20191230 – Pithy Title

Bear with me for the first few posts. It’s going to take me some time to get back on the wagon. Normally I’d sit here (Barnes & Noble, Hendersonville, TN) and type into a Microsoft OneNote notebook. I opened it and closed it twice before logging in here.

I’m nominally retired, call it a sabbatical, and I’m pretty neurotic and angsty about the next step.

I’m quite done living in an apartment and want to buy a house with a few acres of land, someplace I can set up a workshop and make dangerous and eventually beautiful things out of metal, wood, peppers, sugar, flour, and words. I’ve a long way to go.

But being untethered and largely rootless the question of where to go looms there, more terrifying than a blinking cursor on a blank page.

There are buckets and buckets of pros and cons for moving far away from here (and likely close…ISH to family, though after a week back up in NJ and NY, I’m not sure I need to be too close.)

Of course The Perfect is the enemy of The Good, and “fail early fail often” is the way to enlightenment. But…how does that jive with spending $300k on a house? Can’t really “fail often”, nor is it something I can have any expectation of “getting right.”

So my brain runs around in tight little circles with the same few issues, being unable to weight and rank them. Roughly, they come down to these:

  • People: The people in Tennessee are just awesome. It’s a lovely friendly place (especially if you’re from Brooklyn.) Advantage: Stay
  • Local climate: I love snow and winter. But one advantage Tennessee has is that the winters are SO mild that you don’t end up buried in your home all winter. It’s 12/30, I’m sitting in Barnes & Noble and there are people in shorts walking around. Granted, that’s overdoing it a bit. But it’s not completely unreasonable. The summers here are absolutely brutal 95 degree 100% humidity messes that DO drive everyone indoors from April through mid October, so it pretty much nets out. No advantage
  • Proximity to family: It’s a 16 hour drive to see my Mother and Sisters. As a result I only go up once a year.
  • Scenery: Middle Tennessee is just a flat mess of nothing. Advantage: GTFO
  • Stuff to do: There’s all kinds of neat stuff I haven’t even cracked the surface of down here. Sure, it’s no NYC, but nothing is. I can get something “close enough” to downtown Nashville without breaking the bank. I suspect that’s something close to unique. There’s the question of how much will I ACTUALLY do. But that’s orthogonal to where I live. Advantage: Stay

There are a couple/few other things kicking around. Gun laws, cost of living, etc. But most of those don’t fall in the “stay or go” assessment since I can tailor a destination based on those factors easily enough no matter what.

Plus, the idea of starting over socially just seems tedious. Not that I know so many people; startlingly few given that I’ve been down here for a hair over four years. But there’s a lot of context, for lack of a better word, I’ve built up here. Starting from scratch was fun back then. But I’m 50, this shit gets old.

I have no conclusion to this. Like the issue in my head the post just goes until I run out of steam, having resolved nothing so clearly.


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