I live in Charlottesville, Virginia, and while it’s not the Deep, Deep South, it is one of those places where the news that the seasons have changed and Fall has begun seems to come verrry slowly about now. It’s much too hot this week! September is my least favorite month in Virginia, most likely because it was my favorite month while growing up in New England and later living in the Hudson River Valley in New York. Ah, those cool, crisp Autumn days, and the brilliant foliage…But then I don’t miss the North in late March when Spring seemed only a fantasy there, while here in Virginia we are in full bloom.
Do you have fovorite places you have lived in, considering not only the weater and climate but community, cost of living, cultural opportunities, schools, political leanings, etc.? In my experience in teaching Writing Your Life Story classes and helping inividual clients write their life story in a book as personal historian or ghostwriter, I’ve found that one byproduct of being a more mobile society today is that we cultivate a lot more likes, and dislikes, of the different places we have called home. I have been working on a life story book with a husband and wife who lived in five foreign counties and they had very strong opinions (which did not always match!) about what was best and worst about each country. And when they began debating the merits of those places they had lived in, engaging stories that illustrated their feelings naturally sprang up.
So if you’re looking for something new or interesting to write about in capturing your life story, and you have lived in a few or many more places, try sitting down and writing your thoughts about the best and worst places, according to weather/climate and any other factor that seems important to you. See what new memories and stories pour out to highlight your opinions. Some life writers wind up making a case for others to consider about why their favorite state, city, or town should be everybody’s favorite. If you want to sell us on the merits of Montana or Georgia or Brooklyn or Santa Monica or wherever, you will find yourself tapping the real reasons why those homes have been, or are, so dear to you.
So get started. Where was Your Favorite Place to Live? And why?
– Kevin Quirk, Life Is a Book, Member of the Association of Personal Historians