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In a New York Minute

July 17, 2007
One of the things that consistently defines my stay here in New York City is the never ending parade of “Farewell” parties. I have no idea if others have the same experience as me, and I sometimes think it is just me, but I am constantly wishing friends well and seeing them off. K, D, and Mexpat are the very close friends I’ve had to say goodbye to, but they aren’t the only ones. And of my remaining friends, one is about to leave, two have solid plans to leave and about five or six others regularly use the phrase “After I leave New York…” in their everyday vernacular.
Living the way we do here, change is inevitable. I know the old saying that the only thing that endures is change, and I don’t want to sound as if only New Yorkers change, but I think… no I know, that change happens faster and more consistently here. Change in New York City is the one thing you can count on, that and the crazy cab drivers.
I’ve mentioned this in another context, but the fact that our lives are in such life-altering states of change on a daily basis, really makes you appreciate the slowness and reliability of the places we hail from… particularly if that place is in the South, or another small town. The last time I was back I visited my old church. After the sermon, I went round to the familiar faces, said hi, and we caught up on life. There were so many familiar faces! I knew so many of these people, and they were all there, doing the same thing that they were doing 10 or even 20 years ago, when I knew them.
When I was younger, I would have decided this was a weakness, (and perhaps in some ways it is,) but having been away from my childhood home for such extended periods of time I can now see this sameness as a source of stability. And not just a source of stability for those who remain. It is also my source of stability.
I made an off handed comment to the pastor’s wife, in front of my mother, and neither one knew how to take it.
“Everyone is the same.” I exclaimed breathlessly, “It’s all the same people.” I wasn’t really thinking before I spoke, and I think they thought I was insinuating monotony, instead of reliability. Barbara, the pastor’s wife, looked almost insulted. I deeply regret that she misunderstood my meaning, and I know that I didn’t articulate it correctly. I later tried to explain it to my mother.
However, I have decided that it is this reliability and steadiness of my home that makes my life in New York possible in some ways. I know that should I fail horribly, going down in a ball of flame, I can always go back to Tyler, regain strength and march back out for another go.
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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 20, 2007 12:26 am

    yes.

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