The difference of a year.

"Isn't it amazing how different our lives are a year later?"
"Or a year and a half. I remember you crying at my kitchen table!"
"I know!"
"I knew it would just take you moving into the city."
"I'm so glad that you've figured out where you need to be."

I spent the evening with an old friend, a former boss who has been a mentor to me for so long. She's moving to Luxembourg; her life, though complicated, is going to continue in a new place with new people. It's simultaneously the most difficult option and the most right. It's how I felt about moving home to New York two years ago.

There is some part of me that silently glows when she speaks of the cafes and the bridges and the valleys of the new European city she'll know. Like neurons that light up when they're called for, there are parts of myself that want to have the same. "And us?" they say. "When will we have another new adventure?"

It's not so much silencing them anymore, it's more smiling and nodding my head knowingly. "Yes," I soothe them. "That would be nice. But it's not our project right now."

And now I ride the train back to the city, back from the suburbs, the same train that I used to commute with twice a day. It reminds me of another time, another job, another set of people I used to know on a daily basis. It reminds me how much you can alter your life situation in 14 months.

I have a bagful of French teas and an old sari that she gave me in preparation for India; she is nothing if not generous and always thoughtful. We haven't seen each other in months and yet it's hard to imagine her moving across the ocean.

One more person to add to the list of Friends I Miss in Europe. Actively.

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