Where Do We Want To Live Today?

January 12, 2004

Michele and I have been spending a lot of time and energy talking about moving. For the past few weeks we've kicked around a couple of potential destinations but we've been unable to find a reason to move.

In the 8 years we've been together there have been 3 major cross country moves, 4 if you count her moving from Colorado Springs to Illinois to be with me. Each of the moves was done to accommodate my career, each was disruptive and emotionally draining. We've learned some hard lessons about taking care of ourselves before, during, and after a major upheaval like moving.

We knew coming back to Illinois was not forever. At various times, depending upon our mood and situation, we've thought it would last as long as a decade or as short as sometime next week. We are now painfully aware that the fantasy of achieving some measure of financial independence as a result of working for myself was just that, a fantasy.

As our blinders have come off regarding the monetary aspects of living here, we have come to be less tolerant of the short-comings of life in rural, small town Central Illinois. Our liberal leanings, and humanist stance on world events set us apart from the conservative and closed society here. We feel isolated and cut off here.

In our effort to learn from our past experiences we want to make our next relocation about meeting our real needs, and not just to satisfy some external validation need. Trying to enumerate those real needs is not an easy task; they are more ephemeral and elusive than money or jobs. How do you identify and measure your happiness with a new city's cultural outlook on human rights or the political direction of the country? Or measure it's liberal to conservative ratio? How much importance do you give the new city's weather or scenery?

So in the coming weeks we'll be asking ourselves, what is important about where I live? And what needs do I have that might be addressed by a geographic location? Once we have a handle on that I think the right future home will become apparent. At least I hope so.

Author's profile picture

Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.