Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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New Perspective


I lived, loved and laughed in gorgeous, fun and hip Eugene, OR, for 20 years. Then…I met this man (music swells.) Well, he lived here in the Tri-Cities and had a great job, so I made the compromise. I moved to a place that I thought would suck my soul dry for so many, many reasons. No green, no culture of cool, no decent artisan bread bakery…OH! the list was endless for this dry, dusty, windy void of a desert. I cried for the first 6 months solid a nd just wanted to wither and die (and pretty much felt like I was going to get my wish.)

I do not remember the moment it came to me, but on one particular day, a little after my morning tears and coffee dried up, I heard myself tell myself: girlfriend, the grace that is to be found in ANY place on earth is the grace you BRING to it. I suddenly felt incredibly selfish and utterly childish. It is true…there are great matches between the personality of a city and the preferences we have for where we live. That was my Eugene experience all the way. But this little epiphany helped me to understand that if you offer your grace to the people and place you are at any moment you begin to be the instrument of change rather than sitting back and expecting it all to be laid out banquet style for the fulfillment of your desires.

I went forth, oh children, and made this place my own. I offered “me” to it, rather than standing with hands on hips reciting the mantra, “What’s in it for me??” No, it still can’t hold a candle of cool to my beloved Eugene, but it does hold my beloved….and, as I have since discovered, a vast canvas to paint my own vista upon.

May you all bring your grace to your place…

Sent by Lynn McDougal from Kennewick, WA

One Response to “New Perspective”

  1. Jane Says:

    I live in a small blue collar town in Nebraska that I greatly dislike yet I have a wonderful job here. I moved here because my mother was ill and my dad needed help with her. She is now gone but there is no other family close by for my 83 year old father. I would move if my honor would allow it but until my father is no longer in this world, I will keep my honor even though it doesn’t keep me warm at night but at least I can sleep. I like what Lynn wrote and I am going to go out and practice it myself. Maybe I will be able to help change a small piece of this town to make it more liveable for myself and meet a good and decent lifemate in the process who understands that kooky is still ok.

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