Last week, two of our dearest friends sent us an email that they were leaving New York city for a new job in another state. Over the years, this has happened several times with an increasing frequency as we get older. That’s the problem with living in New York. We come here, drawn by its constant change, its promise for ever-shifting opportunities, its inability to stop and stay still. But it’s exactly those qualities that guarantee that whatever group of friends you become a part of, whatever tribe you build, they will be transient.
New Yorkers, or at least those who like living here, leave New York mostly for two reasons. Some of them get a job somewhere else, forcing them to move. Others start families and the absurd costs of child care and education in New York city, where day care could easily cost $20,000-$30,000 a year (that’s day care, not college), drives them out of the city, somewhere more affordable.
So, we are left behind, growing older in the city we love so much, with fewer and older friends still nearby, and an increasing number of them far away, staying in touch via email or the occasional phone call, or if we’re lucky, a visit to their old stomping grounds.
I’ve always accepted the fluid nature of my circle of friends. Though they come and go in and out of our lives, the close, intense friendships we once shared remain behind, like these figs preserved in syrup, growing sweeter with time, but never completely losing the taste it had when it was still fresh.