My involvement in The Hopeful Neighborhood Project has me gotten me, not surprisingly, in lots of conversations about neighborhoods. As I reflect on my own life story I feel that I am simultaneously the last person who should be having these conversations and that maybe my own story qualifies me in unique ways to do just that.
On the one hand, I don’t have deep roots in any neighborhood. I’ve lived a relatively nomadic life: living in eleven different neighborhoods while growing up and another twelve as an adult. The longest I’ve spent in any one neighborhood is the twelve years I’ve lived in Pierremont.
I just haven’t experienced the long haul in any one neighborhood. In other words, I’m no neighborhood expert.
On the other hand, I have experienced many different neighborhoods. I’ve lived in ten houses, six apartment complexes, three duplexes, two dorm rooms, one condo, and a trailer. I did the math and discovered I’ve lived in twenty-three different neighborhoods.
Throw in seven other neighborhoods where I spent entire summers and I’ve gotten to live in thirty distinct neighborhoods during my life: some rural, some urban, some suburban. So perhaps I do have a type of neighborhood expertise.
At the very least, I can honestly say I have been personally wrestling with the topic of neighborhoods (and our relationship to them) for a long time.
How about you? What’s your own “neighborhood journey” been like? How many neighborhoods have you lived in over the years? How have you seen neighboring go well? Not so well?
From the forthcoming title The Hopeful Neighborhood, copyright 2020 LHM. This is not the final form, please do not distribute or quote.