The girls are gearing up to race on the indoor track at the Hub in Missoula and I am stuck on a conversation we had in the car on the way in from Polson this morning. As we drove down to Missoula, Jessie looked out the window at the little towns, rolling fields, and mountains and asked, "What do people who live here do?". Her question made me remember back to when I was her age and growing up in Missoula. I would have rather died than live in or outside one of the little towns between Missoula and Kalispell. Even Kalispell would have been too small for me. My feelings were based on what I had to do at the time and what I liked to do at the time. I had to go to school, and high school with its greater density of people was much more enjoyable to me than was grade school. I liked to do social things--like dance and party with large groups of people. I dreamed of traveling, going anywhere. I loved meeting new people. Living in one house my whole life (till I was 17) gave me itchy feet.
Living here is not for everybody. Life is best spent where you find your passion and your muse. If you wake up, look around you and are uplifted by the world around you, you're in the right place. If the things you like to do are regularly available to you--you don't have to wait for vacation to do them--you're in the right place. Of course you have to be able to make a living there too. If you hate where you live, it's hard to like life.
When I was younger, meeting and interacting with people was everything to me. Now, I couldn't care less. I can go most days without talking to another being. If I am inspired by my surroundings I'll create. If I create, I'll lose myself in it. I also lose myself in books--and I can do that whether I am inspired by my surroundings or not. Beauty, cool weather, and lack of traffic (people) are now the markers of a good place for me.