Wednesday, 15 August 2012

On being happy where you are

quote by Pema Chodron 
I used to HATE living in Texas. I’m pretty sure I’ve offended some allegiant Texans in the past by proclaiming things like “this is my least favorite place of all the places I’ve lived!” and “I’m from the East Coast and would take the first ticket back there, if I could!” 

It’s hot in Texas. In the summer it feels like living on the surface of the sun. Fall is meager and sometimes, if you blink your eyes at just the right time, you might miss winter. Spring is beautiful, but lots of folks suffer from extreme allergies and the bugs… oh, the bugs.  Also, did I mention that it’s hot in Texas? Really hot, for like, 6 months.

I used to focus on all of this. I used to spend my summers feeling miserable every time I stepped out of doors, and fantasizing about my escape from this Wasteland. My first serious boyfriend moved to Colorado during my senior year of high school, and I looked at colleges in Colorado Springs during that time. Seemed like my ticket out! But like things sometimes do, that didn’t work out. Then I considered moving to New Jersey to live with my aunt. Then when Matthew came along, we were all set to move to California (I was beyond thrilled!), until ultimately we decided we needed to stay here and be close to family. Damn you, Texas! I thought. I can’t escape you!

But now, after 15 years of residence in this state, I think I’ve finally come to terms with it. I think I’ve finally decided to be happy here. To stop fighting it. There is beauty everywhere you look, and I think my love of photography has actually helped me to see that. Because when you start to see the world through a much smaller frame, you slow down some. And also, you find the joy.

I think part of being happy where you are simply comes with being happy with who you are, and also comes with the memories you make in a place. I’ve been trying hard to do things and make memories here that help me to love where I’m at. Like that fabulous quote says above, now is the only time. Being happy and cheerful in the now is the only way you’ll ever be happy and cheerful.

But if someone offered me a job and a cool apartment in New York City, I’d still probably take it. Just sayin’.

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