Home > Boston...again. > Country music and Italian cafes.

Country music and Italian cafes.

So yesterday evening was monumental for me. I tried something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, just to get myself over this irrational fear that people always are judging me.

I went to get a beer. By myself.

Now, before everyone starts gasping in horror and worrying for my safety, let me put it this way: I went to the North End to a little pizza place I’d been to before. It’s quiet and clean and last time I went there were very few people there. So I figured on a Monday night it’d be relatively empty. I wanted to go and get dinner, get a beer and linger there with my book. Not to meet people, but just to get myself past that fear.

For some reason I always worry people will judge me for being alone. That if I go they’ll sit there whispering to themselves, “Look at that girl. She’s all by herself; what a loser. And what’s up with her hair? Ugh, and those clothes.” That’s not healthy. That’s not even rational thinking. People don’t care what I do. Isn’t this called the “spotlight effect?” I learned that in freshman psychology. That’s the only thing I took away from that class. Anyway, the spotlight effect, according to WikiAnswers, is the tendency to  believe others are paying attention to one’s appearance and behavior than they actually are. So seriously? People could care less if I want to go grab a slice of pizza and a beer. And I keep thinking, if I have enough “courage” to move all the way across the country, what is my hang-up on doing this by myself? It doesn’t make any sense. So I did it.

I’m glad I went. There were probably six people in there, but I just went in, sat down at a table and ordered. The waitress was so friendly, and I didn’t feel weird at all pulling out my book and reading. It was relaxing. I found myself unwinding, and not thinking about anything except for the delightful characters in my book. (Which, by the way, is called “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genuis.” Read it. You will not be disappointed.) I enjoyed the outing so much I may even make it my Monday-night ritual.

Side note: While I was at my little drinks and dinner event I listened in on the conversation of the older men who were sitting behind me. (Come on, like you wouldn’t have?) They were having an extremely exuberant conversation and all I could focus on were their Boston accents. It was great. At one point one man said, “My daughter’s girlfriend…” I stopped listening after I heard the first part. It made my heart smile when I heard him refer to that girl. It made me realize again how much more accepting things are up here. I’m not trying to condemn back home or anything, but those things really are hushed. I loved that this man was so open with it.

After my dinner I wandered around the North End, which is one of my favorite spots in Boston. To get there from my apartment I take the T to the Haymarket stop. When you get out of the T station you have to walk across the street to the North End. When you turn around, Boston is RIGHT behind you. It’s amazing. I can’t adequately describe it. Anyway, North End is also called Little Italy. It’s so interesting. The streets are small and there’s a bunch of little pastry shops and cafe’s. I even passed a shop where it boasted making its own pasta. I visited one of the cafe’s to get a mocha on my outing last night, and somehow I landed myself in the one cafe that played COUNTRY music. Really? It took away from the authenticity.

Even from 2,000 miles away I’m still surrounded by country music. How does that happen?

I also went on an incredible run through the city yesterday. I started out around my area, Mission Hill. I always go to my favorite spot where I rest and look at all the buildings. It has a fantastic view of the Pru and the John Hancock building and everything in between. It’s gorgeous. From there I make my way back to Huntington Ave where I cross and run to the Museum of Fine Arts. I go behind the MFA to the Fens. The jogging track had finally dried out enough to run on it, so I started making my way around it.

About halfway around I got distracted by the geese milling around in the trees and near the little river. Let me clarify something: I love geese. I think they are the most beautiful, elegant birds in the world. I love when they fly in a “V” and I love hearing them honk from way up in the sky. It makes me happy. I love that they take over the ponds back home during the winter.  They’re such unified creatures. So to see them all clustered around, so close to me, was a special treat. I had to pause and just take in the sight for a few minutes.

Then they started walking toward me. I stood as still as I could and tried not to breathe too loudly (let’s be honest–though I run I am so not a runner. I was out of breath.) They honked and flapped their wings and walked up the little hill. That’s when I noticed that they were all banded! That made me so angry. Those poor birds. Doesn’t that keep them from flying away? How do they go south for the winter?

I finally got my head back together and continued around the Fens, which, by the way, is beautiful. At one point I noticd some sort of monument/memorial down another path so I went to go check it out. It turned out to be a beautiful memorial to Boston residents who have died in wars. I want to go back and take a picture of it sometime soon.

I really enjoy running in Boston. I like that the scenery is always changing around me. It feels like I cover so much ground simply because there’s so much to see. Sometime soon I want to run over  the Harvard Bridge into Cambridge. I may have to take the T back home simply to save my heart from overexertion. At least I’m trying.

Yesterday I really needed to run. When I run, I think about how much I hate it, and how I really need to stop and take a break, right now, I can’t go any further. I don’t think about anything that’s bringing me down. I can escape from whatever is going on. And after I run I always feel great. I feel good about myself; I feel good about life.

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