It’s that time of year again. “The time of pumpkins and peppermint and pie,” you ask? No. Well, yes. But also no, because I’m talking about how every fall people who live in Florida, rather than being thankful to live in a place most people aspire to live in, complain about living in Florida. (Yes. Really.)
This stupidity happens every year, and it annoys me every year. If you are in a situation like this, where you don’t like where you live, there are two things you can do:
The USA is a very, very big country. It’s three times the size of the European Union! We are very blessed to be able to choose any climate, topography, and even culture that we want, and stay in our home country. We are also blessed to be a rich country where jobs and housing are available just about everywhere.
Moving itself sucks, of course (I know this; I’ve moved 14 times if you count moving back to two places), but getting to go somewhere new, and somewhere you like? It’s worth it.
If you are choosing to stay somewhere you don’t like, even if it’s for a good reason like family being near, well, that’s great, but IT IS STILL YOUR CHOICE. You’re not a tree; you can go away. If staying where you don’t like is what you’ve chosen, then your only other option is:
Whether it’s to be close to family, or because you like your job, or any number of reasonable things – if you’re an adult, no matter the reason, more than likely you are still choosing to be where you are, so stop complaining about it! Jobs are everywhere, and even if you move across the country, family is just a phone call, Skype, flight, or road trip away.
Even if you’re one of the few who actually can’t change your location, complaining serves only to drag your attitude down, and the attitudes of those around you. You are negatively influencing a lot of people. You’re the people addressed in that Maya Angelou quote that need to change your attitude.
I have a friend whose husband is in the military, and a few years ago they got orders to go to a post that is commonly disliked and derided among those who’ve lived there. My friend, despite hearing all that negative stuff, chose to move there and then form her own opinion. And you know what? She liked it there. Of course there were things about it she didn’t like, but she focused on the positives and had a great time living at this almost universally-disliked post. Why was her experience so different? She could not choose to move elsewhere, but she could choose to have a good attitude – and it changed how she viewed that place.
Look: I understand living in a place that you don’t like. I hated where I lived in Illinois from ages 11-18. I hated every single thing about it except my friends there. But I was a kid; I couldn’t change it. I know without a doubt that I would’ve moved to Florida either for college or after college, whether my family was still in Illinois or not. (Thankfully my parents saved me the trouble and moved us all to Florida when I was 18!) It was going to be within my power to move, and I was going to do it.
Did I have a bad attitude living where I hated? Absolutely. I was a teenager! Show me a teenager that doesn’t have a bad attitude about what they don’t like, especially if they can’t change it! But I have long since resolved that if I ever have to live somewhere I don’t like again – and I assure you would take the hand of God writing on my wall or a talking donkey or something equally Old Testament to get me back up north – I would do like my friend and make the best of it. I would look for things I like and try to dwell on the positives rather than complaining about the things I dislike, both for my sake and the sake of those who hear me.
Can we all just, please, agree to do that from now on? It’ll make all our lives much better. But because I know y’all will keep it up, I promise I’ll try to scroll right by your complaining – or at least just post this link or the quote about your not being a tree.
Oh, and to those few who eventually do actually suck it up and move north – well, you’re always welcome to visit me in February when you’re sick of what you wished for. 😉