I once read in a magazine about a women who was stuck in that phase of life where she wondered if where she was, was where she was supposed to be. She was thinking maybe it was time to move somewhere new—to get out of her rut, to start fresh. She had the courage to do it but no idea where to go. She had no desire to be any place in particular and nothing pulling her any place else. So she tacked a map up on her wall, blindfolded herself and threw a dart at it. Where it landed, she would go.
Since reading that, I myself have thought of doing the same, thinking how impulsive, how daring. The only problem is that at this point in my life I’m not so sure I have the guts to do something so rash, recognizing more and more that I’m not so interested in straying from my comfort zone. The idea of moving to a new place and starting over all by myself gets my stomach in knots.
New York City is the only place I’ve called home in my adult life, save for my near-year in France which felt more like an extended vacation, even though I paid rent to a landlord and became a regular at the local boulangerie. But yes, it is a big wide world, why stay in one place?
So the question looms: if I left again, where would I go? And more than that, I wonder, could I handle any place else?
I write about New York all the time. How I love it, how this place has my heart. I often wonder if I could deal with the slower paced life of a suburb or the even slower paced life of a house on a hill in the middle of nowhere. Birds chirping in their natural habitat I could handle. But could I live without 5000 restaurants and 8000 bars to choose from when a friend suggests dinner or meeting for a drink? Could I live amongst small town people instead of the big city slickers I’ve grown used to?
I was in Florida a few weeks ago for a wedding. A childhood friend of mine met a girl from Pittsburgh and they fell in love. Lucky for him, she also fell in love with our hometown…because he is a Florida boy, perfectly content in the calm of the sunshine state. Together they love the beach, the quiet, the slower pace. The simpler life appealing in so many ways.
I think back to that weekend and all the friends I saw with their babies in tow and I think of what I want and what is really important. A daily update from New York magazine rolls into my inbox announcing that fashion’s latest ‘It Girl’ is having troubles juggling her social calendar. Do I really care? No. Is there life beyond the big city? Of course.
Do I have the guts to do anything drastic just yet? I do not.
So I’ll make that reservation at the B&B in the country for a weekend. And I’ll buy myself a map and some darts. For when I’m ready. One day. Maybe.