The Perfect Place

I was visiting my grandmother's recently and had a pleasant, familiar feeling walking around her house and admiring the decor that hasn't changed since I was a child. I saw the little figurines I was desperate to play with when I was little in her what-not-shelf, washed my hands in the shell shaped sink I always thought was so chic, and ate dinner at the kitchen table looking over at a vintage tin and upholstered chair that again stirred childhood memories. It struck me how nice it was to always go back to her house and find it the same, because you see, my family was frequently moving. I had always counted states and countries before to make a list of our previous homes, but sitting in my grandmother's house I did a quick mental tally of houses I had lived in over the years. 20. Twenty different houses, apartments, etc. Someone remarked to me recently that after living in so many places I ought to have a clear idea of when I get to live somewhere nice (because obviously there's going to be some duds in your journey!) and while I do think that is true, part of what makes a place nice or special isn't down to the place itself, but your willingness to appreciate it. There's no perfect place in my opinion, every place will have its faults and you take your self and your problems and neuroses every place you go, so no place will transform you or your life into perfection. If you're shy in one place, you'll be shy when you move. If you bicker with your family, you're not suddenly going to develop a new way of interacting with people just because you relocated. Sure some places are better than others or even just better suited for you--like living in the country puts me more at ease than a city--but I'm still me whether I live in the countryside of the US or Ireland. What I have learnt though is a place or house is what you make of it. Do you enthusiastically embrace all that location has to offer, or do you dwell on the faults? Do you walk out your door trying to find something to appreciate, or are you looking for something to complain about? I certainly love where I live now and it's probably my favorite place to have ever lived--country and house!--but it's not the great scenery or funny accents that make me love it so much. It's that I'm here with someone I love dearly and because I've become so much better at appreciating everything. I'm the first to self-deprecate when someone compliments my house, but I find myself daily sitting in my window seat thinking "how charming is this house!" "I'm so glad we painted the wall that color!" For now, this is my favorite, imperfect place, but I know when the time comes to move what I can make the next place my new favorite. What that requires isn't specific to geography or home decoration, but comes from enthusiastically embracing all that new home has to offer. greenhouse-26 greenhouse-25
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