Archive for June 29th, 2011

June 29, 2011

on boston

My boyfriend and I decided to move to Boston in May of 2009. We moved into our Jamaica Plain apartment in August.

This is what it looked like:

…almost two years ago.

We’ve been Bostonians/Michigan Ex-pats/City-Slickers for almost two years now.

(Oh, the time.

It flies)

I used to think a lot about The Move. About what it means to me, for my life, to live in a city hundred of miles from my family, in my 20s, for no logical or practical reason.

I could easily be living in Michigan right now.

But I’m not. I wanted to go to grad school, and I decided to leave.

I used to think a lot about how my life is different than it would have been in Michigan. Living here used to make me feel special, like I’d done the impossible. Leaving home was a bit of a “jump and the parachute will appear” kind of affair. We arrived with little money, job prospects that would qualify as “underemployment,” and not much else, but good things slowly flowed our way. Still, even months after arriving, making dinner and doing laundry and getting off at the right bus stop usually felt triumphant. Walking down the street for a scoop of ice cream after work? Miraculous.

I don’t feel special anymore. Nor do I feel like I am “at home.” Living in a city like Boston requires sacrifices, and I’m very rarely happy to make them. I kick, I scream, and I feel crappy about life at least once every month or so. When things aren’t actively crappy, I’m no longer particularly starry-eyed to be sitting on the E-line anymore, either.

I’m not sure what I was looking for when I decided to come here, and I’m still not sure of what I’m looking for when I wake up every day.

In the meantime, I do like it here, where I live.

I like my classes and the opportunities that bandying about my course of study brings me. I like seeing authors when they are on book tours and having access to a large library system.

I like shopping for fancy groceries (even if they never go on sale).

I like walking places.

I like running places.

I like that almost everyone I meet is smarter than I am.

I like that friends and family are apt to appear for a visit or a conference and we can enjoy the city together.

I like the Charles.

I like that living here makes my boyfriend so happy.

I like that I am constantly meeting new people.

I like that I have friends here: friends who have lived in Boston for years, friends who moved from other big cities, friends who were like me and put all their chips on Boston to go to school, friends who are from Michigan themselves.

I like that when things are feeling actively crappy (read: now), I can think about this:

Me + friends + Friday night + neighborhood bar + 10 dollar fancy cocktail + cheese fries+ sleeping in

My life is questionable. But Boston is not a bad place for my questionable life to be.