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Way back, Texas.

May 25, 2010 2 comments

I believe that my initiation back into Texas is complete.

In the last 6 days I have driven from Midland to Lubbock and back to Midland and back to Lubbock. Then I rode in a car from Lubbock to Winnsboro, a small town in East Texas.

It was amazing.

The drive to Lubbock from my home town is so familiar I could do it with my eyes closed and with my knees steering. I love the drive. Once I’m past Lamesa I stare out the window. I love the way the sky is huge and the land stretches out as far as you can possibly see. Further, even. It’s beautiful. I’ve missed it more than I thought. My heart finally felt still.

I knew the adjustment from Boston back to Texas would be difficult. And I was right.

It has been hard driving everywhere again. (Buying a car was an adventure and a migraine.)

I miss walking.

I miss the fresh clear air.

Mostly I miss the satisfaction of knowing I am completely on my own. It’s been so hard to come home and live under my parent’s roof. It felt as though nothing had changed, as though I’d never left and I hated that feeling. I needed something to change. I think it needs to be me.

But the last week finally put me at peace with this move.

I bought a car, went on multiple road trips, secured my job and put down a deposit on an apartment. I’ve spent time with people I love dearly and have missed more than anything the last four months. I danced at my very best friend’s wedding and drove across the state for another friend’s wedding. I swam in beautiful Texas lakes, soaked up the scorching sun. I rode on a motorcycle way too fast on those winding East Texas roads with the land spilling out on either side of me. It was phenomenal.

It’s good to be home. Boston will be in my heart for a long, long time. But hopefully this was the right move.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Huh.

May 13, 2010 Leave a comment

It already feels like somebody else’s life.

Categories: Uncategorized

To Boston. Love, Me.

May 11, 2010 5 comments

Dear Boston,

This is my letter to you, after living here for four months. To most people it’s not that long, but for me, it was the longest I’d ever been away from home.

I came to you with few expectations. What I wanted most was to change and experience new things. I did that.

I let myself be swallowed by your crowds: the endless tourists, the harried business-people, the high society and the homeless. I immersed myself in the artists and hipsters, the dreamers and the doers, the lovers and the fighters, the academics and the bums. I loved how you are filled different opinions from all corners of the city. Opinions that have to be shouted to be heard.

Boston, I loved you from the moment I stepped off the plane. Your bitter winds and cold people didn’t scare me too badly. I was ready for whatever you threw at me, and boy, did you have some alternately nasty and amazing tricks up your sleeve. I can honestly say I went through my highest highs and lowest lows while in your city.

But you showed me that I’m stronger than I thought possible. In the depth of my fright I wanted nothing more than to run home to Mom and Dad and safety, but simply being here made that impossible. For the first time in my life you forced me to rely completely on myself. You reinforced my belief that I had to get away from what I knew in order to find myself and love me.

You challenged me, Boston. You showed me when I should be wary and when I should show compassion. You let me befriend a homeless man. You made me try new things. I danced in a seedy jazz club in New York City. I ate sushi. I walked and explored every inch of you, Boston. I danced without caring and played and laughed and cried. I listened to new music and went to art shows. I worked jobs I’d never before considered. I tried yoga and stopped being afraid to go places by myself.

You broke my heart and then fixed it for me, Boston. You made me fall apart, but then you put me back together for the better. I found qualities I never knew I had. I learned the satisfaction of working hard at a job and how good an honest day’s work feels. 

You charmed me. Boston, you may not have the speed and pace that New York has, but God, you have your perks. New York is dull and rushed and dirty, but you shine. You have clean sidewalks, the Red Sox, and all types of people. No place compares to you and the way that you sparkle on a sunny day. There is history woven into every fiber of this city. And pride. Oh, Boston, you have your pride.

You gave me places to go to when I needed comfort. I fell in love with you here.

 

I contemplated life here.

 

I enjoyed my lunch breaks on sunny days here.

 

Boston, you gave me something to strive for when I had no idea what I wanted to do after graduation.

At my job you gave me people to talk to and learn from. The best part about my job was recognizing people on a daily basis, people who fascinated me and broke my heart. There was Steve, the man who brought me coffee each and every morning–even though he was homeless and had probably 20 bucks to his name. There was the Latino hairdresser who worked on Newbury Street, and even though she is what we would call “fabulous,” she always went out of her way to compliment me on the hard work I put into that display. There was the sweet, soft-spoken gay man who came by each week to buy pansies for his flower boxes and always wished me a good day. You gave me new friends who enriched my life and challenged me and forced me out of my shell.

You let me be the girl who stood out and shone to those back home—something I’d never felt before. You let others believe in me and encourage me when I had trouble believing in myself.

You let me be me, Boston. You held no expectations of me. You just asked that I tried to be myself. That was enough for you. 

You showed me that happiness truly is a choice. My mom had always said it, but I thought once I got to a new place happiness would be easy. No. It’s definitely a choice. Thank you also for showing me that happiness is less about place, and more about the people with whom I choose to surround myself.

Thank you for saving me. When I came to your city I was a shy girl who apologized incessantly for existing. You showed me it’s OK to be in the way at times. You taught me to be bold and be noticed.

You took me in and let me stay awhile, filling me up with new sights, sounds, smells, people and experiences.

People fall in love, but in the last four months, I fell in love with you. As much as I wished otherwise there was no room in my heart for anyone or anything but you and learning your intricacies. I knew this experience would change my life, but I didn’t realize that so much of the change would be internal.

I didn’t know how long this experience would last, but I knew I was ready to stick it out, as long as I needed to. And now, it’s time to move on. Though I hope it does, Boston, life may not bring me back to you. But because of you, I’m not afraid of where I end up. I pray I continue the changes you began. 

 So, Boston, I’ll see you later. Thanks for the memories. I’m on to better things.

Love,

Me.

Listen up.

May 9, 2010 Leave a comment

One of the things that I hated about choosing to move back was the fact that many people would see it as me giving up.

And giving in.

I just want to say this: I am not giving up. I’ve had my struggles with homesickness, but the times I was the most happy was when I was having a good day at work, chatting with customers and goofing around with my co-workers. Overall, it wasn’t so bad.

But after working multiples weeks for 12 or more hours a day, coming home to gobble dinner and fall into bed, and doing that on repeat I was worn out. That’s not much of a life.

And yes, I know my blog made it appear that all I did was hate on Boston. But it’s my place for me to vent. So of course some negative feelings are going to come out.

And my job at home is everything I wanted.

So, people, I’ll be back eventually. And if I ever hear anyone make a comment about how I needed to come home because I was homesick or that I couldn’t handle Boston, I’ll probably beat you up.

Fair warning.

Categories: Uncategorized

Rubblebucket.

May 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Last night was what will most likely be my last night out in Boston.

It. Was. Effing. Amazing.

I met a friend at this bar called Church which is in the Fenway area. Neither my friend nor I had been there before, so we thought we were going to a quiet little bar where we could sit, grab a drink, chat and say good-bye.

Boy, were we wrong.

We walked in the door only to be slammed with a $12 cover. Friend and I looked at each other, shrugged and decided, “What the heck ? Let’s do it.” We figured there would be something interesting going on and thought it might be worth staying around for.

And, oh my goodness. I’m normally not into funky music, but this was one of the coolest bands I’ve ever heard. They were called Rubblebucket, and were a 9-piece psychedelic rock band. It was amazing.

The band was made up of a drummer, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, keyboard, guitar and bass guitar. And maybe something I can’t recognize.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw all those instruments on the stage, and was a little dubious as to what the overall effect would be, but wow. Just…WOW.

They blasted the music and beat their instruments  and blew with such fervor.

It was captivating. I love music events like that; there’s nothing else but the music. Nothing.

I love how it filled up each and every part of me, forcing me to dance and jump and just feel the music. I know I sound like a hippie drone, but come on…so incredible.

The last song was the best. The band members who were playing the horns (trumpet, trombone and sax) leapt off the stage and wove throughout the crowd.

People. Went. Nuts. It was the most intense moment ever.

I’m going back tonight. I want and need to dance it out some more.

These are the types of things that make me want to stay forever in Boston. I can’t see this group coming to Boston.

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How can I say no?

May 7, 2010 1 comment

I’ve always categorized myself with the dreamers; with those who are able to dream without limits and who wholeheartedly believe that anything is possible in a cynical and mean world.

Part of it is that I’ve tried to retain my childhood innocence and my imagination I used to have. I think the other part is that I’d rather not face reality. Thank you, but no. I like the inside of my head more.

But reality is brutal and inevitable and when it hits, it hits hard. Read on.

My move to Boston was a gift to myself.

I grew up in one town my entire life, and spent 2/3s of my college career in another town less than two hours away from home.

Needless to say there were very few opportunities for me to be faced with new people and new experiences. Mom and Dad, don’t get offended, but I often felt as though those towns gave me very little room to grow and be exactly who I wanted to be–especially if it went against the social norms.

In my junior high private Christian school I was told I had to wear certain clothes, not date boys and never dance. Because dancing is of the devil. (What?)

High school was similar. Although I found my little group of friends where I could be myself outside of school, within those hallways I was terrified of being myself. I was terrified of being teased the way I was in junior high.

And college. Oh, college. In a town that mirrored my hometown and had double the population, is it any wonder I needed a break?

So that’s what I did. I moved to Boston.

 I wanted to give myself a chance to grow, breathe, and re-learn things I thought I knew about myself.

And here’s what I learned. Here’s me. I can finally be 100% unapologetic for it.

I dream, even more so now. I’m all about the ultimate outcomes. I love hard and fall harder. When I love a job there’s no harder worker than me. (Remember those 60-hour work weeks?) I believe life is beautiful and I’m even more terrified of running out of time.

I learned that I love all people. I’m friends with a homeless man.

I’ve learned not to be so trusting, because the second you trust something, that’s when it all falls apart.

I’ve learned that I can be best friends with my very gay hair stylist. We chat and laugh and giggle about boys and life the whole time he’s doing my hair.

I’ve learned that I needed to get away from home in order to appreciate it more. I didn’t realize that until now.

I learned that I love to write. When the words are coming there’s nothing that can stop it. They’re a current that run through my veins, when I’m inspired, they flow quickly through me to the paper. Or rather, as this is the age of computers, they flow to the screen.

I learned that I have superior tendencies. I would like to believe that New England is way better than Texas. I used to believe that west Texas was a throwback to the old days and needed to get with it. I thought nothing was going on there. Now I know: it’s the beat and pulse of the people that make a place special and important. There’s life everywhere. It’s just a matter of finding it.

I learned that I value my alone time. I’m contradictory at it’s best. Given the choice I’ll almost always decide to hang out by myself. If I decide to hang out with you, you better be interesting because you’re keeping me from me. 😉

I also learned that what I love about cities isn’t just the opportunity lurking around every corner. It’s that people are alllowed to just be. No one, and I mean no one expects you to be anyone but yourself here. Part of it is that no one really gives a damn what you do, yes, but the other part is that everyone’s pretty much seen it all at this point. Nothing is too surprising for most people here. There’s no condemnation. It’s beautiful.

So now, four months in to my Boston experience, it appears it’s time to head back home to Texas.

My heart feels torn. On the one hand, I’m going home to a perfect job; a job that is a godsend in this economy. I’d be a spoiled brat if I even considered saying no to the job, which believe me, I’m not.

But my heart. I’m broken-hearted about leaving Boston. The Cinderella City. Beantown. It’s lonely and rough and I haven’t always enjoyed it, but oh, I love this city.

I’m sad because I start to think of the girl who started this blog: the small-town blues, big city dreams girl. I know I’ve changed since then. I wonder what she would say if she were sitting on this couch with me right now.

Would she berate me for being sensible and taking the safe job?

Or would she understand that really, I should be more than grateful for  this job?

I want to tell her…Boston is not going anywhere. You’ve done it once and you can do it again. You moved to a completely unfamiliar place, supported yourself and you had some fun.

You grew up.

But I keep beating myself up about this. There is a part of me that feels that I’m giving up on my big city dream. And that hurts more than anything.

I know that going to Texas is the right thing to do. I’m excited about taking this job because it’s exactly what I want to do with my life. But the adjustment back to Texas is going to be difficult.

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