What If

What if one were to blow up one’s life, in a figurative sense, and move a few states over to a place of rivers, mountains, and progressives? What would it be like to live in a village? When is a person too old to try to make friends?

What keeps a person tied to a place? It’s not that I love the town I live in. There are many things I like about my life, and Second Job is a delightful mix of comforting and infuriating.

What if it were a short-term scenario, a few years, with a very specific goal in mind? The adventurous part of me says Yes, just do it!! But the rest of me thinks about how much damn physical and emotional work it is to move, to try new things, to look for another Second Job. But of course I can edit from anywhere.

When is enough enough?


12 responses to “What If

  1. Even though I’ve thought about this very thing for a long time, I don’t have an answer (for me or you). You should probably do it though, especially if it’s temporary. Broadened horizons and all of that, even with the knowledge of the struggle involved.

  2. On a deeper level, I can’t stop myself from wondering all the time what my life would have been like if I had taken the left fork in the road instead of the right at various times. Said no instead of yes. Stood up instead of backing down. Spent more time in libraries than bars. That kind of thing. My head says that this alternate life (these lives) would have had its (their) own frustrations and disappointments and difficulties and challenges, and had I lived it (them), I would undoubtedly be pondering the changes I could have made to realize the life I’m actually now living (such as it is). It’s a conundrum.

    As for staying put and making a life, when is that the best of all possible worlds and when it that just settling? (I don’t know. It’s a rhetorical question.)

    • For many years I had a north/south dilemma. Should I live closer to my family in a place where I could have biscuits whenever I liked? Or should I live in the northern tundra with its broader embrace of gay rights, among other things? That’s when I realized I’d always regret something.

      When I left the city to live in a town with my young man it made sense. One moves to live with someone they love, especially when one’s object of affection hates the city.

      It turns out I’m conventional after all, and will find it hard to explain, “My spouse and I moved to [state redacted] for an experiment, and a certain amount of economic gain.” Why do we (I) worry about how to explain ourselves (myself)?

  3. I have two notes. Ok, four.

    One: I was pleased and satisfied when I learned that I was capable of moving to a new city, finding housing and work (low standards help) and generally making a life from scratch if necessary. I kind of miss doing that every few years.

    Two: A young man of my acquaintance (well, young once) said when challenged about some unconventional choice in a professional setting, “I’m the talent. They expect me to be weird.” You and Young Man are Writers. Own it, fill it, use it, screw ’em.

    Three: Don’t move! Your oldest crabbiest friends would miss you!

    Four: Do what you want. See “screw ’em” above.

  4. I used to move around every couple of years, and I *loved* being in a new apartment in a new city where I didn’t know anyone. Now, I’ve been in the same basic place now for 25 years, and I love the community. But every time I visit a charming town, I want to move there. Were it not for the fact that I live in such a beautiful place (and that my kiddos would be devastated by a move), I would seriously struggle to return home from my road trips.

    But back to you: mountains and rivers are WONDERFUL THINGS I can never get enough of, and if you can live in them and write, you would be “living the dream” as they say. (I realize that even though I wrote “back to you,” I really am still projecting *me.*)

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