Monday, August 25, 2008

Where do you Live?

Ah Monday...a new day, a new week. This morning I made an early commute from Raleigh - about an hour and half drive. Not my normal drive, but I've been spending weekends in Raleigh with Dave and friends. I miss the energy of a growing city. Also, the driving has been therapeutic, although I know it's not earth friendly...tisk tisk. But, some of my best ideas have come from a long drive of being alone with my thoughts.

I work as a textile designer out in the good ol' country...literally. On my drive I pass farms, donkeys, lakes, and fields of tobacco and corn. Yes, seriously...donkeys and cows. Being inspired by nature is one good thing about working in the country...getting lunch is a whole different story! These photographs by Javier Tles remind me of country mornings when the air is just right and the fog lingers out over the fields and lake. I love their mystery.

During my drives I've been pondering whether to stay in North Carolina or move out of state to a larger city. One side of my says to have friends, family, and support here. The other side are young and should be soaking up a big city! My concerns are leaving my support system and going broke in a big city, or staying put and always wondering "what if?" I also feel there is a stereotype for successful designers - they tend to live big cities like New York or Los Angeles. Is this the case? Do you HAVE to live in a big city to make it? I'm so torn on this topic...either decision I make I'm giving up something. My apologizes if this is heavy for a Monday, but I would love your input to ease a curious mind -

What determines where you live? Is it family, friends, career, love?

What are the pros and cons of where you live?


Jude said...

Happy Monday! I want to give you a truly thoughtful response to this so will come back with more later (when I can really focus on what I want to say!).

Sarah's Fab Day said...

Uggghhh! I think about this all of the time. For us it's my husband's career do we move East for career advancement and a bigger paycheck or do we stay put, static? We have both of our families here and two small children who adore their Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins it's like a safety net of people that love you. It's such a catch 22, I don't even know where to begin on this subject.

I know it sounds horrible but I just have decide if the payoff is worth the risk, kind of like a big pro and con list.

m said...

Oh, my first comment on your blog and I have so much to say! This is always on my mind actually. I've spent the last 10 years away from family and exploring other places, first college, Savannah and now in Richmond. I've loved all these places, but being away from family (NJ/NY) has been too hard for me. I am slowing moving back towards the family as I approach 30 and want to be around them with children and family. I guess it's really about what stage in your life you're at since priorities seem to shift with that.

Simple Answer said...

You gotta go for it. Really. It is worth the risk. Nothing need be permanent.

Krissy said...

Happy Monday!!
I live in a city, although it's not a large one, so I can relate with you. I do think being a successful designer depends on where you live, but not always. It's more about who you know. I have a lot more to say on the subject but have to think about it a bit more :)

porter hovey said...

I think you just have to live where you'll be happy -- the rest will fall into place. No matter what, just adore the pictures. Their beautiful.

Always In Style said...

How lovely.

My morning commute is a crowded subway train...not quite the same thing.

K.Line said...

Such a good question...

I am the only member of my family in Canada (rest are in the States - my closest relatives in NC, actually). When my parents and sister moved back, I opted to stay here - I was in uni at the time and I had grown up largely in TO and all my friends were here. Not only that, I realized that, if I wanted an urban life, I had to stick it out. It's tough to make a go of it in TO, even if you've got support structures.

At any rate, I don't think there's any right answer. I wish my daughter had more access to family and that I had more help / company from family, but I made my choice and there are many things I really appreciate about "making it in the big city". Owning a home and working in downtown TO is no mean feat...

JanelleGrace said...

I've been thinking about these type of question a lot lately. I live in New York (Brooklyn, to be more precise) right now.

With the internet especially, big cities aren't necessary for creative communities (my boyfriend and I talked about this, he's a musician, I'm an artist). It used to be that you HAD to be in a big city because of the proximity to galleries, studios, record companies, etc. But that is not the case anymore. Nowadays, the internet, the ease of mailing large items has all made it possible for artists/musicians to stay in the smaller communities that they may enjoy and/or where their largest fanbase is.

I am looking forward to a smaller community as I realized that New York is not necessary for an art career (or a music career) but the experiences that I have gained from living in New York are priceless and New York, in that sense, will never change. If you can and if you want to, try it out. You only live once and you should never live with "what ifs".

As to what determines where I live, it is entirely about where I can be happy. My family factors into it a little bit but we never need to be close, distance-wise. I want to be somewhere that I can be comfortable, where I can do my art and take my photos, where my boyfriend can do his music, and where I do not get completely depressed during a long winter.

New York, where I live now, is an amazing place and some part of me wants to live here forever. But another part wants something else.

Feel free to email me if you want. :)

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

We have stayed in Portland for our entire married life to be near our family for our kids' sake. We also wanted to keep the kids in the same schools all the way through.

But now we are open to moving for hubby's career. He gave up a lot by staying near family and now we realize we are ready to do what is best for our family and for him through a new step in his career.

My career can go with me wherever so I'm good with moving.

Great topic!


Anonymous said...

I always say go for it; you might come back quickly or you might come back years from now or you might come back never, but at least you'll have known for sure what you like best and given the city a chance.

I spent most of my time in mid-sized college towns with a healthy dose of trees and forests and made the move to London a few years ago. I'm pretty much eternally torn between living in a similarly large city the rest of my life and packing up to the serious country. I think I always will be. I'm ok with that. What if is a hell of a lot scarier and harder to deal with.

I will say that a few years into London the size of it is starting to drag me down a little bit -- fun for exploration, but tough on community. I love so far away from my city-scattered friends that getting together is sometimes difficult. Parties and dinners and movie sessions end early because people have to worry about getting home before the tube closes. I don't call on my friends just to say hello and hang out in ways I used to because it takes so damn long to get there. You lose the spontaneity that for me is a huge part of feeling connected to a group of people and embedded in a community of friends. If I had to pinpoint my least favorite thing about London, this is it.

Scatterbrain Tal said...

I think this issue bothers us all, as we can't choose where and to whom we are born...we are not being asked about the time and place, and yet we learn to love it. It becomes home.
But now you've reached the point where you feel your small town can hold you back...
I've been struggling with the same thoughts, and I feel you do have to make that change in order to become more successful and develop your skills. It's a difficult process, a bubble you need to pop and step into the 'big world'.
I know it sounds scary...but 'home' will always stay there for you.

I love the photos...they reflect a lot.
It's a good thing to share your thoughts and fears...we're here for you.:)

vana chupp said...

what an incredible post! I have been thinking about posting something similar for a while now...

We live about 20 mins away from the BIG CITY -CHICAGO...we live in a suburb so to call it. We are here because of our friends and church..also you can say career..
The pros:


away from close family
cost of living

I guess one doesn't have everything in life. But we can say we are happy with our decisions...

Joanna Goddard said...

i chose to live in new york because i wanted to work for magazines, so that's pretty much where i had to be. i've lived here for almost seven years. now it's hard to imagine moving because all my friends are here and my career is here. but it's loud and smelly and super expensive. it's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. it would be really hard to raise kids here since you'd always have to be monitoring them; plus we live on a third floor walk-up! pros are that it's really fun and vibrant and full of life. it seems that everyone you meet is fascinating and smart and cool, and there are so many fun things to do and see everyday.

but yes, so hard to make this major life choice! good luck!!! joannaxo

Jan said...

The country feeling is always a soft spot with me. I love the open space. But with your career choice and what you are planning, a city might be a place to plant yourself.

You have at least experienced the country life Pleasie, so you will always have that root and appreciation, which will make you an even better professional. Diversity in surroundings, will help you in your future. I think you have a lot going for you. I truly do. :)

jess gonacha said...

Wow, how funny-- I was just out running errands and thinking about this very thing. The reason I moved to Georgia last summer was because my fiance got into med school. We'd never been to Georgia before and it was very last minute, so it was a bit scary!

I like it here, but I wouldn't want to stay forever. We live a bit outside of Atanta, and it's very strip-mall/chain restauranty, which is SO not my scene, but I realized that I always make the best of where I am. Someone commented on my blog last week when I posted about how I'd lived in GA for a year that she used to live here and hated it-- it felt so negative to me and not at all open-minded-- I like being in a new place and discovering little hidden treasures and things to love about it, even if it is overall not ideal.

Also, I've found since living in Georgia that I can do what I want no matter where I am-- I'm making a living as an artist, and I am not in NY or San Francisco or any other "cool" big city. I think it's all in the mindset. And also, I know that I don't want to have a 'job' job (working for someone else), which gives me the freedom to create whatever I want wherever I am. I think you can be successful no matter where you are if you decide to be successful. That's the key.

So, I don't want to stay here forever, but it'll do for now.

And I say, if you want to move, MOVE! It's exciting and fun!! Plus, you could always move back, right? :)

naphtali said...

I loved this post. First thought :: SHE POSTED FOG! No joke, yesterday morning I got the biggest hankering for some fog. I love fog. It was my favorite thing about where I was raised.

Onto your touching subject :: I have so much to say, but don't want to drag on. Ultimately, the verdict is "go for it". You have one life to live - and what an amazing passion you have for influencing your area. If you don't go, then the "wondering" could be painful. However, if you are able to do textiles and such, chez toi, well...there's something to be said for that. Your inspiration is unique. Unfortunately, cities often times equal opportunity. But, it doesn't have to be that way. Having a fresh perspective, such as yours, is awesome! It's what I think design and such should get back to! Back to the beautiful simplicity this country has to offer, outside of the noisy, cluttered cities. {but, then again - I do love the city...}

Ultimately - whenever you decide, what you decide, it will be perfect. It will be "yours". And friends can be made in ANY city. {I know this, since my life has been non-stop moving lately.} But, after moving around a bit...I long for family. Cause in the end :: friends and family are so important.

Blessing on your decision!

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

I moved from a big city to the mountains, I wouldn't even think of going back now......maybe another mountain town, but never again to a big city.....

It's so different, the pace, the people.....

I always thought I would forever be a city-girl!

It's tough being away from my family and friends, but it was the best move I ever made!

Whatever you do, do it for yourself :o)

Stephanie Ryan said...

I grew up just outside of Philadelphia, went to college in Philly. To be totally honest, I don't like city life, crowds, noise, etc. I don't think you need to live in a city to be a good designer, but then again, I don't consider myself to be the "designer" type either, even though that's what I do. I recently moved about an hour and a half north of the city and my family, My husband and I live on a farm with about 100 acres...we rent... we can't afford to own it. I love it! I love the solitude, peace and quiet. Our family is within driving distance so that is nice too. I have a long commute to work, but hope I won't have to do that forever. I know I can get my own thing going either with my own business or working freelance. We are actually considering moving farther away, where it is cheaper to live so there won't be so much pressure on me to make a good salary. So, I guess that it all depends on what makes you happy. I don't think I would move somewhere for career only, I am afraid that won't be fulfilling enough. So, happiness determines where I live...what resonates most with you? It is hard living away from my family, but would I be happy living near them? The pro's of where I live are... it's beautiful and quiet, it's still close to shopping, family, etc.I am really happy there. It is smack in the middle of NY and Philadelphia, so it does make it easier if I have to venture out into the city for trade shows, appointments, etc. The cons... too far from work.
This probably doesn't help you much, you really need to quiet your mind, meditate, and listen to your heart. I think that is the best advice I can give you.

blazedanielle said...

I love these photos!! I love green grass and grey fog! A little like today in Seattle!

please sir said...

Wow - amazing responses - I really appreciate all your comments and will take the time to dwell on each one. It's interesting to see how many of us are or have been in the same situation. I'm also glad to hear the responses about working outside of large cities - the possibilities seem to be endless.

megan said...

what a wonderful post! i think about this ALL the time.

i moved to sarasota because i took a job here, and although i feel like it's a bit of a stepping stone right now (like joanna, i want to work for a national magazine), i really do love it -- yes, it's ungodly hot in the summer and the threat of hurricanes is high (ha), but the beach is five minutes away, people are friendly, there's a great arts culture and the restaurant scene is fantastic. i do feel like i could stay here and be happy (and maybe even somewhat well-known), but i don't want to give up on new york. it's my dream.

it's funny, though -- the more i get settled here, the more i think, "should i stay?"

anyway, i don't necessarily think place dictates greatness, but i do think you should follow your heart.

again, such a wonderful post.

Jessie Cacciola said...

the genuine nature, and creativity keeps me going! xo

jae said...

It's funny to me that you posted about something on the forefront of so many of our minds. I've been struggling a lot with this lately. There are many things I love about where I live, but I really wish there was a stronger sense of community for my children. Don't you remember summers where you played outside with your friends all the time? I want them to have those memories. That doesn't exist here and I'm sure not in the "big city" either. Do it now because like everyone has said, you can always move back when things change in your life. People do it all the time...what's the worst that can happen? (I'm talking to myself a little bit there.)

heidi said...

I can wax poetic about where I live... It's a small town, on a peninsula, that sticks out from an island, that's only a 35 minute train commute from NYC. I was born and bred in NYC, and it would break my heart to leave the area. (it could happen if hubby's job demands) The most important thing to me about where I live, is that it be a village. I like to walk to a main street with my kids, and wave at my neighbors. I appreciate knwing my neighbors. I love being near the water. I love knowing that there are people in my community that come from different countries all over the world, so that my kids don't think we are all the same color & flavor.
I could go on & on.... email me!

Lauren K said...

Great post. I currently live in dead-center Missouri in a town called Columbia. School has brought me here and is why I stay. I attend the University of Missouri--had my last first day of school today! I've come to love this town in my 4 years here. It's progressive, artsy, big on local/small on corporate. It has a great creative scene and everything and more I could ask from a smaller town.

Prior to this I live in Chicago, born and raised. Family is why I was there and why I'd consider moving back some day. Chicago is, well, it's Chicago. It's an amazing city.

After this year and graduating I'll be preparing to move again, this time it will likely be work influencing my choice. I'll go where I can find work, but I also hope to move something new, I've ever been, and have always wanted to go. But, work will be the first factor.

Savvy Mode SG said...

i have moved to various places around the country and the world for both work and school so I'd say it's good to get out of one's comfort zone just to see what is around but a gal's doesn't have to be in a big city to find success. Success I think is how you define it not what others tell you it is.

Savvy Mode SG said...

i have moved to various places around the country and the world for both work and school so I'd say it's good to get out of one's comfort zone just to see what is around but a gal's doesn't have to be in a big city to find success. Success I think is how you define it not what others tell you it is.

nadia said...

these images are stunning...lovely!

(i will give it some thought)

That Girl Designs said...

Happy Monday sweet lady! Gee Diana, I would almost always be on the side of going for the move if it feels right. What is the worst that can happen? In my opinion, there is never harm in trying something. If it doesn't work out, you can always move back.

As a young woman, I never listened to my gut the way that I should have, and I do have some regrets. It is much easier to test the waters of change (moving) when you don't have kids and such. I have found that if you follow your heart, and only let your mind in for the details, you rarely go wrong.

As for where I live, I'm in Austin because I didn't want to return to the big, big city of Dallas where I grew up after college. Hands down, Austin is the best city in Texas. It is liberal minded (in a sea of Texas conservative), it is geared to an outdoor lifestyle, full of artists and musicians, and just plain old fun. The only cons I can think of are the very hot summers and the fact that the city is growing so fast it makes my head spin.

My final thought on this topic is this: live where you are happy. I think it is that simple. All other things will follow.

Hugs to you,

emily said...

I live where I do because of family. I work, but I don't have a 'career' per se, and I don't know if I'll go on to graduate school (which would mean moving). So for now, I have a home here, I have a support system here, and I am really starting to love this place where I grew up.

Sandra Ree said...

You wanted input and WOW you got input! lol

If your parents are in good health and don't need you to take care of them right now then go for it! And I say this because there is no way I could move now because of that.

Twenty years ago, ten years ago, yes. It would have been hard with no family support nearby but it would have been so fulfilling.

Now, I always wonder what could of been.

simply seleta said...

Whew, you're contemplating a big decision.

We just moved a year ago for of a fun lifestyle in a small beach town in Florida and love of being together more as a family. It's really quiet here and slower paced...that is a challenge for me but my husband and the kids don't mind. I also kissed my career goodbye when we moved, that's been both good and bad. In a way I feel I've lost some of my identity and that's had it's difficult moments. Still adjusting to that one.

I say if you don't have children and you are up for some adventure and finding new friends, then give it a shot. Although you may miss some of that friend and family support. But you can always move back, right? Just consider that once you settle down and have offspring, big changes like this are harder to do and more difficult to for all to adapt to.

Just my thought on it all.

Victoria said...

I think we all yearn to live in a place that will fulfill all of our desires, I know that I certainly long for it. I have lived in the same county for most of my life, not so much by choice but by circumstances... parents, husband, children. I have lived in the suburban section, the city section and the rural section, (where I currently live.) All have offered something positive, and currently I really enjoy the beautiful country side, farms and animals, (cows donkeys, horses, mules, goats, pigs, chickens... even the occasion buffalo and emu!) And I really appreciate all the farm markets, and flea markets. But I have never been able to sink my roots down in any part of this county, and since the age of 5, (yes 5!) I have longed for somewhere else. I guess I long for a soul location, similar to a soul mate.

With no children yet in the picture, I think you are at the perfect place in your life to do some exploring. The worst that can happen is that you will find you like where you currently are the best, and move back. The best that can happen is you will find the place that resonates deep within yourself.

As for needing to be in the big city to make it as a textile designer, I suppose that is still true to some degree, but I really think that the internet is breaking down those barriers pretty quickly. I think it's more important to live in a place that makes you happy everyday you wake up!

Go for it! (I wish I had when I was younger and hope to still do one day, too!)

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I love that with technology, all things are possible (and I hate, that with technology all things are *expected* 24/7), so I think that your physical location can be much more flexible than just 10 short years ago. In my mid-20s, I was faced with kind of the reverse decision you are looking at: I was born & raised (and went to college in) New York, and wondered if the big city was where I wanted to be forever. I will say, at the end of the day my family, support network and job prospects have kept me here, but am fortunate enough to have just bought the "shore house" recently to almost have the best of both worlds (running along the beach with my dog on weekends; hustle and bustle and access to everything in NYC on weekdays). Now, my boyfriend's business (he owns) is based in New Jersey so I know by committing to him, I've committed to being here (AND...I turned down a job across the country in a smaller town right after I met him!)...but I'm at a place in my life where I'm OK with that. I know this sounds so cliche, but you'll know when and what decision is right for you.

Wow! Guess I had a lot to say. ;-) Thanks for the thought provoking Monday post.

Project Ecoart said...

You rock :0
Thanks for the link! It was awesome.

Cicada Studio said...

I live in a NJ suburb of NYC. So, it was a natural for me to work in the city, and yes, I feel that due to that experience I've gotten along pretty well with business. My family all lives in NJ- and many of my friends have moved away. I love NJ (but not its overcrowdedness)- I can see the appeal of other areas of the country as well.

Karen said...

Well, we've talked a bit about this before and I'm always so reluctant to give solid advice, as in "do it!" or "stay put!" because it's SUCH a personal decision. My honest opinion though, at this point in your life --- GO FOR IT. Seriously. The absolute worst that could happen? You hate it and move back. It doesn't have to be a forever type thing, at least not at first. At least then you'd know and could take the "what if" out of the equation. Just my two cents :)

Love the images...makes me want to take an early morning drive!

Karen said...

See, I just posted that and I'm already changing my mind. Okay, not changing really, but what about moving to a mid-sized city, like Raleigh even? Not as bustling like NYC or DC or whatnot, but with more opportunities perhaps and wouldn't be so stark of a contrast as being out in the country. Just a thought :)

please sir said...

Who needs therapy when you have bloggers? Ha! You guys are so incredible - and supportive - THANK YOU! Yes, if I stay in NC I want to move back to Raleigh...yet there is still a sense to go bigger.

littlebyRD said...

I am probably going to end up repeating what someone else has said since I haven't read all the responses - can't wait to catch up on what everyone has to say. I think you should choose what you ultimately think will make you happy. You can always come home too if you decide to try moving. I moved to Portland, just an hour north of where I grew up but much different in size. I love living in a bigger city. I do think there are more career opportunities in a larger city but also more competition. I love the energy and vibe a city and gain great inspiration from it. How exciting that you are contemplating this!

Julia said...

I love these types of questions, regardless of the day their posted :) Some Mondays I think very, very clearly about the things I want or don't want! You know, I don't know if there's a superior lifestyle or location. I find myself more whole, happy and satisfied when I'm close to one of the Great Lakes or the Ocean. I love filling my journal with little details of things I love. My list right now helps point my attention in the right direction:

1. Home is Andrew
2. I love woods, lakes, and smallish communities
3. I like variety in restaurants, stores, and museums
4. I want to be close enough to family to make a road trip over the week, but not too close that they can come visit EVERY weekend :)

I'll be anxious to hear more of your thoughts on this :)

dottie said...

i grew up in rural michigan, i went to college in a small city & after graduation i moved out to seattle. there were a lot of reasons that i made the move - terrible economy in mi, mountains & ocean in seattle, inspiration, music, food - the city life. the move was also easy because i was blessed with having a brother out here, a boyfriend that wanted to get out of dodge as well & retired parents that can visit a lot.

i love being out here, but i think that you should move somewhere that you feel connected to. when i first visited seattle i knew that it was a place for me, i felt it in my bones.

to get down to the nitty gritty - i don't think you have to live in a big city to make it. but - i do think that you are exposed to more people, networks, opportunities, inspiration, etc etc. you can find a lot of stuff online through blogs & artist portfolios, but it is hard to compare that to finding small boutiques, street art & fun galleries.

ahhh - to be the big fish in the little pond or the little guy in that expansive ocean. Maegan said...

I often wonder if moving out of the city and into the middle of nowhere would spark creativity and also allow me {stress-free} time to actually create more {instead of sitting in traffic}. I'm afraid I'll get bored though, as I grew up in Los Angeles, but I wonder "what if" on a regular basis as well.

*What I imagine as country life may be just a fairy tale and not realistic in the least. ...and all my family is here. ...I seem to be no help at all ;)

design for mankind. said...

Diana--- GREAT topic! I know you know this, but this topic is especially close to my heart as I'm preparing to leave Los Angeles for my home state of Indiana.

I think it's a personal preference whether your location is a reflection of family or work, but I do think you can do what you love anywhere. Sure, there may be more opportunities somewhere like NYC, but why not take advantage of the fantastic world of communication we have at our fingertips?

I feel like our world is changing and it is now possible to do what we love whether we live on a houseboat in East Africa or a New York flat.

That's the beauty of all of this! :)

Milena said...

I live in Royal Oak, MI. I was born in Royal Oak, MI. What has kept me here? I think a combination of things. Fear, love, opportunity, comfort.

I feared not being able to make a living anywhere else. I love my family, and found love here. I have plenty of opportunities to do the things I love here. It's comfortable. I know the streets, the sounds, the people.

It is home.

JanelleGrace said...

I have to post further on Maegan's comment - "I often wonder if moving out of the city and into the middle of nowhere would spark creativity and also allow me {stress-free} time to actually create more.."

I sometimes wonder that as well, if I didn't have to worry about money or making the expensive rent as much, would I have more time and freedom to work on my art?

aimee said...

you're young, and what better time to taste a new life in a big city? even for a year? you'll satisfy your curiosity, and if city life is not your thing, the country will always be there; you can return and live peacefully knowing you've lived both sides of the coin. or, who knows. you may love it and stay.

fly little bird, fly :)

Mrs.French said...

mmmmm....tough one girlie. You ponder this and I ponder moving to the country. The one thing I can say is that I do not have an "what if?" questions...however, I do miss my family so much it hurts sometimes. I guess what I am trying to say is that there is no right answer, no way to feel 100% about either and no way to know what is better for you. You are a good girl, with an excellent head on your shoulders and talented as all get out. You are going to be just fine where ever you land. And look at the bright side, you can take us with you.

Fifi Flowers said...

I'm not sure it matters where you live... it always goes back to "who you know" to become a well-known designer.
I think the advantages to being in a big city is the ability to command higher commissions.
I live the L.A area... were there is a lot of competition... designers everywhere... the way I get design jobs is word of mouth... still that factor of "who you know".
For my original painting and virtual home decorating business... it doesn't matter where I live... the Blog World has made me known everywhere... and the postal system and email delivers my art work everywhere.

What determines where I live is my family... years ago I went to film school... dreamed of being a Production Designer... but I never finished because I decided I wanted to be married with kids in a traditional, day to day, stay at home mom situation... and that's what I have... and I am happy most of the time...
Of course there is always part of me that still dreams of being a Production Designer... blogging has given me the ability to pretend I am one with via painting set designs, interior designs, coustumes, locations, etc.
Thank goodness for a virtual world where location doesn't matter!

Jeff said...

I currently live in downtown Raleigh, walking distance from the center of the city. This choice was mostly made so I could be close to fun stuff to do, and also close to my job at NC State. I guess you'd say career made that choice for me.

I love the proximity to pretty much anything you want or need.

I hate parking on the side of the road, it always feels dangerous and some drunk hit a few parked cars recently. I also hate the constant light that comes through my windows at night, and the endless noise of cars and people making ruckus.

I used to live about 20 miles from Raleigh, in Harnett County, and I miss the serenity of the country. But I love the 5 minute commute to work and I'm not sure that I would trade that convenience for anything.

FancyPants-design said...

Hello... yes it is true EVERYONE says you have to live in a big city to make it.. I really don't know if that is true..has to be more about who you know...sometimes I get sooooo incredibly sick of living in New York..yes everything is sooo damn expensive and most of my support system is in small towns in Massachusetts so yeah it is hard and such a sacrifice....but on a more up note..I would not have taken away my five years of living here..I have learned sooo much and grown tremendously as a person!! I do say it is worth it!! ..not sure if I want to grow old here and raise my kids here though ;/..not sure if this was helpful at all...?

Alyssa said...

This is a tough one! I have thought about this very topic a lot lately! I would have to admit it is family and friends that really make me want to stay in the Chicago area. I just can't imagine being in a new city without that supportive network around the corner. However, I also am a huge advocate for trying new things - I went to europe for almost a year because I new I'd regret it down the road. So, I am a big bundle of contrasts and contradictions! It just isn't an easy answer....just follow your heart.

A Print A Day said...

Great topic as always Diana! And did you take those photos? They're dreamy.

I think with the internet, and various media, it's most definitely possible to live wherever you want to live and still be successful. I have friends who live in Manila, and their client base is mostly from big American cities, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the like. And they've done this by getting their website out there and just hardcore advertising themselves through their blogs and message boards and whatnot. But of course, that's only one way to do it.

In my case, I've lived here in the USA since 1997. And since then, I've lived in San Diego>Phoenix>Los Angeles>Tucson>Phoenix>San Diego>Phoenix>SF Bay Area. And I've chosen to live in such places because of either school, or I've been hired and relocated by a company, or just because I wanted to live wherever. California and Arizona are two of my favourite places, which is why we have no problems going back and forth. I bought a house by a mountain in Phoenix, away from the hustle and bustle, but we also lease a small cottage by the beach in the SF Bay Area. Our family and friends are mostly in Southern California, Phoenix and Michigan so where we are in CA is actually not that far (except for the Michigan part). And we fly often enough that we've racked up so much free mileage. Bread and butter-wise, I could easily work from my home in Phoenix, BUT we love being in the Bay as well. My husband is a sculptor and also makes exhibits and stages for concerts, theater and companies, and I am an illustrator/designer. Being in the Bay (or California in general) gives us easier access to resources that wouldn't easily be found in Phoenix (and that the internet doesn't always find).

As for pros and cons, obviously, SF has a higher cost of living than Phoenix. But let me tell you, it is worth every penny. We may be a bit farther from family, but hey, they're just a plane and phone call away. As for friends, meeting new people is always a good thing. Living in California has helped me, us, grow as artists/designers, as people in general, that the slight inconvenience of not living in a large, comfy home is easily overlooked. San Francisco, Oakland, Marin, Berkeley has some of the coolest, most thoughtful and creative (and cooky!) people I've met in my life--it's awesome. And hey, if we need some quiet time away from it all, there's always Phoenix. Also, Phoenix is where my husband's sculpture studio is (we have a bronze foundry and metal-working and glass studio in AZ). San Francisco doesn't have a whole lot of space to accommodate such an endeavor. It's less expensive to fly/drive back and forth than to rent an industrial space in the Bay.

What's funny is that we get asked this all the time: "When will you guys settle?" The idea of "settling" or, as defined by some people I know, is staying in a set place for an extremely long period of time--basically the place we'd grow old in. This idea, to me, is not suitable to the kind of lifestyle we'd like to live. It's enough for us to have purchased a house, or "base camp" close to family and friends where we could build our nest, and make our art in, etc. But this won't stop us from moving around and exploring and living in other places. For me at least, it's important to live life learning and exploring and continually taking myself out of a bubble or safety net. I've lived in a bunch of cities and countries. Growing up, I've lived in the Philippines of course. I've lived in Nigeria, the Netherlands, Malaysia, and here in the USA eventually. And learning new things, new cultures and meeting so many cool people along the way has opened me up to so many things. I'm the type of person who finds familiarity somewhat uncomfortable and I can get really antsy, but I know a lot of people who love that kind of life and are very very happy.

So I guess to answer your question, no, I don't think it's important to live in a big city to be a creative person. For me, it's important to live a lifestyle that helps me learn new things regardless of whether I stay in a small town or several big cities. And as mentioned, with new technologies and other avenues popping up, it's easy to not leave your backyard :)

I think it really depends on what you really want out of life and what makes you truly happy.

Anyway, sorry. This is officially the longest comment I've left on anyone's blog. Ever.

Jules said...

i say take a leap and move to a big city! i always dreamed of moving to NY (grew up in Orange County, CA) and regret not having done it! you never know what opportunities might come your way. sometimes it's better to take a risk and jump out of your comfort zone. you can always go back if you don't like it! good luck :)

Jules said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bonbon Oiseau said...

hmmm...amazing photos to set the mood honey...
i'll add this: you don't HAVE to live in a big city to make it, you just have to put yourself out there in some way to make your dreams come true...if you do want to experience the city, apply for a job first and find out everything you can about where you're going...

When i was in my 20's i traveled everywhere, lived on the West Coast and small midwestern towns and spent 15 months overseas---I lived hand to mouth but i always worked and got by and experienced every drop that life had to offer because that's what I wanted to do--you might be a little more reasonable and want to save for your future.

Now, i'm back in NY about an hour's drive from my parents and a subway ride from my brother--i'm happy to be home now but I'm glad I went off and lived my life the way I wanted to...i think i learned a lot from that...

lastly,my father told me that life's about taking risks and learning to listen to your gut when you make a decision. I'd say listen to your gut and make your own opportunties...

Bonbon Oiseau said...

oh and also...thanks for such a thoughtful's nice to read everyone's comments as well...I think it's a subject we've all struggled with at some point in our lives. what do you think?

Jude said...

Goodness, Diana! I don't think anything I could say would be any better than what everyone else has already said. What a great response to this topic!

A-M said...

You are young and free so fly! Your support network will always be there. Technology will allow you keep in touch. The only reason I live in the city is my children's good school. If school was not an issue we would be amongst trees, birds, rivers and green things! A-M xx

Bronwyn said...

Firstly, I really like these gorgeous, mystical photo's....I live in Johannesburg, South Africa. The pro's are that it's where I've lived all my life, have friends and family, career etc The major problem is that we have one of the highest violent crime rates in the world, and this is very stressful, so we will be moving as soon as certain logistics are resolved and put into place. Although career is obviously very important, for me it's definitely about being close to loved ones. I also prefer to live where I have roots and connections, but that's not always an option. Good luck with the decision, it's not an easy one, I'm sure if you listen to your heart the right decision will become apparent.

Melissa Lewis - Off The Wall said...

Great topic Diane. I actually earned a degree in Fashion Merchandising. I always wanted to live in NYC, but then life happened to me, and my dreams shifted a bit. I began to desire different things the more I grew spiritually too. Living the fast paced "glamorous" life wasn't what it was all about for me anymore.

I think it's neither a right or wrong kind of thing, but more of a personal decision. There is a plan, you just have to find out what yours is.

On another note, I lived in Lexington, NC for a year when I was 16. We always drove to Raleigh when we wanted to do stuff. I remember the drive on a small highway, passing all the tobacco fields and such:)

Girl Japan said...

Excellent post- and the dense fog captured in a static way is beautiful! I was really never rooted down anywhere but having had to move to Europe, and then Japan was difficult- he was transferred here which meant I am constantly put on my hat of "jane of all trades"- stints without work which is royally frustrating. If you don't have any major reservations I would dive in with two-feet.

When in doubt, truly go with your instincts.

daisy janie : scoutie girl said...

Holy responses Batman! You've got them all here. So many cliche ways to respond - the grass is always greener, you only live once, home is where the heart is, etc. Make a list of pros and cons, rate each one on a scale of 1-10 on importance. Math always rules. Or just jump. Just jump. But I wouldn't do it with the idea that this will make or break your career b/c that gives the move too much power. Just do it, enjoy it or don't, and make another decision as you see fit. Life will go on no matter where you are. Good luck!!!!!

Suzie said...

Hi! You sure have stirred up a lot of chatter! Not knowing much about you (do you have children? A partner?) it's hard to say. But if you have no kids and you're not leaving behind your partner then definately try out a bigger city. It sounds like you wont even be moving that far really, just interstate. It's amazing how easy it is to do and just how much you learn from it. I'm from Australia, I've moved to California to work (only for 18 months, been back now a while), my sister moved to London for 2 years, I have (aussie) friends who've moved to Canada, France, England and Burmuda. Believe me, you will not at all be losing your support network. Moving for work is a good reason. Moving for the adventure, do something outside of ordinary, to learn about yourself and see new places is amazing. And it doens't have to be forever. Even 2 years is enough.

I would dearly love right now to move to London for 2 years (where the design scene is just huge and fertile and exciting. AND it's so close to the rest of Europe!). But I just landed an awesome job here and I have an amazing boyfriend who can't move right now so I'm staying put. Which is OK, but I'm a little sad about missing my chance to live and work in London.

So I vote that you go check out Visa options and move to London so I can live vicariously through you ;) Hehe! OK, you should do what is best for you. If it doens't work out, you simply move back! No harm done.

g-bug said...

i think about this a lot, too. i am only a budding designer, or should i say, late blooming.

but, i am at the same crossroad you are talking about. and funny i should read your blog entry one day after discussing this with my husband as we were driving from our suburb home to a rural town appreciating the beauty as we got further away. both of us want to live in Chicago, because it is so buzzing with culture and design. all three have their pros and cons.

i personally at this point in my life (36 years old) want to live where it would benefit my career and dreams the most. i find living close to family, you end up not seeing them anymore often than if you lived far anyway.

on another note, i enjoy your blog a lot. i plan to visit often.

Wendy said...

Gorgeous pictures!

I have always lived in Florida. Born in Ocala, grew up in the Ocala National Forest. I moved to Lakeland when I was 17 to be with my fiance and here we are. I don't really have much family, my mom passed away when I was 21, my dad is in Tennessee and we dont have much of a relationship. While I dont really ever think of living anywhere else, I would say that family probably helps keep us here. His mother and fathers and sisters are all here, so the kids do have some family in their lives.

The pros of where I live I guess would be it's not SUPER crowded, it's an average size town I guess. We live on close to 4 acres. Most any store we need is nearby. We are right in the middle of Tampa and Orlando. Cons... traffic can be a pain, even though it's far from a big city. The way the town is there is basically a north side and a south side, most of the new stuff and thrift stores are on the south side. With traffic, that can be an hour to get there. It seems like housing developments are popping up everywhere.

Teal Chic said...

Wow, you sound like me. I'm struggling with this very same thing. Have you read "Basic Black" by Cathie Black? She's the President of Hearst corporation, and she has the BEST book on this very topic.

Follow your heart and your bliss!

Kelly C. said...

great post!

i have moved a few times in my adult life: small-town minnesota to portland, oregon to denver, colorado to seattle, washington. it was important to my husband and me to experience different cities before we settled down for good. we could never make it east of denver, though. my heart belongs to portland, because my community, my friends who are closer than family, is there. and it's just got a great vibe. we're moving back in a year after our big trip to south america.

with ye old internet, i think that you can make it no matter where you live-- plenty live out in the sticks.

things i love about seattle:
lots of culture happening; distinct scene & history (ummmm.... sir mix a-lot is from my neighborhood); water all around (i can walk to the lake for a swim); close proximity to lots of outdoor adventures; close to portland; good job market; diversity; educational opportunities; big hills; beautiful views; the rain, it's always green; decent public transportation if you live in the city.

generally, people are a bit less friendly here than anywhere else i've lived; it's expensive as sin, ranks right behind NY & San Francisco; the rain, it chills me to the bone (it is a plus and a minus on any given day); drivers are kind of mean to cyclists.

follow your heart!

~alison said...

oh, the photos remind me of a foggy day on the road between Raleigh and Greenville (my home town). I understand your desire to move to a big city...I did! I graduate college and moved to NYC - then to LA. I would not trade it for the world! I miss NC, now. I suggest doing it and always knowing - if you want to move back you can. I don't believe you can only be successful as a designer in a big city. (Depending on what successful is to you) Think about this - you can grab some big city knowledge and bring that experience back to the South...they need it!

Robin said...

I moved out of the city and into a 200 year old farmhouse. But where I am, I can be in NYC, DC in under 2 hours, Philly in half an hour. So I'm not deprived.

I draw my inspiration from the earth, but I know for many that energy is found in the bustle and variety of the city. I don't think it is at all NECESSARY to live in a city and be a designer; in fact, there may be advantages to a unique perspective. But you may need the hum of the city to derive that which could propel you forward.

You are young. Fortune favors the bold! Home will be there if you require it.

M.Kate said...

Diana dear, what a post and so many comments :D

In the past 10 years, my husband and I have bought and sold 2 houses and finally setteld down on the 3rd one. Every time it's is moving closer to my mom, and now we are just 10 minutes drive away from her, so main factor is definitely family. I have 2 offices, one is just 2 minutes drive fm my office, another one is 90 km away from home, no cows or any animals (crazy drivers not included)..but highway all the way!

The cons for me is definitely my mom because the kids go to her house for lunch after school and home only in the evening. So, mom's sort like a babysitter for the kids as I didnt want to leave them @ home alone. Close for my husband's office too. Pros..I dont really like the town I live in but I'm getting used to that, and defintely the fact its so far from one of my office.

What does your heart says? Sometimes its difficult to over-analyse, just go with what you feel. Good luck anyway :D

::{J}:: said...

Hmmm, interesting question. I think we live where we do for the various reasons you suggested. My husband's family as well as my own live within 20 mins, which is definitely a blessing! We have a really great community, people are friendly and supportive. Also, being in the Northwest makes us safe from natural disasters like hurricanes & tornadoes even earthquakes. Silly, but that's a good enough reason to stay here! Also I like that we have a few of the benefits & features of a larger city [minus the great shopping :( ] At the same time it's not a long drive to get to a farming area or to find wide open spaces! I like that too!

Oh, maybe I should mention where I live, right? Oh, just look @ my profile!!

la la Lovely said...

HI Diana.. what a great discussion. It is such an agonizing decision and really such a personal one. If you've never moved away then it is always one of those great "what if's" in life. I think if it is something you really want to try then you should go for it but give yourself the freedom to move back if you hate it or it just isn't working out.
In the long run I don't think anything beats living close to family, especially once kids are in the picture. There is something so special about living near family that just cannot be replaced. And to me nothing is more important than the people that we are closest too.
I love the city and I love the country. In my perfect world I would have a flat in the city and a home in the country. After time I can't breathe well in the city it gets too crowded and after too long in the country I get itchy to get around a little more culture. But over all I find the open air more inspiring. And I really do believe that with the internet, etc. you can make it from anywhere!
Sorry to be long winded...... best to you in your decision!!!!
xx Trina

la la Lovely said...

HI Diana.. what a great discussion. It is such an agonizing decision and really such a personal one. If you've never moved away then it is always one of those great "what if's" in life. I think if it is something you really want to try then you should go for it but give yourself the freedom to move back if you hate it or it just isn't working out.
In the long run I don't think anything beats living close to family, especially once kids are in the picture. There is something so special about living near family that just cannot be replaced. And to me nothing is more important than the people that we are closest too.
I love the city and I love the country. In my perfect world I would have a flat in the city and a home in the country. After time I can't breathe well in the city it gets too crowded and after too long in the country I get itchy to get around a little more culture. But over all I find the open air more inspiring. And I really do believe that with the internet, etc. you can make it from anywhere!
Sorry to be long winded...... best to you in your decision!!!!
xx Trina

Courtney said...

I live in Houston, TX and moved here when I married my husband. I was living in NYC working in the fashion industry. Obviously, I had a huge choice to make in terms of career and family. Houston was a very hard adjustment for me - literally took me a year to honestly say I love it here. I've never regretted my move. Of course I miss New York, working in an exciting field, and all of my lovely friends there, but I can't imagine my life anywhere but with JJ. And I love that I'm living somewhere I never would have otherwise -- and I actually love it to pieces!

I guess what made it an easy move for me is knowing if I were the one chasing a dream or had a job of a lifetime, he'd move in a heartbeat. But my jobs in NY were definitely not something I would have had him move for.

I love Houston for so many things - the people, the culture, the Southern way of life. It's a big city that has everything other urban cities have. And it has a HUGE creative force here - so many artists live here because it's affordable and the job market is great. Houston is definitely thriving and getting better and better each year. It's no longer known for big hair and blondes. I find most people in Houston to be well traveled and educated. And I'm proud to call it my home.

Robin said...

What a great post, I was just thinking about this on Saturday - went to NYC for the day. I worked there when I graduated from college but never moved there and always regretted it. Then lived in suburbia for 5 years, then the back-woods country for 9 years and now in a small city for 5 years. It's not the same as Manhattan but it does have a good city vibe, great arts scene, great restaurants, good sense of neighborhood and community. Moving here changed my entire life -it expanded my social and career circles. I know at some point I will have to move back to my suburban hometown as my parents get older and I will need to take care of my siter (she is mentally disabled). It's a nice town and I know I would have a nice life there, but I'm really happy where I am now and am not ready to leave yet.

Jill Sherman said...

After much thought, I would have to say yes. I'm in love with diversity, and that's really hard to find outside of a big city!

Songy said...

as so many people wrote to you already.. don't think i'd be able to give you any special advice or opinion...

I was born in a mega city of 15 million people. Now I'm down here in Perth. still a city but not a big one. would I have had more opportunities if I remained in Seoul? Maybe.. but I'm doing just as well here in a much smaller town. it depends what you really need in your life. for example, I could have stayed in Europe longer but I came back so that I could be closer to friends and family.
But that was after having a stint in bigger cities.
You might want to try out for a short time. I may work for you or may not.

erika @ urban grace said...

wow, i'm a day late, but hopefully not a dollar short.
two things on my mind:
1) you'll never know if you don't try it.
2) i think if you can do your job from a computer, and you are talented - you have nothing to worry about.

I find it more interesting when designers who 'make it big' are from middle-of-nowhere.

In fact I had no idea you were in NC til I read this post... I know, I get all my bloggers confused as far as geographics go, but when I read you were in NC a piece of me said 'that's my girl!' - maybe because you are in the South too, I don't know.

For what it's worth, I did the NYC thing and I wouldn't trade it for the world, was it hard for me- yes. Did I realize there that I was a country girl at heart- yes. Did I grow as a person there more than I have anywhere- yes. Do I want to move back there - no.

Someone commented that it's about 'who you know'... I hate to disagree, but I have to... I think it's all about 'what you know' and if you know your field well you will be successful!

Great post!

fly tie said...

for the longest people have been trying to get me to "make it as a designer." i have no desire to go to n.y. or any other big city to "make it." i need space, nature, and the need not to have to compete it such a missive scale just to make some loot doing what i like to do. when i put effort into it, i do just fine where i am (south louisiana). plus, the beauty of the internet is that it allows for getting my work out there without having to move to any particular place. works lovely for what i'm trying to do.

great photos. i love the freshness of early mornings. :-)

mary said...

Great topic, Diana!

I can understand your yearning for a bit more. Especially at this stage in your life. You're not bound by mortgage, or kids, or anything like that. These days, I don't think you HAVE to be in a big city to 'make it'. Business is so different now. But, it certainly helps. And if you're looking for a new and exciting experience, I say go for it.

Things to think about: will your SO go with you? If not, then what? Will you be close enough to still visit family and friends whenever you wanted? If not, will that weigh on you?

I'm at a different point in my life. I'm married, with a house, ready to start a family. Our city (a coastal town on the North Shore of Massachusetts) is an hour away from Boston; but guess what? Been there, done that. I went to school in Boston, worked there afterwards, and slowly made my way to an area that I just love. Being near the ocean, in the middle of tons of history, and within walking distance to a great little downtown area is important to us. Those were our priorities when searching for a house and a place to live, and we'll work our careers around that.

Make a list of what's important to you at this point in your life. If you move to a new city, keep in mind it doesn't have to be permanent. You could live there for a set period of time, establish your career and get a taste of the big city. And then, depending on where you are in your personal life, make your next decision when you're ready.

Good luck - I look forward to hearing what you do!

Hey Harriet said...

Follow your heart! If moving to the big city is on your mind, then go for it. Sounds like a fun adventure! You can always move back again. Or move to somewhere else. It's a great big world out there & we should experience as much of it as we can. I only wish that I could take my own advice ;) Having read this post has prompted me to give some thought to my current situation. So thanks! Have a wonderful week ahead :)

Camille said...

My husband is USMC so I haven't really picked where I live for the past 15 years. I've found myself in some places that I initially despised, but grew to love and others that I never wanted to leave from the minute I arrived to don't-ever-get-orders-there-again-places-cause-I'm-not-going places.

I've found I've grown a lot through all my experiences. (Grow where you are planted a fellow military wife once said to me.) I think you can make it in this day and age of technology almost anywhere.

I think the combo for me is the people and the local. With my husband getting out in three years I never invisioned myself saying "I want to live in Virginia", but I've made some connections and I love Old Town Fredericksburg, the Itty Bitty I think a combo of friends, proximity to family (4 hours for me) and the asthetics of the area are determining factors.

bandelle said...

I don't know if I can really add any more to this topic but my feeling is that you should go for it. I think you may always wonder otherwise. You may dislike the big city life when you are there but at least then you will know.

BUT I also feel like you definitely do not need to live in a big city to make it. There are so many wonderful success stories of people who live out in the country. Look at Amy Butler! I'm not sure where she lives but I know it's not New York or LA.

I wish you well, Diana. You will do fine regardless of where you live. And we'll be right here for you :)


suzanne said...

Being your "neighbor" I struggle with this too. But as much as I love to travel and visit big cities, I ultimately love coming home...and for me this means something.

I have no real advice...but based on the 85! comments that came before've probably gotten what you've needed.

suzanne said...

Being your "neighbor" I struggle with this too. But as much as I love to travel and visit big cities, I ultimately love coming home...and for me this means something.

I have no real advice...but based on the 85! comments that came before've probably gotten what you've needed.

suzanne said...

Being your "neighbor" I struggle with this too. But as much as I love to travel and visit big cities, I ultimately love coming home...and for me this means something.

I have no real advice...but based on the 85! comments that came before've probably gotten what you've needed.

a little bird said...

oh my GOODness you have a lot of responses...

my sobriety determines where I live...

enough said : )

Sara Christine said...

I live in a small town south of San Francisco. My apartment is a block away from the main street so I can walk to mostly everything I need, but I have a car so I can drive to work. I moved out of San Francisco to be closer to work, and miss it a lot. It's hard when you're young to live in the suburbs. Less action. I always feel like I'm missing something important when my city friends start talking about their crazy Saturday nights. But it was the right choice for me. As soon as I can, I intend to move back to Seattle (my fabulous hometown) and hopefully raise kids in the city. I'll always be a city girl at heart. Good luck to you, you clearly have lots of blogland support! :)

Pat said...

So many comments, and I'm coming to this late, but I'll give you my 2 cents. I've lived on the same block in Brooklyn, NY my whole life! Being in NYC is never dull however, and I loved having family and friends nearby. Lately, though, many of my friends have moved elsewhere and even family members are moving or retiring to other states. My son moved to Denver, CO and loves the west. So things change even if you remain the same. Does that answer help? Go with your heart and do what you want to do. Nothing is ever permanent! Good luck!

quaint handmade said...

this is such a great topic diana and obviously not an easy decision for you. i’ve scanned through many of the comments, and i'm not sure i can add that much, but here's a story -

- i had a co-worker in my last company who was from sydney.
- she is a very smart girl, very savvy.
- she loved the show sex and the city.
- she moved to nyc and kind of thought it would be a bit like the show.
- she didn't really know anyone here.
- she was heartbroken because she couldn't connect with people, especially guys, although she met them. they were not looking for love.
- our company was very small so there was not much socializing.
- she had no support system for her when she had to get her tonsils out, or her grandmother died back home, or the company suddenly closed.
- it was very hard and she was thinking of moving to london. she knows people there, but doesn't really like it.
- she didn't want to go home to sydney feeling unfulfilled.
- her family didn't support her move to nyc and took advantage of every obstacle she encountered to tell her to come home - that was the worst part.

nyc is a great, great town - have you been here before? but, it can be hard, lonely and expensive. i think that if you want to move to a big city, try to have some sort of support system started either through your new job, scheduled classes, even blogging buddies like us. this way, you're not alone when things get challenging as life does regardless of where your live. maybe, even take an extended vacation to see what it’s like once the fantasy meets your daily existence. i don’t want to discourage you at all, just don’t want you to be heartbroken like my friend.

i also agree with erin and others who said that things have changed thanks to the internet and that you can do what you love anywhere. i learn about things and buy them online from people in japan to brooklyn. other than textile design in your day job, what else do you want to do? can you start it now?

i live in nyc because that’s where scott lived when i met him. he saved me from the suburbs, so i understand the itch you have to leave the small town behind. i was from nj, but our family is close by.

sorry this is so long.

Jessie Cacciola said...

p.s. sorry i didn't have a better answer for you. I'm not settled and am thinking basically the same thing as you. much luck! xo

SimplyGrove said...

Wow, you have gotten some great responses and advice! Go where you feel ultimately happy and fulfilled. Having Family always helps too!!

The Lil Bee said...

Hi Diana,
So sorry it took me so long to comment since your note! This is the BIGGEST back-and-forth between me and P. Because we have two dogs, living in the country would make much more sense. A backyard would be fantastic. And P's career allows him to live in the city or country.

But for me, being a freelancer, it's much more convenient to live in NYC. And, like you, I feel like I'm young and should be living it up here while I can.

My instinct says that if you're pondering the move to Raleigh, now's the time to do it. But, on the other hand, you have a good quality of life and who's to say that you can't move to the city in ten years? For me, it comes down to $$...and raising kids in the city is just too expensive. So I'm going to stay here as long as I can until we start having little Bees and Ps running around!

Keep me posted:) xo

Anonymous said...

I live in Chicago and today is a day/week where all I crave and want is my country drives... no waiting for buses, trains, and taxis, no paying 10 dollars or more for lunch, no having to walk the dog three blocks to a jankity patch of grass just so he will take a poo, no pavement, no stupid people saying mean things, no L trains ruining your phone conversations with your mother, no honking, no travling 1 mile and having it take 30 mins on foot, or in vehical!

Unfortuantly where I come from there is also no art, no plays, no corner restaurants ON EVERY CORNER, no abundance of hot men, no diversity, and no JOBS!


karey m. said...

you know...we gave up corporate america to raise the girlies somewhere else...

when my husband proposed to me, i remember him saying "if we ever have babes, i want to raise them all over the world so that they love it all."

i could move tomorrow and the day after that. you know?

{you're so good at this blogging/therapy/reminding everyone what they love thing! xoxo.}

Michelle Parks McCourt said...

Hi there,
Really good question. My husband and I live in NYC but bought a little place upstate to escape the madness of this place. I think it is always a question of work/life balance and quality of life. And each person has their own versions of what is a must. For some it is a short walking commute, for others it is to be near the ocean etc...Make a pro / con list. That might help!

Michelle Parks McCourt said...

Hi there,
Really good question. My husband and I live in NYC but bought a little place upstate to escape the madness of this place. I think it is always a question of work/life balance and quality of life. And each person has their own versions of what is a must. For some it is a short walking commute, for others it is to be near the ocean etc...Make a pro / con list. That might help!

Leanne said...

Beautiful photographs. Nice post...

I'm obviously way late adding my thoughts to this post but I like the topic never-the-less. I live in the city of Chicago. I've lived in the vicinity of Chicago my whole life. My husband grew up in what used to be a small farm town and is now considered a "far northwest suburb." We met at a small Christan college in suburbia. We grew up on meat, potatoes and corn. We're Midwesterners at heart and over time, I've learned to except and appreciate this part of our lives. Sometimes I think I should be more adventurous and see America. But I don't really want start over, meet a whole new set of friends, find a new church, create new job networks and so forth. I love the art, culture and food of Chicago. I love the neighborhoods. I like the access to public transportation. I don't generally like my politicians. I don't like our taxes. And we could use more affordable housing. My brother lives in the North Georgia Mountains and I very much enjoy visiting his little family and being in the mountains. But after a few days, I feel restless and isolated and I yearn for my urban neighborhood. However, I think if you get involved in your community, church, etc and meet kindred spirits, you can make the most of any address. Chicago is a big city but at times, I feel like we live in mini villages. My husband and I go to church 1 block away from our apartment. We're hosting an Earth Festival this fall and I'm the site coordinator of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) partnership with a farm in Illinois. Maybe I have a foot planted in two worlds- urban and rural Illinois.

Stephanie said...

Hi, Diana!

So, I am really late to the party on this one, but like so many other posters, this dilemma speaks to me. I don't think there is any easy answer, but I think you need to find a way to feed your soul no matter where you live. I think it is a stroke of great good luck to connect to a place - be it a big city or a cabin in the woods - that gives you what you need creatively and personally. If you think you know that place, I say move, because that's a rare thing to have, even if it only lasts for a year or two.

the sassy kathy said...

i am clearly many months late on this, but i stumbled on it and it is so appropriate for me right now i had to respond - it is such a tricky question... can the PLACE really outweigh the friends/family foundation you have where you are now?

i'm in NJ and trying to get to NYC now, but probably not for long - i want a city and people and things to do, but i can't see myself dealing with the stress/insanity/smell/price of new york permanently...

i went to spain in the spring and decided i wanted to live in a city like madrid... i've yet to find the US equivalent though.

good luck with your decision!

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