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Dream bigger, please. Make magic.

December 31, 2010 3 comments

2010. You little bastard.

2010 was the weirdest year of my life. 2010 was the hardest year of my life. It was the most stretching, the most difficult, the most heartbreaking.

And yet, it also was the most triumphant year of my life. In 2010 I feel as though I changed into a different — a person that I’m beginning to be ok with. I like the way I’ve changed — for the most part. There’s always things to work on.

There was no big romantic love this year. That was a big difference. I think it was because my heart is still a little torn up about Boston. I gave so much of myself to that endeavor — I spent months planning, dreaming, imagining. I spent months searching for an apartment, visualizing myself taking the T, walking through the snowy streets of that new city. There was no room for anyone or anything else in my heart. And right now, there’s still not. I think I’m not happy unless I’m planning my next big escape, and putting my heart and soul into that.

That’s ok, right?

Leaving Boston was heartbreaking. It broke me for a little while. But anyway.

So here’s my year-in-review. 2010: What a year.

January.

My dream.

Well, of course, I up and moved to Boston. Jan. 10, 2010. I remember not being as scared as I should have been. I didn’t realize the implications of my move, or how hard it could be. What I remember most is the satisfaction of saying I would do something and actually following through with it. It was a good feeling.

It was a great feeling. January was a good month. I explored, I walked, I observed new people. I found a wall by Mass Art that had the gem of a quote that’s the title of this post. I worked for sweet Betsy. It was a magical month. I loved Boston: The snow covering the Common, riding the T. The frozen Charles river. Eerything.

February.

Oh, February. We didn’t get along so well. I can honestly say it was the hardest month this year. But I survived it. And it was the month that sparked my writing nearly every day, which I love.

I went to New York City by myself for Valentine’s Day, and it was incredible.

Freedom.

In February I fell. I thought I had a job and then I didn’t. And that’s OK.

Life isn’t always daisies and roses and freakin’ rainbows. People suck sometimes. But that’s OK. We’re all human.

So February. I fell and it took me a while to get back on my feet. But I did, finally, and I was all the better for it.

March.

Spring. Life. Flowers. March was when I got my job in the flower shop. And truly: I loved it. The job made me happier than every job I’ve held so far. The people I interacted with were (for the most part) pretty amazing. I worked harder than I’ve ever worked before, and for a while, I was happier than I’d ever been.

Love.

Love.

I met some truly incredible people: People I still remember today. The pansies man, and Steve. The guy who wanted the rose. The other guywho ays needed a beautiful bouquet for his girlfriend — and always made a point to talk to me and start a conversation, and find out why I moved out to Boston. He was kind, and I appreciated it. There was Cena, the man who worked in the shop next to the flower shop. He was kind — and always gave me an apple. 🙂 There was also the eccentric hair dresser: She was fabulous, and always stopped to tell me the display looked, “Fabulous, love, just fabulous.” She made my days happy.

I also met some amazing people outside of work. Being me though, I screwed it up, royally. And I still wish it had worked out differently.

April.

A hard month. My employers left for a trip to NYC for two weeks, and I was pretty much in charge of the shop in Back Bay. I worked for two weeks straight and it was hard. Little did I know, it was the beginning of the end. I worked double shifts from 7:30 a.m. to 9 or 10 at night. It. Was. Brutal. Apparently I have a hard time saying no when people ask me to work.

May.

I left Boston.

My Boston.

I left Boston in the hopes that I’d get the job I have now. My best friend got married, and her wedding was beautiful. But it was hard being home. I was resentful and missing Boston and frustrated with myself for giving up. It was a hard month. I remember writing one night that it already felt like someone else’s life. And it did. It felt like I’d never left, and I hated that.

But it was also nice getting reacquainted with my friends, my family, and more importantly: Texas. I realized while in Boston I dearly love this state: The people, the atmosphere, the rolling, flat landscape. It’s beautiful in its own way, and I can appreciate it now. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to stay here forever. Hell no. There’s too much of that great, big, beautiful, amazing and ever-changing world to see. I can’t wait.

June.

My birthday month. The month I started my first job at a newspaper. I made some stupid mistakes, I sat by the pool drinking beers with my best friend and I settled into my new job.

I tried to end my blog, but that didn’t last. Even though I don’t write as much as I used to, this blog is important to me. I like knowing it’s here; that I can use it as an outlet for my joys, my struggles, my angst and thoughts.

A trip to Barnes and Noble one morning sparked a new love: Travel. Exploring the world. It was at that point I started thinking about some new opportunities within the next few years.

July.

Hmm. July. I stopped writing. It was like my words dried up for a little while. I was still learning to settle down in Lubbock. And learning about the job. But once I got into a rhythm, it wasn’t so bad. But in the back of my head,  Iwas still dreaming. Always dreaming. I’m never not dreaming.

August.

I don’t even know. I was reading a lot and working a lot and missing Boston. To be honest, it all blends together. It was an unremarkable month, much like most of my months and days lately.

September.

Oh, this was a good month. My good friend from Germany came to visit, and it was so good to see him and catch up after nearly six years of not seeing each other. It was definitely interesting and a little bit unexpected. Hmmm…I think that’s all I’ll say on here.

This month I also realized how to accept where I am. I made a conscious effort to stop regretting my choices, and learn to be where I am. Does that make sense? I’m trying, really I am.

I also came to the realization that no matter where I am in my life, there’s always going to be things back home I’ll miss. So, to counteract that, I’ve gotta be somewhere awesome so it’s not so bad.

Oh, and I also went skydiving. It was amazing. incredible. Liberating. I LOVED IT.

Liberation.

October.

October, October…hmm. October I realized I had to start being happy. I had to stop reliving my time in Boston, because it wasn’t coming back. And that was ok. I have other things to look forward to. Bigger things. Better things.

October was hard. I was working six days a week and it. was. rough. I felt like I never left work, but I did save an ass-load of money. That’s nice.

November.

November I missed my first holiday with my family: Thanksgiving. It was hard, then again, what’s not hard these days?

And December.

The last month of the year. Christmas. The holidays. Cheer and thanksgiving and peace.

I worked Christmas too. And now I’m here, on the same couch I was on in 2009, ringing in the new year the same way. And yet, I’m different, so that’s OK. I don’t mind it.

This year is over. As I’m writing this, there are 2 hours and 5 minutes left in the year.

I’m ready, 2011. I thought I was ready for 2010, but as it turns out, I think 2011 will be my year.

I still have hope. I still have dreams. I’m going to make magic.

2011 will be amazing. I’m determined to make it so, and you all know I’m a girl with some serious determination.

So here are my resolutions:

I’m going to be brave. I’m going to take on the world.

 I want to stay in shape: Running has been working wonders for me.

I want to find peace. I want to remember that this is my one chance in life, and if I want to do something, I’m going to do it.

But more importantly, I want to continue dreaming. The thing I believe in most is a person’s capacityto dream. Without that, we’re a little lost.

I dream big dreams.

It’s what got me to Boston. It’s what has (and is) getting me through living in Lubbock again.

Dreams are going to carry me around the world, and I can’t wait to see where I land first.

2011 will be my year of adventure, my year of excitement: My year of unexpectedness. It will be. I can’t handle it not being otherwise.

So get ready, people: 2011 is upon us.

Make some magic.

Categories: Thoughts Tags: , , , , , , ,

Choices, lessons and grace.

November 25, 2010 1 comment

I can’t believe it’s Thanksgiving again. WhenI think about the year since last Thanksgiving…whoa. Really?

Last Thanksgiving I was on the verge of a major move across the country. I was breathless with new possibilities and ready to take on the world.

Oh, that Katie. That sweet, naive, ambitious, optimistic, dreamy Katie.

And how things have changed since then. Last year I was thankful for family. For choices. For making known what I wanted (thought I wanted, I suppose. I don’t know anymore.) and having the courage to go after it.

It was a truly interesting year — a life-changing, dream-transforming year.

So here’s what I’m thankful for this year.

I’m thankful, as always for my incredible set of parents. I’ve thrown quite a few little curve balls at them in the last year, and most recently in the last two weeks, and they’ve never let me down. Even when I thought they would laugh, they never did. They never scoffed at my grandiose and far-reaching dreams. No matter how far into the various corners of the world they reached. They accepted what I have wanted to do thus far and have gone with it quite nicely.

I’m thankful I have a sister who tells me what I need to hear, even when it hurts like hell.

I’m more than thankful I have friends who listen to me bitch and moan and whine. I don’t deserve their listening ears, but they’re always there for me nonetheless.

I’m thankful for new experiences — good and bad. This year was completely and utterly transformative, and I can’t believe I am where I am today. It’s not where I expected to be, but it’s not entirely bad.

And I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: I’m so thankful I moved to Boston. That city, it changed me, as trite as it sounds. It’s a part of me now, and I’m terrified I’ll forget those four months.

I’m thankful for all the little things: learning the T and memorizing the stops I needed to get to my little apartment on Shepherd Ave. I’m thankful for my flower job and for working for sweet Betsy. I’m thankful Steve became my friend and taught me how important it is to give–even when I think I have nothing. Because until I’m in Steve’s position I always have something. I’m thankful for all the wonderful people I was able to meet — people who taught me how to look at the world in different colors, to find the beauty in the mundane.

I’m thankful I found a home in a new part of the country other than West Texas.

But this year I’m most thankful for learning lessons. It’s been one of the hardest years of my life, but boy, have I had to grow the hell up. And I love that. I love that I’ve learned from my mistakes. I’ve finally realized that coming back to Lubbock wasn’t a failure.

Not going to Boston would have been the failure. Simply taking the leap and making it in the city for a few months was the success. And it taught me I can take big chances and dream big dreams and come out the other side partly unscathed.

So this year, I guess instead of “Peace, faith, courage and possibility,” my words are these: “Lessons, choices, opportunities. Grace.”

And still peace. Always peace.

And this year is so different from last year. Last year I had a clear idea of where I was going and where I wanted to be. Last year I was a dreamer and bit more innocent. Now my ideas are foggy and unsure. But I think that’s ok. I’m looking forward to figuring it all out and finding a new place to land.

Life gave me a kick in the pants this week.

October 29, 2010 Leave a comment

This week I had not one, but two, people tell me something that bothered me horribly.

“Katie, you’re never happy. What’s going on?”

“Katie, you weren’t happy in Lubbock so you moved to Boston. Then you moved back to Lubbock after Boston, and you’re unhappy again. When are you ever going to be happy?”

Um…

Ok.

Apparently, it’s time for a little self-reflection.

And here’s what I came up with.

I’m not unhappy — in any way, shape or form. I’m frustrated, and that feels like a huge difference to me.

I’m frustrated and deeply disappointed in myself. When I moved to Boston, I had all the optimism in the world. I was going to go up there, kick some Yankee butt and ingrain myself in that life. I was going to find an awesome job in the publishing industry, and basically, start over.

So I did that. In January 2010 I hopped on a plane with my cat and a suitcase and a hell of a lot of dreams and left the hometown I was born and raised in. 

Four months later, I was back. Granted, I am back for a great job, a real job, (and that’s more than some people can say) but still. I’m back.

No matter what anyone says to me, no matter how many people tell me I “made it in Boston,” I don’t feel like I did. I feel like I gave up. Like I threw away my dreams of the last few years because things got a little hard. It feels like I turned my back on the girl I was in January and ignored her pleas to stay. To power through and keep trying and pushing and hoping and wishing.

I’m so disappointed in myself, it’s hard to explain. I hate living with this much regret. I hate that, as my sister phrased it, “I’m drowning in self-pity.” It’s true and when she said that to me it was like the universe slapped me in the face and told me to get the hell over it.

But. And here’s the part where everyone reading this realizes that I’m really not a total downer. My mindset is turning around.

I am where I am, and regardless of how I wish it were different, it’s not going to change for a while. And you know what? I’m thinking that may be OK for now.

I’m realizing more and more how where I am right now is not bad. It’s finally hit me that living with such a sh*tload of regret and disappointment backlogged in my brain and my heart is essentially crippling my life. It’s not healthy, and even more than that, it’s not going to get me back to where I want to be. The only thing that will get me back on track is more of that optimism I talked about earlier. And sheer will. And you know I have that.

But the way I see it, I had two choices back in May/June when I was offered this job. Both choices would have given me different experiences, new people to meet and various life lessons to learn.

Neither choice was bad. Neither choice was clearly the better choice.

Because I chose to take this job, I’m going to end up somewhere different than if I had stayed in Boston. While that’s a hard truth to swallow, I have to believe it. And I’m not going to end up somewhere bad. It’s just going to be much different than I originally thought it would be.

But isn’t that sort of the beauty of life and the power of making your own choices? You never know what’s around the next corner, and I love that.

So long story short, I’m sorry everyone. I’m sorry for imposing my frustration on all of you, as I know it hasn’t made me a fun person to be around. Know that I’m trying; know that I’m attempting to turn all this negativity into peace — into optimisim and hope and dreams for my future. It’ll happen. I’m not going to be drowning anymore.

So thank you, Universe. And thanks to my friends and sister who aren’t afraid to be honest and call it like it is.

I just hate that I have to wait for my next adventure, haha.

My watch is still set to Eastern standard time.

September 12, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s been four months and one day since I moved back to my little spot in Texas.

That means my time back in Texas has officially exceeded my time in Boston by one day.

And I don’t like it. Not one bit.

I miss you, Boston. And it’s not technically you; it’s the dream of you. It’s the joy of living, of trying something different. That’s what I wanted. This is why I drive myself every single second of every single day. So I don’t think. So I don’t feel you. So I don’t have to love you; so I don’t have to know how much you broke my heart.

Before today Boston still felt close — it still felt like something I’d lived recently. But now I’m realizing exactly how quickly that time is running away from me. Yesterday, I could look back and say, “One month ago exactly, I was doing this.” Or, “three months ago I was on my way to NYC for Valentine’s Day.” Somehow, now that I’ve been back longer than I lived there, it feels different. I felt like in some way my time here mirrored my Boston time, and maybe when next four months are up I could get the hell out again. And I feel like I can’t say those things anymore because then I’m truly living in the past and not paying attention to my life in front of me.

When I looked back at my move to Boston, I always smile when I think about that day: January 10, 2010. I thought it was the first day of the rest of my life; the day when my life would change. And it did. But I thought the next time I’d be in Texas I’d be a bonafide city girl, ready to swing through Midland for my best friend’s wedding, dazzle my friends and family with my newfound confidence and then resume my fabulous life in Beantown.

I woke up that January morning with a stomachache: Fear, uncertainty and excitement were at war within me, and I couldn’t decide which to let win.

I remember touching down on the runway at Logan and leaning past the man next to me to get a glimpse of my new city. I sighed, not really sure what to think.

There are so many things that made me happy in Boston, and so many things that were hurting me while I was there.

Those months in Boston stretched me further than I ever dreamed possible. I’ve talked about it before, in this post, about how much Boston tested me. Back at home, I could see the changes in myself. And that was important to me. My time in Boston wasn’t about having grand adventures (although those were wonderful); it was about growing up. Changing. Living. Figuring out what i want and what and want to do in life. Boston is still so much a part of me, it’s scary. Almost everything I experience here reminds me of life in Boston. Something. A song puts me back at a night in a bar in Fenway. A particular smell has me walking through the Common on a sunny day, just getting off work from my flower shop. And flowers — that job was rough and at times I despised it, but now I always stop and “smell the roses.” Or since roses aren’t technically fragrant, the freesia. My favorite.

But now. Now I’m in Lubbock. Now I have a job I’m grateful for, friends and co-workers I love, my family close by and an apartment all to myself. In the last four months, I don’t see any growth on my part. And that makes me sad.

What I’m figuring out is that I cut my grand adventure short way too early. I let go of living and let my fear bring me back here. Maybe Lubbock is the right place for me for the time being, but it’s not going to fulfill me for long.There’s nothing that drives me; nothing that moves me; nothing that really makes me question anything I believe. It doesn’t’ stretch me.

I went into my move naively; I didn’t see the future as something to think about. All I knew was that I wanted out and I wanted out now. Maybe I should have thought about it more; maybe I shouldn’t have been so “brave.” I should have had the foresight to realize problems would happen and I’d have to deal with them.

But, I didn’t. And I’m back in Lubbock. Things aren’t so bad, but it sucks to be so disappointed in myself.

Glory days.

August 29, 2010 1 comment

Last night I needed a night out more than anything. I needed to nurse a cold beer; I needed loud music to drown out my ever-thinking mind; I needed to be around good friends.

But an hour into being at the bar, I was disgusted. Not by my friends by any means, but by the crowds in the place. The town I live in, like I’ve said before, is filled with people who are essentially cut from the same cloth. It’s a college town; there’s sorority girls and frat daddies all over the place. And I cannot stand it.

I left last night because I got sick of having to deal with this.

Lately I’ve been reading travelogues, which are amazing books. One of my favorite things about these books is the chance to see the world through someone else’s eyes. I love learning about new types of people, new cultures, new traditions.

It makes me hunger for something different.

I want real people in my life. I need to, at some point, get away from the college lifestyle and move in a path that will bring me toward interacting with people who have had actual life experiences.

I know in a lot of ways I’m categorizing everyone I saw at the bar last night, and that’s not fair. But in some ways what I’m saying is true, so I’m not going to feel too bad.

Last night also made me miss Boston. (Whoa, what? Like I never say that.) What I loved most about that place (Let’s say, in the top 5 of things I loved.), was the fact that new people were around every single corner. Whether it was a quick conversation on the subway with a med student, or stopping to listen to a street performer, or an artist who became my closest friend, I was always hungering for that next encounter.  I love different perspectives and opinions and lifestyles.

Some people want to eat their way around the world. Others want to participate in adrenaline-filled activities or see how far they can travel by land rather than by air. I, on the other hand, when I travel, want to glean as much as I can from whichever culture I choose.

One of my favorite books I read this summer was “Tales of a Female Nomad,” by Rita Gelman Goldman. After a divorce, and in her mid-40s (I think), she moved to Mexico where she lived in a Zapotec village for a number of months. From there she’s spent the last 10 years or so moving around the world, and making sure that she connects with the people she lives with in every part of the world she visits. She lived with a royal family in Bali, and hiked in the highlands of Indonesia where she lived in a teeny-tiny village. Rather than getting the quick, “postcard view” of the places she visits, she stays long enough to get an idea of how they live: what activities their days are made up of, or how they grieve, how they celebrate, how they play.

It’s a beautiful thing, and I loved her book. And although I don’t really want to take it as far as she did and be a “present-day nomad,” I do want to learn from people the way she did. That’s why I want to travel.

Boston let me get a taste of that feeling. The city gave me the chance to, like I said earlier, meet tons of different types of people. I miss that.

And that, right there, brings me to my next thought: The glory days.

Since I started my new job, I’ve had lots and lots of time to read gazillions (OK, slight exaggeration) of travel blogs. There are people out there my age traveling around and around the world, and I love reading their blogs.

One blogger–I can’t remember who it is, but I’ll link it as soon as I find it again–wrote a post about the glory days. He likened this to that old man who always talked about “that one football game, back in 1950 where he made the winning touchdown.” And this man never moves past this point: He spends the rest of forever telling this story, and that’s essentially the highlight of his life.

What I loved about this post was that it made me realize how moving to Boston was my glory moment, and it made me sick because I am so much like that old man. In my life right now that move to Boston is the biggest thing I’ve done.

I miss it. You all know this. And I insert it into every conversation with new people: I make sure they know I moved there, that I was scared, but that I did it. Those days I spent living in Boston were my glory days.

The blogger also touched on the importance of not letting that one experience become the only moment worth being glorious in your life.

And I get it. It infused me with determination. Determination to move past a situation, a decision I made I’m unhappy with. It’s made me start planning and thinking about concrete steps I can take to ensure I have more moments and experiences I can classify as my glory days–instead of just one four-month block.

I want enough experiences to fill a book. You all know that when I get in a new place I can write and write and write. My blog took off in Boston, and I’m searching for the next place I can let my words explode. It’ll be wonderful.

So, here’s to the glory days. And here’s to real people. I’m coming for those times.

Thanks for reading. I haven’t written this long of a post since I moved, and I have to tell you, it feels amazing.

The times, they are a changin’.

Remember when…

August 15, 2010 2 comments

Oh, hey! Hi. Hi.

Remember the glorious days when I used to write incessantly and then post it on Facebook so that everyone and their mom saw it?

Yeah. Those were good days. I miss them. A lot. I love writing. I gotta get back to that.

But I feel as though, in Lubbock, I’m frozen when it comes to putting my thoughts on paper. I’m so focused on not thinking about where I am, and trying to figure out where in the heck I’m actually going, that I forget to actually live day to day. It kind of sucks.

Argh.

I’m tired, so unbelievably TIRED, about constantly writing about freakin’ places I miss. Before I moved I wanted nothing more than to get the hell out of Lubbock and never, ever look back.

And then I moved. And I loved Boston, truly. But the entire time I was there I wrote about how much I missed Texas.

Now I’m back, and all I can think is that I miss Boston more than I’ve ever missed anything in the world.

My biggest problem is feeling as though I stunted my growth. When I came back from Boston I felt like a new girl. I’d faced new things and learned to stand up to problems and people and speak up for myself. I finally learned how to be confident and bold — to a point. Here, nothing really challenges me outside of work. I’ve settled back into my old life so quickly and so easily it feels like it’s swallowed me up completely.

It’s like I’m chasing this constant feeling of peace. I’m always trying to find that place where my heart actually feels still in some ways possible. My sister and my mom say I need church. But I don’t know. I think I need adventure.

I need to nurse this restless feeling and let it take me where it wants to.

What I’ve been looking into lately allows me to choose an unconventional lifestyle; a life spent stretching myself to my furthest limits and actually trying some new things out.

I want to write about actual adventures.

Half of what I loved most about living in Boston was that things constantly seemed to happen to me that made life exciting. Brilliant. Unpredictable.

A man prayed over me in Starbucks.

Steve brought me coffee every single day at that flower shop of mine.

I stumbled upon forgotten gardens on my walks.

I learned from Betsy.

I unfortunately was the victim of an Internet scam. Looking back now it’s funny, but I’m pretty sure that was the demise of my Boston experience.

I danced my heart out to unconventional bands.

I let my heart be broken a little bit by the diversity of people living in one place. Truly.

The point is, you have to have experiences to write. They always say authors write what they know, and right now, in a city where very little is happening to me, there’s not much for me to write about. And I don’t have time to be imaginative. (I mean, really? It’d take a shitload of imagination to spice up this place.)

I don’t want to moan about missing Boston anymore.

Yet, I’m not going to whine about living and working here and wanting to be out again.

All I can do is move forward. That’s a scary thought. In some ways it feels like I failed by coming back, so striking out for a second time is infinitely more scary. But hey, time will tell.

Things really aren’t so bad here.

Maybe I need to search a little deeper for those interesting moments.

But I don’t think anything will compare to getting prayed over by a man in Starbucks. We’ll see.

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.