My all-time favorite personal essay is "Goodbye To All That," by Joan Didion. It perfectly captures the feeling of looking back at youth - not simple nostalgia, but a kind of awe and sadness at our former selves. It is also a bittersweet love song to New York, written by a former New Yorker, who knows she can never recapture the wonder she once felt, but who remembers that wonder so clearly.
And then one morning in April (we had been married in January) he called and told me that he wanted to get out of New York for a while, that he would take a six-month leave of absence, that we would go somewhere.I found the whole essay online. Treat yourself to a lovely read.
It was three years ago he told me that, and we have lived in Los Angeles since. Many of the people we knew in New York think this a curious aberration, and in fact tell us so. There is no possible, no adequate answer to that, and so we give certain stock answers, the answers everyone gives. I talk about how difficult it would be for us to "afford" to live in New York right now, about how much "space" we need. All I mean is that I was very young in New York, and that at some point the golden rhythm was broken, and I am not that young anymore.