Sunday, January 17, 2010

on reunions and friendship

New York City, it’s been too long. So long, that for a minute, I almost felt like we were strangers. How could that be? Yesterday, I settled into my apartment in Union Square, put my things in their correct places, made myself a cup of tea, and caught up with my dear friend Danny over Thai dinner at Spice. And then I had a revelation.


Seeing Danny was so exhilarating – we dished on everything that happened during our time apart (and my time abroad), laughed, shared appetizers and entrees, and laughed some more. It’s amazing to think that we are just as close as we were three years ago, when we became fast friends on the very first day of freshman year. We may not have seen each other in over eight months, but things just never seem to change between us. As always, I insisted that he lost weight and his shirt was too big, and likewise, Danny took my sassy remarks in stride. “No, Helen, I’ve always been like this,” he said.

Danny and I on my birthday

After dinner, I walked back up Broadway to my empty apartment, feeling too full and a little stunned at exactly how much I had missed my friend. My roommate Anuja hadn’t moved back yet, and I was exhausted, so I decided to stay in and drink some more tea (decaf this time) before bed. In my PJ’s, I peered out the window at 14th Street below, but it was dark and chaotic down there, so I stopped looking.

I don’t know why, but a terrible moment of panic seized me, and for some time, I felt truly alone -- like the tiniest little dot on the globe, all by myself in sprawling, busy Manhattan. Like I didn’t even have a place in this amazing city anymore, save for the few friends I loved here and wished were currently with me, wrapped around like a worn security blanket. I feared that my old memories of New York were irrelevant, and I’d have to relearn everything, establish new grounds. I was wiser and more worldly; I had thousands of new experiences – the highest of highs and lowest lows; I had changed. Didn’t that make a difference?

Then, a voice in my head told me “NO!” … and that I was a fool.

If Danny and I could continue to grow individually for three years and still be the dearest of friends, all the while moving in and out of different apartments all over downtown Manhattan and never taking a single class together – who’s to say that friendships don’t last? People are always changing, always living the lives we were meant to live, always being challenged. Friendships are challenged.

I’ve heard it said that real friends grow together, but this voice in my head is telling me that that true friends embrace each other even if they don’t. The I-will-really-always-love-you type friends. I got that reassurance from Danny last night, and I think that in time, New York will let me in on the hint too.


  1. Amazing post, my dear. Some things and the ones that matter the most always stay the same :)

  2. man! I really wish that I could go to New York. I don't live that far at all (Detroit) but I just never seem to have the money to go. I have been wanting to go since I was little :)

  3. Sara Lynn, you will definitely make it here one day! You have plenty of time :)

  4. I completely agree with your comment about friends staying close regardless of if they're growing together. My best friend now lives in Japan and we probably only meet up twice a year but it always feels as though no time has passed. We're both changing, but our friendship remains as strong as ever xx

  5. What a sweet post! I hope it feels the same for me if I return to NYC someday. Welcome back.
    XX Kate

  6. So true and so sweet.
    I love your thoughts on friendship and the heartsick feelings of living in such a big city.
    Thank you for sharing!

  7. New York City is amazing because you can leave it and all two million people + will keep on moving, nothing will change and everyone will keep bustling about, but then you can come back after an extended period away and feel so energized by everyone around you and yet, feel lonely too. I hope you don't. It is easy to feel that way in this city, way too easy. Good friends always make things better:)

  8. You girls are so right (especially Penny.) I think it'll take some time, but I'll feel like I haven't even left this city in no time.

    I went to Strand Bookstore today just to check things out, and it was just like home. :)

  9. sounded like fun; i love new york

    love your blog! :)
    - Audrey Allure <3

  10. this is cute :) i agree completely! i feel the same way.


Do share!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...