What would you do if you were faced with almost total freedom of choice? If most of the barriers to your decision-making process were suddenly and abruptly removed? I found myself in this position a few months ago. With no employment, a location-independent side income, a stay-at-home spouse and two children not yet attending school, I was handed the final piece to the puzzle – an offer to buy our home.
I don’t think most people can easily comprehend how disorienting it feels to suddenly have no obligations or commitments to one’s current lifestyle. My wife and I woke up one day to realize that our house was sold, I had no job, she had no job, our kids were still young enough to relocate without any trouble and soon we won’t even have a place to live. We are as free as we can be (excepting, of course, that we have two children to care for).
I have dreamed for years of living in a semi-tropical climate. I am a fair skinned person, but I feel most comfortable in the heat and sun. I am not a cold weather person – probably due to growing up in the Deep South – and despite 13 years of living in Moscow and New York I have never fully adjusted to the cold climate. Bubelah is a product of a Central Asian climate – again, not nearly as cold as New York. Since we were married we have flirted with the idea of moving to a warm climate, and again and again the topic turned to Florida (as opposed to a more distant location like Arizona or California or South America).
It is easy, once you have the chance, to get scared of freedom. I wake up in the early hours many mornings wondering what will happen – are we doing the right thing, is it a mistake, should I be more cautious. But almost every day I think that we’ll never have this chance again. If I take a new contract in New York, or we buy a place in New York, or do almost anything other than taking our chance to move where we want to move that we’ll always wonder what if. We will never know what would have happened if we took hold of the opportunity we had to do what we wanted. Five years from now Little Buddy and Pumpkin will be in school, we’d be more settled and moving would be a nightmare.
Right now we can take a chance, and right or wrong we can make a decision and see how it affects our lives. If you believe in something for years and years and when the time comes to act on that belief you don’t seize it, I think you would regret it. I don’t want to regret the things I didn’t do, more than I fear the regret I might feel if I do them.