When I left the house one morning last week, this is what I saw. I immediately ran back inside to get my camera because the fog effects were too cool not to photograph. I’m quite happy with where I’m living now. After living on/near campus, I graduated to a big-girl duplex last year that turned out to be a little less than idyllic. The former-smoker smell permeated everything I owned, various parts of the house fell to pieces throughout the year, our landlords were mostly unresponsive, and our neighbors had frequent loud and profane arguments.
Now I live in what amounts to a suburb. The neighborhood kids go to school at the Wonder Bread Factory and sell coupon books for fundraisers. The parking lot is full of American cars made after 2000, and there are at least 6 grocery stores within five miles. I commute 14 miles each way to work now, and part of me feels vaguely guilty not living in the community where I work. But I think being physically away from school has helped me maintain the work-home boundary better, which is also due in no small part to once more having places to go and people to see when I leave work. I used to think that if I were happy at work, I wouldn’t need anything else, but in fact it is the time I spend with friend or my creative pursuits outside of school that is significantly strengthening my soul.