If you've ever moved into a new-to-you house or condo or apartment or other space, you have at least an inkling of what this question means. How deep it runs. If you've ever moved to a place where you once vacationed (or just downright escaped to), you have probably also experienced the strange paths that this question can take. There is the excitement of living where you know you're meant to be. In our case, the teary satisfaction of watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the bedroom window.
The joy of waking up to the train whistle. Of closing our eyes to the muffled sound of the Water Pageant rolling across Bay Lake on a cloudy night.
But as incredible as it is to watch the fireworks from your bedroom window at night, the real joy in this process is not the extraordinary details of living 2 miles from the place that I've longed for every day of my adult life. It is not the thing that people describe as “living your dream”. It is the much smaller and more subtle reality of living a real life in the right place. Of having lifted the mundane tasks of every day and dropped them into the place that clicks because it is right. It is sleeping in on a Saturday morning and eating a late breakfast with the kids around the kitchen table. Drinking coffee on the lanai as I type this very post. Walking the kids to school in the morning along lakes full of unfamiliar birds and baby alligators. Grocery shopping. Running. Walking my dog. In this wonderful-to-me place that is slowly becoming not the stuff of vacations but of home.
We talk about living our dreams. And that is good talk. That is symbolic stuff to strive for. But sometimes I think we should talk more about living our regular lives in a way that is right for us. Some of these moments are the stuff of dreams. But more of them are just the joy of making yourself a “local” in the place that has always been home.