I’m thinking about moving.
I’m not planning on pulling the trigger right away, and I have no particular destination in mind – although I’ve composed a bit of a shortlist – but it’s a recurring idea I feel kind of good about. A glimmering, so to speak – something I’ve thought about for a long while that’s much less of a delusion than it was, say, a year ago.
Part of this is a problem I’ve always had with making friends. This sounds arrogant – what else is new? – but I already have too many. I’m saturated. I made a deal with myself a few years ago that I wouldn’t make any new friends in adulthood – opting instead to stick with the ones I already have. I never seriously enacted this policy, but it’s still a consideration. In theory, anyway.
The way I see things, most people drop the friends they had in high school for newer and more exciting people they meet once they graduate and get out into the world. Then, they trade their college friends in for their coworkers, neighbors, or people they meet through their “networks,” whatever the hell those are. People make friends with the people with whom it’s convenient to be friendly, or at least that’s how I think it works. I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong about a lot of things lately.
I may be wrong about this because it hasn’t worked that way for me. I’ve picked up lifelong friends everywhere I’ve gone, but the majority of my really close friends are people I’ve known since I was a kid. Of the people I consider “very close friends,” I think the shortest tenure of any of them is about fifteen years. From what I gather, I’ve held onto a disproportionate number of my childhood friends when compared to the friend-demographics of most of the people I know.
Of course, I’ve realized that my “no new friends” edict was a tad shortsighted and cynical, and I’ve managed to relax this quite a bit over the past few years. When you’ve had jobs like mine, there’s quite a bit of male bonding-type-shit that goes on, and you end up forming friendships because you’re spending inordinate amounts of time with people just like you. You’re in the same place, doing the same thing for the same reasons, so you’ll naturally have a lot to talk about, and you’ll eventually become off-the-job friends.
My issue, then, is not one of not having any friends. I have lots of friends. I have dozens and dozens of names and numbers in my phone, and I call many of them on an almost daily basis. That’s not the problem.
Most of the people I’m closest to have moved out of New York over the past decade. Some have been gone for a while. Others left more recently. Excluding my mother, eight of my top ten no longer live in this area. This list includes family. When I talk to these people, they get me thinking.
“Dude,” they’ll say. “It would be great if you moved to (Place That’s Theoretically More Pleasant Than New York). Life is so much better here, and it would be great to have you living closer.”
This isn’t about ending my love affair with New York. I know I complain about the place constantly, but New York means everything to me. It’s my home, and although I have lived away from here for extended periods of time, it’s hard to imagine moving away permanently. This is the center of my universe, and it always will be.
This is more about carving out a niche somewhere else and staying there for a while. It’s about missing certain people that I’ve come to realize I need to have around, and it’s about having them miss me back. There are people out there in America – some family and some friends I consider family – I’d sacrifice the familiarity of New York to live near again. Coupled with the stagnating nature of my current employment/social/geographical situation, moving has a certain appeal right now.