I shouldn’t jinx myself before the last box is off the truck and accounted for in my new bedroom, but I feel like it needs to be said:
Moving this time around doesn’t seem that terrible, and I’m really surprised that leaving Boston feels this easy. (So far.)
When I graduated from college, I wanted to do what my friends were doing: I wanted to move to Brooklyn, broke, pile up with a bunch of friends in a tiny place that had a roof, tend bar/wait tables again until I found something that provided health insurance and go about building a New York life, just as eight bajillion twenty-somethings had done before me and the nine bajillion twenty-somethings who will plan to do the same in the coming months/years/decades. Instead, I came home for the summer, took a chunk of my graduation present and spent it on a trip to Tokyo to visit a dear friend, came home and applied for jobs here there and everywhere. I found one in Boston and chose to stay here, find a cute one bedroom that I could actually afford in a neighborhood I loved and hang out with my best friends from home, who had all, surprisingly, opted to return to Boston from their respective schools, too. It was pretty great, we rediscovered our hometown and we built the lives we’d wanted in zip codes we hadn’t planned on calling our own again.
I had a conversation with a buddy, up on the rooftop of my first apartment in Somerville, about a year and a half after I had decided to live in Boston. We were talking about what we wanted to do in the next few years. He’s two years older than me and had spent a few months in France with a (then) girlfriend, trying it on for size to see if he’d like it; we talked about that, and then we talked about how I had fixated on the life I could’ve lived in Brooklyn, the papers/magazines I could be writing for by that point and the men I could’ve fallen in love with instead of making choices that kept me here. I told him that I loved my life as I knew it, but that I felt stuck and that I was missing something. I said I wanted to be out of Boston by the age of 26. He laughed, because he had said the same thing, and yet he at 26 was sitting across from my on my roof tracing the Boston skyline from the Zakim Bridge to the Citgo sign with his fingers, totally content and with no plans to move anytime soon.
We had that chat when I was 24. I’m 26 now, and tomorrow, the movers come to my third Boston apartment to pack up all of my stuff, load it on a truck and bring it to the first place in Brooklyn I’ll have my own keys to, the first spot in New York I’ll get to call home and mean it for a bit.
There are plenty of wonderful things in store and a ton of scary uncertainties that come along with it. I’m quitting a job and moving without another one lined up, and saying that out loud to everyone who asks is getting kind of old. Still, I’m actually doing it, and I feel more secure in this decision than I have since I made it a few month ago.
That’s a pretty great thing. I’ll never leave Boston for good, given that my family is here, as are a handful of lovely, wonderful people I’m lucky enough to count as friends. Maybe that’s why this doesn’t feel like the big mammoth life-changing decision I made it out to be—it’s not like I’m being chased out of Boston by anything, or that I’m running from anything. I’m just moving forward towards something else.
Sometimes it’s just as simple as that.