I’ve had this restlessness creeping in of late. Until the last few days, I’ve been in complete denial of what this feeling has heralded in the past.
Every ten or so years, I get a nearly uncontrollable urge to pick up and move far, far away. In 1988, I moved to Ann Arbor to go to college. It wasn’t far, far away, but it sets a baseline for when I arrived someplace away from the house were I grew up, someplace that wasn’t yet Home.
I had a solid career at the University of Michigan, and a really nice group of friends. Then, in 1999, I moved to Seattle on about three week’s notice. In 2007, I came back to Michigan, also on fairly short notice, in part due to complete financial deconstruction, in part due to a false sense of homesickness brought on by my grandmother’s passing, but also because I could feel that wanderlust creeping up on me, and couldn’t afford to go anyplace else.
Now, it’s 2016.
And I’m getting antsy.
The only reasons I am still here in Michigan are my dad, my friends, and my job. I would love to be nearly anywhere else, for I am tired (once again) of crap Michigan roads, crap Michigan winters, crap Michigan politics, crap Michigan crap. There is very little to recommend central Michigan, folks, at least for me; verrrrrrry little. I do know people who love it here – but it’s just not for me.
There is no wilderness here. There is no nearby adventure. There are no breathtaking, huge mountainous landscapes. No waterfalls. No curvy roads. No ocean. Precious little Culture.
My dad is talking about moving West to be near his step-grandchildren and to get out of the Michigan winters, which cause him unbearable pain. That leaves my friends, and my job, both of which are very tightly enmeshed.
At this stage in the game, I don’t feel I am especially employable elsewhere, at least not without putting substantial effort into polishing up my tech skills, so finding a good job, a career, outside of LW might be difficult. Too, I believe in this company – I love it. I live and breath it. I have made, and can continue to make, a difference here. I believe I am doing good things here. It’s a wonderful place to work, but they (at present) do not allow telecommuting. If I could stay with this company, but work remotely, I’d probably do it.
My friends, though – I can’t really telecommute to bar nights, or have someone stop by to visit if I’m 2500 miles away. Three years ago, that wouldn’t have been a problem, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt as much a part of things as I do right now; I have a tribe, a chosen family, of really wonderful people. They have somehow, some way, managed to convince me they love me for who I am. They accept me, flaws and all, when I don’t even really accept myself.
The upside on the friends front, though, would be getting to see distant friends I seldom (or never) see anymore, and easier access to motorcycle endurance rallies and other events.
If one were to dip one’s toe into potential psychological reasons behind this recurring wanderlust, it wouldn’t be too difficult to come up with a few highly plausible theories about why I do this to myself. Part of it is being heavily seeker-oriented, and but that’s not the entirety of it. Let’s save the rest of the self-analysis for another time, though, shall we?
This time around, I’m going to try to resist, at least for awhile. If I do this (again,) it needs to be better planned out; I am getting too old to be financially unsecure and cavalier at the same time.
Still, South and West are calling to me. As much as I would love, love, love to go back to the Pacific Northwest, it would be nice to live someplace where 4-5 months of the year aren’t cruddy in terms of outdoor activities. Ideally? Summer house in Alaska, winter house in… oh, I don’t know… northern New Mexico, maybe. Southern Utah? Someplace beautiful.
With luck, I’ll do some traveling this summer that will either temporarily sate the need to move around. The risk, however, is that it will not sate things at all – it may only spur them. Frick.