Monday, August 15, 2011
Making a Life Where You Live
by Laura Bickle
I moved away from the rural area I grew up in for college, and pretty much stayed in the nearest large city. I had spells where I moved other places for work: a university town, waaay out in the woods, a megalopolis. But to me, there's a sort of happy medium in quality of life to be had in a medium-sized city.
I didn't like living in an uber-large metropolis because the commute was hell and no privacy whatsoever. Sure, there was nice entertainment, like museums, to go to. But when I lived there, I really went only once a season. The rest of the time, I was fighting traffic, paying through the nose for parking, had five roommates, and still bitched about the cost of rent. You couldn't go anywhere alone at night. The day-to-day life wasn't very practical or enjoyable for me on a day-to-day basis. I was exhausted. I'm a person who needs a fair amount of solitude, and I couldn't get the hell away from people. Ever.
Living waaaaaay out in the sticks didn't work for me, either. I returned back to the county I grew up in for a job once upon a time. And it's true what they say about never being able to go home again. I spent one wreched winter in a house that I rented with a vertical driveway from hell and a completely ridiculous set-up with a heat pump external to the house. I used one 300 gallon propane tank each month in the winter (at a cost of about $500 a pop) to keep the house at sixty degrees. And that was when I wasn't groveling to the only propane show in town to put me on the delivery list before I ran out.
And we will not speak of the year-round ladybug invasion that looked like something out of Amityville Horror. Or snakes in the dryer.
So...yeah. I like my medium-size city. There are bookstores. Enough entertainment to keep me occupied when I've got the desire to go to the movies or have a good dinner with friends. I don't have to depend on sketchy propane delivery. There's a suitable degree of anonymity. There are twenty-four hour veterinary clinics for emergencies. I was able to afford my own house in a decent neighborhood without having roommates or neighbors on top of me. My commute to work is about twenty minutes, and I can park on the premesis. There are plenty of jobs. I met my husband online dating in this city, so I can say that the pickings are good in that arena, too.
I like the people here. I have friends to can tomatoes with, see chick flicks, and meet for dessert and coffee. My co-workers are pretty darn awesome. We have a great library, a wonderful comic book shop, farmer's markets, and a great day spa up the street. I feel safe going to the grocery store if the desire for ice cream hits me late at night. My neighborhood is quiet - no loud partiers. I can go for a walk in the evenings and meet an assortment of friendly dogs and their owners.
So...I picked where I did, in short, because it's a good place to a have a quiet home, make a living, enjoy the little pleasures, and be loved.
'Cause when you boil it down, there isn't that much more to life.
Posted by Laura Bickle
Labels: Laura Bickle
Writing as Laura Bickle, I'm the author of EMBERS and SPARKS for Pocket Books and THE HALLOWED ONES for HMH Graphia. Writing as Alayna Williams, I'm the author of DARK ORACLE and ROGUE ORACLE. More info on my urban fantasy and general nerdiness is here: www.salamanderstales.com