On Being Where You Want to Be, Especially If You’re Not Where You Don’t Want to Be

Lots of us have an idea of a perfect place to live, and getting that place is a major life goal, at least at certain times. I’m going to come out with it here: I thought I should be in the Pacific Northwest right now, and though I’m not sure there’s such a thing as perfect, I’m here, and it’s magical.

But even more so, I think, because I’m no longer in a place I was tired of, weary, even. My cynicism and charitableness toward the place I was had grown paper thin, and I think you need a good measure of those things to sustain you through the tough moments when your ideals aren’t met and the place slaps you across the face like a city-sized Joan Collins.

This is why I think there aren’t “perfect” places to live. Every place has advantages and drawbacks. You give the advantages your enthusiasm and give the drawbacks your charity.

Because it isn’t anyone’s fault that the place you live doesn’t always thrill and sustain you. At least, not usually. And I recognize it’s a privilege to be able to pick up and move a thousand or more miles away. I’m grateful I have that.

But I am enjoying the change, which is necessary and beneficial in and if its own right.

Only What We Can Do

What makes a difference between what matters and what doesn’t is caring. Seems like a small thing, perhaps. Caring that your work is worth doing, that you can make a difference in the world, and that existence has meaning lead you to be engaged in things that matter.

Subjectivity aside, as long as the work is done, the substance of it is a lesser consideration. It will be imbued with your own unique world view and passions. Does it matter? I’d say if you care, it does, and I’m not sure how you create anything for very long without doing so.

We have limited resources. Worthy causes abound. Just as we can only devote so much to helping those in need, we can only give so much to our creative work. We have to choose.

I’d say that it matters less what path or what form that work takes and more that we care about it. Keep caring.