Monday, April 30, 2012

Why Am I Searching Elsewhere?

For years, Brandon and I have talked about where we want to live. We've spoken about living in England, China, Hawaii, California, and Midway, Utah. In the past when he's interviewed for jobs I found us a place (before he'd even finished the interview) to live in Texas, New Jersey, Connecticut, Los Angeles, Palo Alto (Bay Area, CA), and Seattle. 
But we always have ended up here. Provo. 
We spent one year in Concord, CA (East Bay Area) and we've spent a lot of time in San Francisco (Brandon got his MBA in that awesome city). We always talk about moving back. 
But we don't. We haven't. We're here in Provo. 
It finally hit me a few months ago that we have been searching for a place to live for us. As in the two of us. Brandon and me. As a couple. 
We have six children, and although it shouldn't really matter where we live (we'll always have the Gospel, it's good for kids to be raised in places with a lot of diversity, you bloom where you're planted, etc.), I realized something. For our family, living in Provo is amazing. 
Why am I searching elsewhere? 
In Provo we have:
*two Universities within a 3 minute drive (and all it entails from sports to museums to concerts). 
*one of the best elementary schools in the state 1/2 mile down the road. My kids walk/bike to/from it every day. 
*an incredibly safe neighborhood (not to mention city).
*stores/restaurants (not all) closed on Sundays, release-time seminary, like-minded LDS who live all around us.
*the mountains. Oh, the mountains!!
*a lake.
*a great river trail and many, many parks catered specifically to families with a lot of children.
*one of the best parks and rec programs I've ever seen! And no playing on Sundays. 
*four seasons
*within an hour drive of an international airport
*within an hour drive of EIGHT LDS temples! (I'm counting Bountiful and Manti, although they are probably a little further; and when Payson and Provo City Center are finished? Let's make that TEN). 
*Amazing neighbors in a very grounded and beloved area of the city. 
Honestly, as far as where to raise an LDS family, why would I bemoan such a great place? What is it I'm searching for? I love adventure, but haven't I had adventure? Don't I receive it often? When I think of all the places we visit (usually just as a couple), I'm dumbfounded at my ingratitude. I may never have lived in England, but I spent a week there, didn't I? I may not have lived in Hawaii, but I've been there 5 times, haven't I? I may not end up living somewhere as an expat, but I spent two weeks in China, didn't I? 
I love our city. Many members of our Church laugh at Utah Mormons (used to, anyway. I think it's getting better) because of the saturated culture. I get it. I do. I used to make fun of them, too! But now I think I see why people keep coming back. Why kids who were raised in this neighborhood of ours move right back --why three generations are living side by side here! I get it now. 
This is a great place to live. And as far as where we'll live when we retire? Not sure, anymore. We might just have to stay here. 
Do you love where you live? Why?


Becca said...

I LOVE this post. I was born and raised in Arkansas (and I LOVED it, and I always thought I would move back there). I came out to BYU, and other than a few years in CA for military training, we never left. We keep talking about moving to the east coast for DH to work in the govt community there, but for some reason it just feels right to stay here for the next 3-5 years. And neither of us EVER wanted to live in UT. We don't live in "Happy Valley" ;) but we absolutely love our neighborhood and our ward (we have a lot of "generational" families in our ward, too!) While we also know that this isn't it for us, I have started coming to terms with the fact that we are supposed to be here, if only for a season. So far it's been great, and now I have to convince myself that I DON'T want to live in UT - up until a year or so ago and I had to convince myself that it was OKAY for me to live in UT for a few years.

I know that I will love living wherever the Lord plants me.

Chantelle said...

Hahaha! Oh, I have to laugh at this post - it's incredible really. You comment on my post saying you think it was aimed at you, and I swear this one was written for me!!! :-) I have done exactly the same as you - all gung ho about living elsewhere and will go as far as to scout out neighbourhoods and find houses before hubby has even had an interview... And I will spend hours fantasising about setting up elsewhere and how exciting it would be. I just seem to have this want to always be somewhere else. (anywhere in America, mainly!) thank you for reminding me that I am where I need to be right now. And there are a lot of plus points about where we are, too! :-)

Take care,

Cristy said...

Yes, why are you searching elsewhere? I feel like Utah is like Primary - it gets a bad rap. I finally have a calling in Primary and I LOVE IT. I don't get why people complain about it. I've lived in Utah and now live in gorgeous Portland Oregon but guess what I MISS UTAH. I love Portland too, but I can't tell you how many things I took for granted living there. Enjoy! Also about blogger not working well with iPads - yes, it's why I haven't blogged for months after my computer died. I could barely leave comments on peoples blogs with my iPad. I just gave up until I got a new computer. Good luck with that!

Cheryl said...

Well I am here in Las Vegas. We have been here for 10 years and I am still not thrilled about it even though I KNOW it's where the Lord wants us. I complain and look for another way to get us outta here and then something happens and the Lord bonks me over the head AGAIN that we are where we are supposed to be. Las Vegas is my "Muddy" (remember that talk by Elder Holland a few years ago?). Sigh...

swedemom said...

In my 14 years of marriage, I've lived in Provo, Sweden, Israel, New York and now, Saudi Arabia. They all have pros and cons. I try really hard to enjoy the great things about each place and endure the not-so-great things.
I've enjoyed all of the cities I've lived in so far. And Provo is a great place.

Amanda D said...

I love this post because you list all the reasons I love Provo and want to move back. I miss it SO much. Another plus would be being by you!

flip flop mama said...

I do love where I live, but who wouldn't love living in Southern California? :) It's crowded and there is a lot of bureaucracy in the schools and it costs a lot, but we know it's where we should be. We keep talking about moving out of state so we can afford a house, but nowhere else seems right plus DH just got a new job so we're here for a while. And I'm totally find with that. :)