It’s too bad that you can’t be in two places at one time. Or three. Or twelve.
Each of them feels so right when I’m not there: Chicago looked good when I lived in New York; Los Angeles looked good when I lived in Chicago. Now that I’m here in Southern California, the segmenting just gets smaller, the beach looks dreamy when I live inland, but the further-inland entices, too.
But wait, even my tiny living space does not rule out restless longing. When I am at my desk, I wonder if it might not be better to write at the coffee shop, at the co-working space, at the dining-room table, just 1o feet away. And who says longing needs to be anchored in the real world, have you never watched a movie and wanted to crawl inside? I give you Tuscany and its very special sun, the holy Gilbert Triangle, and (irony alert) the Kansas of Dorothy Gale. (To be clear, while these places leave me cold, I am not immune, rather perversely, I know, Phoenix looks good to me when I’m watching the Mid-Century version of it in Hitchcock’s Psycho.)
I’ve moved enough times to get that the problems you think you leave behind will jump into your luggage and follow you to your next destination like so many Manhattan bedbugs. What is the question, really, that’s behind “Where do I want to live?” Is it really how do I want to live? Is that the Big Question that’s at the root of all the questions, especially as I roll up on 5-0, or is it a subtle variation, how do I want to spend my time?
As I continue my casting-off of stuff, I’m finding the smallest bit of room and courage to look at some radically different ways of living out the back 40. So far, it’s been equal measures asking for help and being open to serendipity, so hey, feel free to drop fantastic tools/books/what-have-you that have been helpful. Some context would be nice.
P.S. For the record, I’ve had great success with The Artist’s Way, Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life and Simple Abundance; I’m having ongoing good results, especially this year, with Your Best Year Yet. This time around, something finally clicked between me and Wishcraft, whose contents my friend Havi has long loved. I’ll report back here once I’ve finished it and assimilated the results. (Which brings up an obvious to-do for the blog: create write-ups of each of these as I have for Move Your Stuff, and maybe a comparison grid of some kind.)
Screen cap of opening panorama from Psycho nabbed from the internets.