I never thought it was possible for a city to have a certain attitude, so to speak, but after moving to Charlotte I’ve realized that it’s completely true. And your city’s attitude has a major impact on your own outlook on life, so it’s worth examining. For example, in Syracuse the attitude is generally “blah.” It snows nine months out of the year, and many people have lived there their whole life and wish they had a chance to leave.
Of course, it’s not fair to say this is true of everyone who lives in Syracuse. There are plenty of people who love the city and take a lot of pride in it. There are people who have great jobs and would never want to be anywhere else. But as a general rule, there’s no real “rah rah” attitude about living in Syracuse. Many residents don’t have a sense of pride in the area, and are much more likely to make fun of it or complain about it. The city is a great place to raise a family, but it’s not an ideal spot for a twenty-something.
Towards the end of my time in Syracuse, I’d noticed that attitude had started to wear off on me. I was becoming one of those people who wanted to leave but hadn’t and was bitter as a result. I hated the weather and wasn’t finding the opportunity I wanted there. I was starting to become like one of the infamous commenters who leave bitter, snarky remarks on every piece on Syracuse.com, regardless of the content.
Then I came to Charlotte, and my whole perception shifted. Everyone’s here because Charlotte is a destination and they want to be here. There are plenty of jobs in a wide variety of industries, and there’s a huge twenty-something population here. The weather is nice. If you’re here, it’s probably because you want to enjoy a big city with good jobs and a reasonable cost of living, and not because your whole family is here and it just kind of happened. You see this idea reflected in plenty of “pro-Charlotte” materials, like billboards or articles in the newspaper. The city can barely even keep up with its own growth, and new businesses and apartments are constantly being built.
Is the city of Syracuse to blame for my unhappiness there? Of course not. But I think it changes everything when you’re in a city where people are excited to be there, and where growth is happening. It’s hard to feel negative when everyone else around you loves where they live. I’m sure if I had moved to Syracuse from a smaller place, I would have been impressed with what that city had to offer. But the attitude upgrade in the city of Charlotte has been a major perk about living here.
If you’re feeling a little “blah” about things, I’d recommend examining your city’s attitude, as well as your own outlook on life in that place. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in New York City or Des Moines. If living where you’re living isn’t leaving you feeling satisfied, it’s time to make a change. And if you’re trying to be positive but your city isn’t returning the favor, again, time for a change.
Have you seen your city’s “attitude” in action? How does it impact yours?