Thirty Five Years Old In New Hampshire

The Presidential Mountain Range and The Omni Mount Washington Resort Hotel

For years now I have been confused.  Five years.  Everyday that I wake up on this mountain I wonder if I have made any really good decisions.  None of this thinking makes me doubt myself.  Of course it doesn’t.  I know I moved to the right place, into the right home, to the right state.  New Hampshire is both a practical place for anyone to begin their adult life, and a place suited for adventurers seeking a little wildness.

I am neither Generation X nor Generation Y.  I am far from a Baby Boomer and also not really any kind of Millennial.  I’m delighted whenever the opportunity arises to disappoint a room by stating that I do not have a Facebook page.  But the truth is that Facebook confuses me on both a technical and a social level.  It’s too late for me to figure it all out anyway.

I grew up on Friends and Seinfeld, Liquid Television and Nick At Night.  I read Catcher in the Rye back when thirteen was a bit young for the novel’s subject matter.  In my late teens I covertly bought cigarettes from vending machines and spent every night at local diners drinking coffee, smoking, and discussing the works of Jack Kerouac, Hunter Thompson, J. R. R. Tolkien, and George Lucas.

I’m too old now to be wise beyond my years.  I no longer impress people with tales of my travels.  By my twenties, deep in the throws of my Masters program, I had seen the Andes, the Alps, Mexican fishing villages, and Old Quebec.  Now, when I muse about one day riding my bicycle across Ireland people react with unenthusiastic responses of, “Yeah, you could do that.”

So it is here that I have settled.  New Hampshire is the fourth state in which I have held a postal address and the second in which I’ve owned a home.  I have two degrees, an ex wife, manageable debt, a receding hairline, and a supervisory position at a professional job.  I have a half finished novel, a home office with an entire wall of books, and a pretty solid understanding of healthy eating.  I find that I am more comfortable with my shirt tucked in.  I own more than one belt and even two pairs of un-ironic suspenders.

I am in New Hampshire now because I love mountains and rivers.  But I would love to be part of a bookclub.  I stare out at beauty for the duration of my half hour commute to work.  I cant seem to get Wifi providing more than 8 megabits per second.  I experience four seasons per year and every one of them is dynamic.  There are no men’s clothing stores or Apple stores within an hour of my home and I don’t expect there ever will be.

I offer nether advice nor warning to conclude this ramble.  I found my home.  It is my home because it makes me happier than where I spent my teens and where I spent my twenties.  Friends and jobs come and go.  Emotional and intellectual stimuli can be found if one looks hard enough.  Traveling to shop, when necessary, isn’t the worst thing in the world.  Looking at Mt. Washington and the Ammonoosuc River every day makes me the kind of happy that actors portray in romantic comedies and for now, that’s good enough for me.

4 Responses to “Thirty Five Years Old In New Hampshire”

  1. SarahFebruary 22, 2018 at 8:03 am #

    This was a really lovely read. It is funny, I have had something in my drafts folder about the concept of “home” for some time now, too. NH just inspires poetic devotion I think.

  2. Kelli Ann WilsonFebruary 22, 2018 at 12:24 pm #

    A humble love letter to New Hampshire – so fitting for a state that doesn’t make a fuss about itself. Being just one year older than you, much of what you wrote here really resonates with me (especially the wall of books). I’m glad you’ve found “home.”

  3. GooseFebruary 25, 2018 at 4:12 am #

    Thanks, Matt Keating! If you have a blog, I’d love to support you as well. Feel free to link to it.

  4. BowmanFebruary 27, 2018 at 4:23 am #

    Matt Keating, thanks so much for the post.Much thanks again. Really Cool.

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