 years. I left Miami Beach to move 'back home' to Louisville, Ky with my partner (the father of our then-6-week-old-baby boy). My poor husband (partner) made the 16 hour U-Haul drive with our 6 pets in tow and I flew to Louisville with our newborn. It was March of 2010 when we left Miami and arrived in Louisville. And it was still cold here. That was a rude awaking!
    We moved to Louisville for practical reasons: the solid job market, having a loving, trustworthy family support system for us and our son and being able to afford to rent a house and have a yard for our 4 dogs (now, sadly, we're down to 2 dogs).

   It was a smart move 

    I'm able to be primarily a stay-at-home-mom for the first few years of my son's life... although I do have 2 part time jobs (as an independent dog walker and an online merchant).  
    Living near my family offers irreplaceable benefits. -Seeing the fall leaves turn colors is nice and yes, the restaurants are great but...
    I still like Miami better! -What can I say? -What does that say about me? -Do I feel somewhat guilty about this? -Of course.
    Upon trying to figure out what I like better about the hustle and bustle of Miami (other than the beach, amazing weather and gorgeous, tropical flowers) I concluded, on our last trip there that, it just feels more 'alive.' It's more of a 'lucha' (struggle) to get by since there are so many people. The sidewalks of South Beach (where we lived while in MIA) are scattered with pedestrian traffic any hour, by day or night, one doesn't need a car to get around Miami Beach, you see people you know regularly since it's technically a small beach town within a big city, the sunsets are amazing, I can use my language skills, which is quintessential to my happiness, on a daily, hourly basis, and... that's enough about why I love Miami already (there's a post several blogs back about the top 20 things I love about South Beach I wrote when I lived there- if you want to see what I love about South Beach/Miami/South Florida... read that!)

Size Matters
    Back to this blog, a wonderful family friend said to me months ago, "Living in Louisville is easier though," as her and I casually discussed why her two adult daughters had chosen to live elsewhere. She's right, it is easier here than in larger cities. A good analogy would be- a 100-piece-jigsaw-puzzle compared to a 1000-piece-jigsaw-puzzle. Louisville would be the 100-piece and Miami, for example, the 1000-piece-puzzle. Do you like the complexity and intricacy of how a 1000 piece puzzle fits together? Or do you prefer the ease and comfort of almost effortlessly fitting the pieces of the 100 piece puzzle together?

So, Dream Big!

    We hope to move back to South Florida in 2020, when our son will be starting 1st grade. Leaving my family would undoubtedly be the hardest thing I'd do during the move. It's scary just to think about so... why bother? -Because I want to feel the magic that comes with living in a place with which you're in love.

Photos of a few of the bumper stickers one sees when driving around Louisville on a daily basis. There's a lot of hometown pride here!