It’s the usual big questions stuff that lacks one piece to inspire a trajectory.
But I’ve been toying with the idea of leaving New York City. I do love it here, but…
I’ll relay an anecdote that I used to say about Texas to give this context. I’ve always said I’m an urban guy. That is what I like, and where I like to be, and it is largely true.
My family lives around the Dallas area in Texas, so whenever I wanted to go to a gay bar, or a vegan restaurant, or to see a show, I went in to Dallas proper (which they almost never did).
So, people naturally said if I ever moved there (which I never considered), I would probably end up in downtown Dallas.
My brother used to live 30 minutes away from downtown Dallas in a town called Lewisville, and similarly, I never felt like I could settle in there, since we were so close to Dallas, where all of the interesting stuff was happening.
My aunt lived another hour further away from Dallas, up near the Oklahoma border, on a ranch, and when I went there, I felt comfortable and settled into things easier, because I knew I was nowhere near anything interesting.
So, as I approach my one-year anniversary in my new apartment in NYC, the thought does strike me whether I need to find some place ranch-distance from the city.
When I first looked to places outside of the city, that proximity seemed to be their claim to fame. Like, people move to Stamford, CT, to work in NYC and not live here. So, if you lived there, all you would hear was about going into the city, and we were just in the city, etc. But I don’t want to live somewhere just to have to keep going into the city.
And, for miles and miles west of NYC, it is a lot of urban spread radiating outward from NYC. For people who live in NJ, but commute in to NYC.
So, then I thought about where would be a beautiful place to live, and I thought the Delaware Water Gap always seemed nice. I tool around looking at what houses cost there, and it’s rather insane. I mean, this place would cost me less than my rent in NYC? For 4 bedrooms and seven acres, a creek and a private drive?
Of course, I know no one there. But with four bedrooms, inviting people to visit would be easy, especially as it’s a half-mile from the Martz bus stop from NYC, and an hour from where I grew up. So, about halfway between each.
A large part of the thinking is that I need to decide if I want to be a drip or a burst person.
Right now, I’m easily drip. I am constantly being entertained, sung to, fed, as you would expect of someone who spent more than a decade in downtown SF and more than a year and a half in NYC.
But, if I scaled back (and, in this strange model, buying a house on seven acres is the more conservative option), even if the house, and the car (?!) cost the same as my current rent, I would still save way more money by avoiding all of the times in between going to the city to catch a show.
I guess I’m thinking about Stephen King, and how he sort of lives in Bangor, Maine, and just writes and gets his work done.
I get my jobs done on deadline, and see shows, and eat food, but there is still no finished novel. I always put that stuff last. And being outside the magnetic pull of the city would probably help in that regard.
Of course, there is a rootless aspect that is a challenge in all this. If you move there, the implication is freelance work is the plan from now on, since I’m moving where nothing is. And I don’t want to be one of the people who live there and does a horrible NYC commute. I plan to work from home in that situation, as a commute would just suck up the time I’m supposed to be working on me.
I don’t know anyone there. But that can largely be said about NYC, as I never really built up a crew that I hang with regularly here. I have a bunch of groups and individuals, but it’s a lot of juggling.
I am moving near good schools, but where it seems more improbable to find anyone to date, etc., let alone have a kid with. Again, this isn’t changing much, as I have barely gone to a gay bar in NYC since I’ve been here, mainly due to gaining weight. But, you know, at some point, that might be nice.
I look at that picture and I thinking of planting a garden, and having barbecues and such, and people staying there and going river rafting.
I would be writing more, since what else is there to do?!
I would be cooking more, since where else would I go?!
And all of the money that isn’t going to all of those things can build up, instead of disappear, and turn into day trips to NYC, vacations to Europe, and all of the stuff that remains elusive.
Those would be the aforementioned bursts.
I mean, that property has been on the market for 180+ days?! So, the market is terrible, they probably wanted a lot more and would take even less. And, I’d be doing that weird thing where rent becomes a mortgage, and builds value or something crazy.
I keep wondering if I’m having some midlife crisis, but this seems to be the wrong direction.
You usually don’t look at mortgages and Priuses for a midlife crisis, that I’m aware of?!
So, there is job stuff to consider.
I’ve not seriously pursued stand-up comedy, but that is a bit harder in the country.
Decidedly less gays.
90 minutes by bus from NYC.
An hour from Whole Foods?! (but I have a garden!)
An hour or so from where I grew up (so can have friends visit more easily, too)
I’m not saying I’m about to buy that specific house.
But I do have problems coming up with reasons against thinking it through further.
This is where a job that locks me in somewhere, a husband with a job somewhere, a kid with school somewhere, and all of the usual things would make things a bit less… available as an option? Or at least restrict the search somewhat, heh.