An ex-boyfriend in North Carolina sent me a text message recently, which read: "I'm watching Forrest Gump right now. It makes me think of us." I chuckled at this at first until his response to why was: "A man who spends his whole life lovin a girl who is out chasin her dreams."
It was almost Hitch quotable. Very Sweet Home Alabama-ish. The lives and the "Loves We Leave Behind." I didn't know how to reply to him, but it did spark self-reflection. Not that I ever had half the problems of Forrest's Jenny. It's just that I've always been kind of coming-and-going with men. I remember my mom once commenting about me in between boyfriends on different military bases, "It's 'out of sight, out of mind' with this one."
Very few men - like places - have been able to keep my intimate attention. I have wondered if it's because my youth was saturated with relocation of both people and homes. Yet this common denominator does not carry over to my friendships with my dearest girlfriends, to which I am fiercely loyal despite distance. So I don't know that being raised a military brat is a valid constant. Maybe because a truly sincere friend is slightly harder to find and keep than a decent man. The value I place on the latter is sort of a fish-in-the-sea philosophy while I've shared my innermost thoughts with my closest girls, whether in person or over a phone line. And looking back on my teens, I mourned the ends of friendships more than moving away from boyfriends.
If there is a personal correlation between men and environment, my infatuation with New York City could very well be the love affair of my life. Its constant familiarity and simultaneous change never cease to intrigue me. It gives itself to you in its rawest form and plays hard to get at the same time. It keeps me interested. Like the few who have gone the distance with me.
Yet I wonder - as we choose one life over another - if there will always be that one. Even for someone like me. I guess I'll cross that bridge if I ever have to make a choice that makes New York my "one that got away."