Commitment Issues

My husband and I got engaged six months after we started dating. Some people thought we were nuts. We didn’t care – we were sure. We’re the kind of people that dive right in and commit ourselves 110% to everything – our relationship, our son, our work. But it wasn’t until this year that we felt like we could commit to a place. We just couldn’t do it.

You hear all this talk about how young people especially need to be mobile and flexible so they can embrace new opportunities, adapt to changing circumstances. So that’s what we did. We didn’t buy a house when most of our friends did. We kept our options open, moved around to accommodate new jobs, never passed up an opportunity to apply for an interesting job no matter where it was.

But you know what? We got tired. It’s exhausting to move, especially after you have kids! And we got so sick of renting. It’s natural at some point in your life to want to be in a place that is yours and really make it feel like your home. So we took the plunge and bought a house last month. We’re still a little freaked out. I mean, we’re happy. But you know, there is always that little voice nagging in the back of our heads…Did we make the right decision?

I read this article the other day by investment manager James Lee and it made me feel better. It helped me come to terms with the idea that no matter what happens with my “job,” the world is moving in a direction where that’s increasingly irrelevant. Here is an excerpt from his article:

Work will always be about finding what other people want and need, and then creating practical solutions to fulfill those desires. Our basic assumptions about how work gets done are what’s changing. It’s less about having a fixed location and schedule and more about thoughtful and engaged activity. Increasingly, this inspiration can happen anytime, anyplace.

Have you checked out www.elance.com or www.freelancer.com? Millions of people around the world are finding freelance work through sites like these. I have no idea how many of them make a real living at it, but I bet many do. I bet many of them patchwork together freelancing with a part-time job. It’s kind of liberating (and kind of scary) to feel like we have reached a point where this is becoming normal (Lee’s article cites the US Government Accountability Office saying that freelancers now make up a third of the entire workforce). You really can pick the place you love and figure out how to use your skills to make a living.

carmenhouseAnd on that note, I am really happy about the place that we have chosen to put down roots. It’s exactly what we’d always dreamed our home would be like. It’s in a quaint New England town, quiet and not crowded, our son can play in the yard un-supervised, we’re three minutes from the lake but only 10 minutes from the grocery store. Love it. I’ll be honest though, I’m not really looking forward to stripping all that ugly wallpaper…

CarmenLorentzCarmen grew up in Gilmanton, NH. After going to college in Washington, DC and roaming the world for a few years, she and her husband Jonathan recently moved to Carmen’s hometown with their four year old son Julius. Carmen is the Executive Director of the Belknap County Economic Development Council. In her spare time, she has epic pretend sword fights with Julius and supports her husband in bringing top-shelf jazz music to unexpected places through his new company, NH Jazz Presents