I don't live in the greatest place on earth. As a matter of fact, when I moved here the first time in 1996, I told people that I lived in the armpit of the world, it was that bad. I lived here the first time from 1996 - 2001 and during that time we saw allot of growth in this area - new restaurants, new stores and new subdivisions. By the time I moved, I still didn't love this town, but yet it had grown on me. But more importantly were the relationships and friendships that I had made and built. I became friends with some girls and we have watched each other go from young married couples with no children to families with 1, 2, 3 and more children! We are spread out all over the country now but still keep in touch. I would not have those friendships had I not moved to "the armpit of the world" several years ago.
Fast forward 6 years and we are back in this same town. We moved back here in 2007 and should be here until Dave retires from the military in 2013. When we moved back, we saw even more growth had happened over the few years that we were gone. It still has a ways to go before it would become a place that I would want to spend the rest of my life and honestly, I don't think it could ever be that place. But it does have its rewards. It does not have a high crime rate at all and if you live on base as I do, there is virtually no crime. Our kids are able to play outside without having to worry about them being snatched up right before our eyes. Kids can bike or walk down to the park to play and you don't have to worry about them. Do you know how often we have left our doors unlocked and absolutely nothing happened? Can you do that in many other places? We don't have every store that I would like to have but we do have some of the most important ones - Target, Gap, Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, Pier One, Bed Bath and Beyond and Marshall's to name a few. It's only an hours drive to Wilmington where you can get almost anything you need or want. We are only 20 minutes from the beach and yes, I will be the first one to say that these beaches don't compare to the Gulf Coast beaches, but they are beaches none the less. Want cute and quaint? It's only a 15 minute drive to Swansboro which has several good restaurants, cute little stores, etc...and Swansboro in and of itself is quaint.
I guess what I'm getting at is "you've got to make the most of what you've got". I hear so many people complaining about this area and where we live and how it's so much better at this place or that place. But guess what? You aren't living at this or that place. You are living here. Stop finding all the bad and take a look around and make the most of what you've got. Life is too short not to.