I’m spending today minding the jewelry shop for my artisan family members, as they’re off supporting those hit by Hurricanes, enjoying campy weekends with friends, and minding small boys who enjoy causing trouble. The Warehouse is about 40 minutes south of home and I drove along the highway for most of the trip, shrouded in fog and mist, with autumn-colored shadows hinting that the leaves that will begin falling any moment. As I drove past the lake ringed by pointed firs, it occurred to me just how many mornings I’ve passed that spot in the last 19 months, braking gently for the light at the bottom of the hill and hoping for a glimpse of the swans nesting among the reeds at water’s edge — or admiring the lush greenery, or looking at the sky’s reflection on a thawed or frozen surface.

Nineteen months — the longest period of time I’ve spent in one home as an adult. For someone who feels an irresistible pull to the concepts of home and haven, that’s quite a discordant reality. Within a week of moving into a new place, I’m painting the walls, arranging artwork, preparing elaborate meals, and creating a place of refuge from stress-filled, overly-active environs. And yet I’m continuously impelled to move on, to find a new vantage point, to build a new haven. With each change I hold onto less and find a progressively easier time of “settling in” to a slightly different rhythm of life.

Six months ago, I was prepared to purchase property — to own a home, and enjoy the rights and responsibilities of being a landed citizen — in Saratoga. The bank, the real estate agency, the attorney… I secured each of the players as I embarked on the journey, and was ready to put out roots rather than leave transplanted cuttings of the lives I’ve lived in different towns and neighborhoods. Since “home” and “haven” are so appealing to me, it seemed a most natural selection.

I’m looking forward to NYC, but this is the first move that has me feeling as much trepidatious as excited. In one sense, I’m being forced to confront the idea of my “wandering” feet — a bizarre distinction when I consider that I’ve lived in the same region for most of my life, but one that is legitimized by my conscious efforts to entangle myself within the different communities I’ve chosen. Does this pattern of constantly moving about with a pack on my shoulder (or filling a moving van, to shatter the image of hobo romance) honestly appeal to me? Before now I would have said that moving is merely a necessary task within the pattern of living I’ve set up for myself — to constantly be seeking “something better.” But what if it is, instead, a legitimate modus operandi in and of itself?

The pattern of the rest of my life indicates that it may be so.  The idea of being “tied down” to other people (especially helpless babies and the inertia surrounding them) is nauseating and stifling — thus a pattern of serial dating and casual friendship that has been quite rewarding in its own way.  All of the career choices I’ve made have been instigated by a desire to diversify myself and my resume/portfolio, thus a “Renaissance Man” styled beginning with many branching possibilities for the future.  When my calendar fills with plans and outlines and activities for every spare minute and there’s no room for choice or new opportunity, my stress level skyrockets — thus every vacation I’ve taken for the last three years has involved making no plans, simply enjoying the days spontaneously as they come.  Thus my interest in new music — guitar, flutes and pipes, saxophone — instruments that can be carried with me easily, rather than my early love of scads of sheet music stored in the bench of a baby grand.

Clearly I’m someone who likes having a great many options available, and the power to change my mind frequently.  A fan of flexibility, you might say.

This puts a very different spin on my move to Manhattan.  I’m off to spend time in the city “for awhile,” without the expectation that it’s a permanent move.  I expect that I’ll still turn my home into a haven everywhere I go, but it’s time to scrap the home-owner plan for a time, throwing a *very* different light on my finances since anything that doesn’t require massive quantities of income being diverted to a high-return savings account would alter the availability of disposable income.

All combined, that swings a brighter, more fun-filled, gypsy-spangled spotlight onto this opportunity.  Because truly, what could be better than being young with few responsibilities or worries within the most exciting city on the planet?  I’m having a hard time coming up with anything to balance that scale.

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