I learned that no matter where you go and where you live, there will always be people who complain. I have lived in some pretty amazing places in my life: Paris, Chicago, and Bordeaux, and known people who live in even more incredible places like Tokyo, New York City, Miami, Vegas, London, Amsterdam, and Panama to name a few. Inevitably, in my travels and the travels of my friends, we have come across people who think that where they live is miserable. It’s the classic, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence scenario, and all too often we all buy into it.
I grew up with the Civil War Battlegrounds in my backyard and I took the beauty of the rolling hills of Virginia, hills that seep in history, for granted. About 60 miles south of Washington D.C. and 60 miles north of Richmond, the Fredericksburg area is often teased for its not-so-perfected combination of countryside and suburbia. Some call it FredVegas, some call it Spotsyltucky, and some just know that you can expect anything to happen in Fredericksburg. More than anything, people complain about Fredericksburg, and to be honest, I’m tired of it. It used to be difficult for me to see the beauty in Fredericksburg when I compared it to my European weekends in Madrid, Monte Carlo and Montmartre, and then, as the years as passed, I developed new eyes with which to see the world. I realized that whenever I was away from Europe, I found that I was wishing away my time wherever I was; and I made a decision that I do not want to be the type of person who throws their life away. I stopped being unhappy where I was at and chose to soak up the beauty that I hadn’t previously noticed, and suddenly, FredVegas changed. Or rather, like I said before, I changed and life became more beautiful.
Yesterday, Brandon and I changed up our Sunday afternoon run. We ran through our old backyards. Yes, he grew up in the FredVegas area as well; we spent our childhoods ten miles away from one another and yet, it took us 28 years to met. Point in case that any “small town” excuse is invalid; places and people have more depth to them than we often give them credit. Yesterday we ran through the battle of Chancellorsville, one of the most deadly battles in the entire Civil War, and it was a beautiful, beautiful run. We passed cannons, rolling fields of history and ran underneath passages of trees that have seen more than I care to imagine. In that run I experienced, I really felt, the true beauty of Spotsylvania, and today I am going to celebrate it.
How often do you celebrate where you live and do you even appreciate it enough to celebrate it? You are where you are today for a reason, so embrace it. Be where you are. Engage yourself where you are. See the beauty where you are, and know that the grass is very green where you are today, you just have to actually look at the grass to see it.