I suppose anytime there is a major life moment it makes you think about your own life and where you are, where you are going, etc. I realized that I am basically rootless. I don’t feel a strong connection to any particular geographical location. Also a couple of weeks ago Alec did a post at Thorny’s place about “home” and what that means, which made me think.
I grew up in the same place that my ancestors landed around 1911. So there is a long family history to a very small patch of ground (geographically speaking) for over 100 years, and I have tons of family of all levels who live there. It is 6 hours north of the nearest international airport (okay, pretty much the only airport), definitely not very central or major. You’d think I have strong ties there but… Eh. The only reason I go back is because my grandparents/parents live(d) there. And my parents were foolish enough to move back after they retired. I keep in touch with no one from my childhood, it’s just all behind me. Sure I love my family, but if I never went back, I’d be okay with that.
So I started thinking about retirement (because that lottery thing doesn’t seem to be working out) and where I would live. This actually came up spontaneously with some colleagues when we went for lunch Tuesday. The only reason 90% of us live in this city is because our job is here. We have no family, no real ties. It’s not “home”.
Why when you google “retirement” do you only get couples holding hands? Grrrr.
That means I wouldn’t stay here. It’s an okay city, but I have no real connection. Should my daughter follow her career path as planned, she would never move here for a job. She likes Vancouver, would I move there? It’s very expensive and who’s to say she will stay there for a job and not move around. It’s rather pitiful to follow your kid around like a lost puppy. Toronto? Eh. Pretty expensive but a nice big city. The small town I grew up in? AHAHAHAHAHA! No. Too small, too far, too nothing good. Maybe Montreal? Somewhere tropical? Could I afford that? I don’t know.
Even if that lottery ticket in my purse is a winner, I have no clue what I’d do. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t buy a house here. I really have no clue where I’d live. And then what if I were to die tomorrow. Where would my ashes be buried/stored? In my hometown? Why? My daughter doesn’t live there. Here? No one to care that I’m here? My daughter carries me around in an urn on her mantle? That’s weird. Sprinkle me somewhere? Where? I have no roots or connection remember. Snort me like Keith Richards?
This is pretty
Sigh. I’m not about to retire anytime soon. By that time so many things in my life will change, and I don’t plan on ending up in an urn for even longer. However I sometimes envy people who have a strong tie to somewhere, anywhere. On the other hand, picking up and heading off to the Middle East or Africa or wherever is easy for me. Sure I’ll miss western amenities,but those amenities could be found in any western city, not just mine.
Pros and cons. Maybe I’ve just yet to find that place. Maybe I never will. I’ll end up wandering the rest of my days. Could be worse.
So what are your plans? Do you have it all figured out? Stay where you are, move somewhere you’ve dreamed of? Or are you flailing around like me and hoping to land somewhere you don’t hate some day?