A Sense of Place: How Living Far from Family Helps Create my Own

Math on the move blog a sense of place

We have been invited to 6 weddings since moving to Ohio. One in San Francisco, 2 in Orange County, 1 in Colorado, and another 2 in San Diego. I am exhausted from the traveling, cried-out from the ceremonies, and overwhelmed by the love whenever we show up to these events.  But every time I get off that plane and see a familiar face, it’s like coming back from the dead.  It’s not homesickness, it’s a different sense of place.

Our Family Tree

One of my favorite things about being married is that we live far away from our family.  Not because I don’t like my family–I absolutely adore them– but to prove the old adage true: distance does indeed make the heart grow fonder.  Even better, being away from relatives allows us to create our own families in the places we live, and in a sense, grow our siblings, aunts and uncles, with people we may not have met otherwise.  We are able to choose our family, and ours is great and loving enough that most of ours is not blood related.

Having the ability to create family elsewhere has seriously helped in establishing roots in the places I lived.  I feel connected to places and people because of it.  For me, like most people, when I think about the places I lived, I don’t think about the city, where I worked, or what I did.  I think about who was there (or still is), who made that place special for me, how it is still connected to me.  When I think about my hometown, I think about family.  When I think about Colorado, I think about holidays spent with friends that became family.

And as we prepare to move again, I realize that it doesn’t really matter where we are.  We will have a home to go to, a door will be open in any city because of the community we built and the family we make. *

California, Colorado, Ohio, Wisconsin, New York, Oregon, Texas, Arkansas, wherever, there is a place for us.

And I hope we provide people with a sense of place too.

Marital Advice

When I go to a bridal shower or a wedding, when I write a wedding card, I always give the same advice and I’m going to give it to you too.  It really doesn’t matter how old you are or how long you’ve been married (or even if you are married).

Move.

Redefine what it means to be home.


*Just because I know this, it doesn’t make it any easier to be separated from people. Every time we leave, there are tears (see photographic evidence).

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