On Place and Belonging

Alone: somewhere between LA and SF

For most of my life I was very opinionated about place. For a while I was like “I have to live in SF, I could never live in LA.” Later I was like “I have to live in Saigon, I can’t even imagine ever living in the USA again.” But after a recent trip back to the USA I now feel that I can find happiness and a sense of belonging no matter the place.

This is in large part due to the social interactions possible, regardless of location.

So here is a heart felt “thank you” to all friends — past, present, and future — who have shared and will share their good times and bad times with me, giving me a place of belonging.

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2 Responses to On Place and Belonging

  1. disco says:

    I won’t suggest that this type of inner peace is in any way not a wonderful thing to aspire to, but I have grown to feel ever more preferential to being in places of my choosing. Life is too short to be somewhere that isn’t right for you.

    It’s not that I grow happier with where I am, I am always becoming more aware of the flaws of a place over time. I do, though, have a growing perspective to draw from in comparing places. Each time I go back to the US, I find it more foreign, more disturbing to me at fundamental levels. The overall experience is very, very sad for me.

    Still, there are pockets of things I like, certainly friends and family will always be why I return. I recognize and appreciate the few who ALREADY embody the good-natured manner which I’ve come to expect, who smile and are friendly even though they’re working the early shift at the gas station.

    I’m also more aware of the ways I AM LIKE those who act in ways which make me cringe. Those who’s independence trumps the greater good, who cant keep their thoughts to themselves. Perhaps a reason to return is for that perspective alone.

  2. lion says:

    I guess it is similar to that adage of happiness comes from appreciating what you have versus getting what you want. That being said, I don’t have any plan to return to the USA to live in the foreseeable future as I agree that it feels really bizarre now. All things being equal, if you can choose to be in one place versus another, go ahead and do it 🙂

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