"Find the Place You Love. Then Move There. If where you live isn’t truly your home, and you have the resources to make a change, it could do wonders for your happiness."
The Atlantic suggests an article for me — from a couple years ago — that's right in my zone. It's by Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic's happiness expert, who — I'd noticed — has a new article in The Atlantic that I'd seen but chose not to click on: "Think About Your Death and Live Better/Contemplating your mortality might sound morbid, but it’s actually a key to happiness."
Did the Atlantic somehow see that I looked at the death article but decided not to read it and calculate that I might want to contemplate falling in love with someplace other than home and moving there?
The "Find the Place You Love" essay begins with an anecdote about a man who grew up in Minnesota, moved to Northern California, and then missed Minnesota. When I read the title, I thought the idea was to cast a wide net, consider everywhere, and fall in love with something. But if it's just look back on your life and understand what was your real home, that's a much more restricted set of options. There's a good chance you already live in what is for you the most home-like place, and if you were to leave, thinking you'd found a better place — Northern California is "better" than Minnesota — you'd become vividly aware of the feeling of home.
There is a word for love of a place: topophilia, popularized by the geographer Yi-Fu Tuan in 1974 as all of “the human being’s affective ties with the material environment.” In other words, it is the warm feelings you get from a place. It is a vivid, emotional, and personal experience, and it leads to unexplainable affections....
It is worth reflecting on your strongest positive synesthetic tendencies—and the place they remind you of. They are a good guide to your topophilic ideal, and thus an important factor to be aware of as you design a physical future in line with your happiness.
Could a place that has never been your home become the place you love in this way? It's possible that none of your homes over the years ever felt like home? What is this idealized notion that there's a place that's "truly your home"?
It makes me think of the old gospel song "I Can't Feel at Home in This World Anymore":
This world is not my home, I'm just a-passing through
My treasures and my hopes are all beyond the blue;
Where many Christian children have gone on before
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore
Over in glory land there is no dying there
The saints are shouting Victory and singing everywhere
I hear the voice of Nell that I have heard before
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore...
Heaven's expecting me that's one thing I know
I fixed it up with Jesus a long time ago
He will take me through though I am weak and poor
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore....
Back to "Find the Place You Love. Then Move There":
Among the entrepreneurs I studied, I noticed a tendency to put personal capital at risk in exchange for explosive rewards—rewards that can be hard to see at the time the risk is taken, but that the entrepreneurs intuitively feel will come. As the economist Joseph Schumpeter described the entrepreneur’s impulse, “there is the dream and the will to found a private kingdom.”... [Y]ou can... be an entrepreneur in the truest sense, occupied in the enterprise of building your life, your private kingdom. And sometimes, that means risking your emotional capital for explosive rewards that you feel in your heart will come.