Old Friends in NYC

One of the most difficult parts of living so far away from South Dakota is the inevitable dissolution of friendships. Granted, this is all part of being an adult and moving on from college, but it’s even harder when I’m in a completely different part of the country. Despite this, living in New York has also allowed me to strengthen and maintain friendships in another way.

As a frequent travel destination for enterprising youths and family getaways, New York has attracted old chums and forgotten acquaintances from my past. My home has served as a halfway house for all sorts of visitors from across the country and world. With three roommates’ friends coming and going, we seem to have a guest at least once a month, if not more often. Frequently, these guests overlap and awkward introductions slowly give way to new friendships and great conversations.

Michelle, a friend from the days of high school mission trips, recently visited on her way to a summer job in The Hamptons. We had the pleasure of rekindling our friendship the previous summer when she came through NYC on the same journey. This year, when she got to the city, I was knee-deep in my busiest week of the year, but we were able to find time to share in our experiences over the past year and catch up with each other’s lives. One night, after a long day of adventuring, Michelle returned home and in talking about the day, the conversation eventually gave way to reminiscing about when we first met. We were completely different people back then—sharing in experiences that shaped us into the adults we are today, but our journeys took us in different ways. Her interest in coffee and visual arts took her in a journey that bounced all over the country, and those experiences continued to change her just as my adventure out East affected me. Despite the time that elapsed between our youthful friendship and now, our connection is still alive and familiar. What amazes me further, is that our reconnection likely wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t moved out to New York.

By living in this city, I’ve been able to host a number of old friends from college, high school and even further back. After each visit, I’m left feeling refreshed and enlightened knowing that my friends are enjoying rich and entertaining lives. Now, as I near two years of living in NYC, I’m beginning to realize how much larger my world has become. It’s hard to imagine that once my entire world was just a small neighborhood next to a field in the heartland, and now it’s become an expansive network of relationships spread across the country. With more South Dakotans planning adventures out to the Big Apple, that network is only going to grow, and I’m excited at the possibility of even more visitors coming to experience the adventures of this great city.


~ by Geoffrey on 1 June 2011.

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