Dooce is in NYC and has been posting about it and I feel oddly nostalgic. I spent my college years in the city and it was just about the best time in my life. Sure, there were the ups and downs that come with being a college student but 9 out of 10 times I think about snapshots of those years, it's fondly. And it's not that I want to move back to NYC but I think it's more of the realization that I'm getting old. Those 4 years are getting more compacted in my memory and just farther away.
When you're a kid, 4 years is huge. At 20, 4 years is a fifth of your life. The older you get, the less "big" 4 years becomes. You know? The ratio of it to the rest of your years gets smaller and smaller. Nevermind that you can never "relive" the past (unless someone can get that flux capacitor working on the Delorean! 1.21 gigawatts!), but now it's harder to even remember details.
I don't even know where I'm going with this other than I see those pics and I think "God, I was there and saw that view for years." I was part of that city and it seems so far removed from me now. Just like when I think about growing up in New England - I've now spent 10 years here - more than half my childhood. At what point does it feel like you can no longer call those places your own anymore? Because at times, I feel like I'm not a New Englander anymore, but I can't really call myself a Californian either.
Maybe this is why some people never leave their hometowns.