Why do so few pull up roots in a geographical area where they feel stuck?
Maybe their aging in-laws are burdening them to the point of a nervous breakdown.
Maybe the cost of living has spiraled upward and their earning power hasn't.
Psychologists, economic developers and career counselors certainly would like to find absolute answers to this human puzzle. But I have a hunch Everyman and Everywoman has his or her own unique pathology for dying financially, socially, emotionally and spiritually in their own version of T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland."
According to the latest Gallup poll, about half those in Connecticut want to move elsewhere. Here is that report. But, don't look for the wagon trains to line the highways out of CT south, west and even north. I was one of the few who had made it out.
My lodging and car insurance in AZ are half what we ponied up in CT.
Gasoline is about 40 cents to 60 cents less a gallon.
My new address makes me more attractive to prospects for ghostwriting and scriptwriting in the Southwest. Yes, I am hot again, after having some scary months of little work during the Polar Vortex.
Neighbors are nice. A Native American in my residential complex told me not to plan anything this Saturday (my birthday) since she had a special event planned. In fact, there is a real sense of neighborhood here. I can walk to the Third Place Wellness Center, public library, 12-step club and supermarket.
But, everyone, including my college friends such as Lee Harrison and Charlotte Toal, agree it's a "miracle" I could pull off the move.
How did I do it?
The tipping point was another college friend Dr. Kathleen Huebner's observation during a phone call that many people want to relocate. However, they don't have the resources, ranging from financial to emotional (e.g. courage to walk into the unknown). After reflecting on that for about 10 days, that was that.
Huebner had moved from Pennsylvania to AZ about six years ago. Currently she teaches at the university and consults nationally on mobility for the seeing impaired. Of course, she has been a role model for being able to transplant a career path. Her photo is to the left.
My advice to others itching to flee CT etc. (Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Louisiana and Mississippi are also on the Gallup list of perceived wastelands)?
- Trust yourself. Not easy when we have been strong-armed to rely on the experts.
- Secondly, forget magical thinking that this road less traveled will be a walk on the wild side. No, it hasn't been an adventure. The only way from Point A to Point B was by being totally practical and conservative in judgment.
- And, third, hold on to the familiar. From the get-go when I hit the road I kept in touch with friends on Facebook, blogged compulsively and dined exclusively on Wendy's salads.
If John F. Kennedy were alive today his "Profiles in Courage" might be focusing on 21st century pioneers who won't tolerate geographical stuckness.