I know, that’s not the lyric.
But it is. Getting harder to leave, that is.
This summer I would like to travel around Europe and Asia instead of visiting New York. I’ll have the details of that once they’re confirmed; nothing’s set in stone yet and I don’t want to jinx my plans by talking about them before they’re put in place, but it looks like going on a month-long yoga retreat on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey is a possible option. Slovenia, Lebanon, and Israel are also under consideration. A lot depends on finances, my timetable, and whether my gf wants to come with me for any or all of this grand adventure.
The point is, though, that if I do fail to return to New York this summer, it will basically mean that I won’t be seeing any of my American people for a whole year.
This visit I stayed for three weeks. Three weeks isn’t a huge amount of time. There are friends I saw once. There are friends I didn’t see at all. There are tons of friends I’d like to see more of. And with just two full days left in the States, it’s just not going to happen. I’ve been prioritizing family time to a certain extent. I have unresolved stuff to deal with here regarding my earthly possessions. I doubt it will get handled adequately in the next two days, which concerns me, because I think anything I don’t box up and label may end up becoming trash. Bummer.
On the other hand I am looking forward to getting back to Georgia. In many ways I feel like my life is there, and being back in New York is like some kind of weird… like, some kind of weird limbo. Okay, I’m going to do another Lost comparison so bear with me. I feel like the way Jack felt in the flash-forwards, when he left the island and was like utterly bereft and felt that he had to go back, like the Island was where he was supposed to be. It’s odd, and morbid, but I somehow feel that if I were to die in New York in some horrible accident, it would be especially tragic because my affairs would not sorted out in Georgia.
Honestly, I feel like I’m in a game and every day I spend in New York it’s like I’m falling another turn behind everyone else.
And I guess part of that is how I felt when I lived in New York, when I really was wasting a great deal of time learning lessons the long way (in no small part due to my stubbornness and general skepticism/distrust of anything anybody tells me), and how that feeling contrasts with the way I felt when I got to Georgia, when every small thing I did had a seemingly big impact, and when I began to feel that my job and my life and my career were in some sense on track.
So it’s not like I actually, from any kind of rational perspective, want to be in New York any longer than I have to. And yet sentiment isn’t rational, and sentimentally it’s very hard for me to leave all this behind. To leave behind the place and the people that I come from – and not out of blind patriotism or automated loyalty, but out of a genuine sense that these are the people who made me who I am today, who stood by me in my life when I needed them, who stepped up to bat and contributed to my sense of self-worth and well-being – to leave all that behind is hard, and it gets harder the more permanent that leaving gets. It’s hard seeing them go on with their lives, forming new relationships and strengthening old ones, knowing that I am taking deliberate action to remove myself from them despite the fact that that’s the exact opposite of what I’d prefer to do.
I keep saying this, but I wish I could just drag the continents a little closer together. Just close up the Atlantic Ocean so it would take me four or five hours to get to Georgia and back, rather than thirty.
But even if it was for or five hours, who do I really spend time with who lives a five hour plane ride away? What friends do I see even if they live a four hour bus ride away, in Boston? How often do I see my relatives in Florida, which is only a two hour plane ride away?
Not so often.
I’m belaboring an obvious point. It sucks to leave your friends behind, and the happier I become with life in general, the more that suckage stands out. When I was miserable, the pain of leaving my friends for a few months seemed negligible by comparison. Now it’s one of the most poignant, bittersweet things in my New York experience.
Leaving for a year is harder than leaving for four months. Much harder. And it’s a little scary to wonder if I’ll ever live in New York again, and it gets scarier the more I feel that the answer is no.
Video: Maroon 5, Harder to Breathe