We aren’t obligated to our friends the way we are to our romantic partners, our jobs, and our families. We’ll be sad to go, but go we will. This is one of the inherent tensions of friendships, which Rawlins calls “the freedom to be independent and the freedom to be dependent.”
“Where are you situated?” Rawlins asks me, in the course of explaining this tension. Washington, D.C., I tell him.
“Where’d you go to college?”
“Okay, so you’re in Chicago, and you have close friends there. You say ‘Ah, I’ve got this great opportunity in Washington…’ and [your friend] goes ‘Julie, you gotta take that!’ [She’s] essentially saying ‘You’re free to go. Go there, do that, but if you need me I’ll be here for you.’”
I wish he wouldn’t use me as an example. It makes me sad.