In the past year I’ve spent time in four states: Virginia, Florida, SC, and Georgia. I have a suitcase that stays packed in case I decide to hop in the car for a road trip.
There are plenty of people who wouldn’t want the nomadic life I’m living right now. I have stuff scattered from Boston to Virginia to SC – my pictures are in Boston and Newport News, my mountains of books at a friend’s house in C’Ville, and my furniture has been in a storage unit for over a year. What I think I might need or can’t live without (books and writing files, mostly) I carry in the trunk of my car since I never know where I’ll be when I need them next. There are some mornings I wake up unsure where I am, at least for a second.
My lifestyle is hard for some people to understand, and it’s damned near impossible for government agencies. The government wants to be able to find me. Wants to be able to put the long finger of bureaucracy on my pulse at any given moment.
I don’t care about being a citizen of one place, don’t want to have to pick. But I have to have a driver’s license in only one state and a permanent address and all those things that supposedly make us adults. So I have checking accounts in both Virginia and SC, addresses that flip-flop back and forth depending on where I think I’ll be the longest, and library cards in Charlottesville, Mount Pleasant, and Key West. I have grocery store cards for places in cities I’ll probably never go to again.
The reason I’ve been living like this is so I can pick up and go when I want – to residencies, conferences, special events. I like having options.
But now it looks like I’m back in Mount Pleasant for the foreseeable future. I’ve followed my passion, and this is where it’s led me. I still plan to go to residencies, and conferences, and who knows where else, but it’ll be nice to unpack my files for a bit. Big Brother should be happy. Only don’t tell him, I’m not taking my stuff out of storage yet.