Renter Wants Small-Town Feel, Big-City Mindset
DEAR HARRIETTE: I've lived in a bustling city for the past 22 years. I would love to move to a quiet rural town with idyllic scenery and a small-town feel. My rent now is high because of my location, and I can really move anywhere because I don't own my home. My only concern is dealing with the small-town mindset that often goes hand-in-hand with rural areas. Do you think that it would be more advantageous to make this leap? Or is it worth it to stay in the big city? -- Leaving the City
DEAR LEAVING THE CITY: The good news for you is that since you are not a homeowner, you can move freely and try out a new area. As long as you are able to do your work wherever you live or remotely, the world is your oyster. Research the areas you are considering to learn as much as you can, including the demographic makeup. Dig around to learn about the politics, culture and leadership of the area.
Sure, you may find that the small town is more provincial in its ways than a big city, but there are always tradeoffs. Try out a new city to see if you like it. Become a renter and give yourself one to two years. If it doesn't suit you, pack up and continue your adventure.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm a 38-year-old woman. I have my own home and I pay my own bills, but I have not been able to maintain a relationship for longer than two years. I really want to have children, but it seems as though my ideal situation of being married first and then having children is not going to happen. I never saw myself as an old mom. I don't have any potential dating prospects on the horizon. Is it selfish of me to try IVF and have children without a father? I do not want to wait until I get to a high-risk age to have kids, and at this rate, I'm running out of options. -- Wanting Kids
DEAR WANTING KIDS: You are at an important crossroads in your life, where it is important to consider your future. Things are not as dire as they seem, though.
You have a few options to consider. It may not be too late to freeze your eggs. Speak to your doctor about that option, which allows you to use them later in life. Indeed, you might even be able to have a surrogate carry a child for you if you decide to have a baby in the future. You can also consider adoption in coming years, even the possibility of adopting an older child.
The notion of having a child without a father is something worth contemplating. Many women find themselves in this situation for a variety of reasons. While co-parenting is ideal, you can go solo and create a wonderful life for yourself and your child. You just have to plan. While planning, incorporate opportunities to go out and be in the company of other people. Your partner may be nearby, but the two of you just haven't been in the right place to meet!
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)
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