“And everyone I know is going somewhere / Everyone I know is moving up.”
It was inevitable. Living in Washington, D.C., transience is almost second nature. We move here to test our ambitions and once they’ve been conquered, the allure to move on is strong.
No, I’m not moving, but news from several friends of new opportunities elsewhere have suddenly appeared in the last few weeks. I’d be lying if I didn’t say this upset me, especially since the exodus (for most of them) is New York. It’s a city I don’t mind visiting (and often do), but have grown to resent for a number of reasons — its magnetic pull on my creative friends being one of them.
I’m reminded not only of Fine China’s “Moving Up” in this regard, but also the entirety of that oft-ignored pop band’s third and final album, The Jaws of Life. I get the feeling that frontman Rob Withem wrote the lyrics at a similar point (and perhaps even age) in his life. It’s about transition and the fear of stasis. Sure, he’s sullen on The Smiths and The Cure, but Withem hit that rare instance where the words are accentuated by the melodies. He painstakingly thought about what it meant (and how it meant) to sing them.
For a time, I thought I was becoming too settled into a D.C. schedule, but the last six months have proven challenging and often exhilarating. Five years have passed, but I feel like I’m just getting started here. I can’t leave, yet, there is still so much to do. And for those that are leaving, may you find the community that I’ve found in us.