It is common for teens to want to leave their hometown. It is understandable to want to encounter new places and challenges. But waiting for the future can cause unhappiness now. Finding ways to love and enjoy home in the present is key.
August is a great time to put my proposal to the test. In this desert it is hot as Hades, dry as straw, and a constant haboob in the making. Nasty. It would be really, really, easy to hate this place and pine for someplace cool, wet, and storm-free. Yet, with a little imagination and the habit of gratitude, there is much to love here. Swimming pools and water parks abound offering relief and fun. Museums and restaurants offer new experiences. Malls and libraries have free air-conditioning. The Arizona Diamondbacks are winning! Lines are short at most places. Coupons and great deals are everywhere. Plus, in just a few weeks, we'll be back to paradise.
I've learned how to love tough-to-love places; the remote town that was thrilled to get a Walmart, the quirky town that built tunnels for toads, and a city closely linked to the sitcom, The Office. It is a real confidence builder to know I can love challenging places. Reminds me of the New York, New York song lyric, "If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere." You can make it here, there, or anywhere when you learn how to love where you live.