For me, my roots can be found in Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Missouri, and California. There’s no mistake on my journey, that if I’ve lived there, I made it my “home” as quickly as possible to feel settled and sane. I’ve tried to leave a part of me in each place as my roots are uprooted, a part of me that left impact. Though not always the story. Each home contributes to the next home. Suburbia feels normal until city living becomes the new normal.
Over the summer, I encouraged readers to set out and learn to love the place they call home, as I have done so often over the years.
As each person tried new things in the place they called home I had the privilege of watching the movement spread like wildfire. Some treated the person behind them to ice cream, while others invited neighbors over for dinner. Some simply walked across the bridge to explore a new part of their city, while others made the most of their stay-cation.
Anywhere can feel like home when you learn to love where you live.
As we enter into a new season with changes to the weather, routines and family dynamics, I want to show you how to keep growing right where you live.
1. Make Your Own Grid
What goals do you have for your neighborhood? Who are the people you’ve been meaning to have over? What actions can you take at work that will make the environment better? How can you make the most out of your commute time/driving time? What’s something entertaining you’ve been wanting to attend in town?
Jot down these answers and live intentionally throughout this season. I like to organize them into a grid, and cross them off one-by-one. Need some ideas? Check out my personal grid here.
2. Bring Someone Along for the Ride
Don’t go at it alone! Think of someone who loves exploring like you do, hosting like you do, trying new restaurants like you do, seeing movies like you do. Think of someone who is new to town that you can show around.
Who can you join forces with and learn to love where you both live?
My friend candace and i love to swap city recommendations and travel tips. When we do, we also mention the names of the stylist, barista, and baker so that we can pick up where each other left off in an on-going conversation in our community. It’s like playing tag! Who will you play tag with in your city?
3. Talk About the Challenges
Wherever you live, we all face challenges. This has been an extremely challenging week for my family in San Francisco. I let traffic drive me crazy on 19th avenue, our neighbors were burglarized, friends were rear ended — not once, but twice. We might live in the city, but we’ve got some pesky furry critters messing with our trash cans around here.
Challenges make it hard to love where we live. but i’m learning that in talking with fellow neighbors who get the culture and quirks of community, we can help each other out and lift each other up. We’ve had some really good conversations with neighbors because of the burglary and it’s deepened trust with one another. In talking, we can say “me, too” and the place doesn’t feel quite so dark and hard.
By being mindful of these steps and intentional in this season, you truly can learn to love where you live. What are some things you do to make your city feel like home?
A version of this post originally appeared at shaunapilgreen.com, published with permission.