Right after the Boston Marathon bombings, there were numerous articles as to why Boston is such an incredible city. Many of them point to landmarks, the spirit of its people and how the United States got its start right here.
While I don’t disagree with any of these reasons, I’m sure that each and every one of us that lives and works and goes to school in Boston, have very personal reasons as to why we love this place. For me, Boston is where my own kinda, sorta coming-of-age story took place.
The first time I moved here .. so many years ago .. was when I was 20, taking time off from college, and figuring out what it was I wanted out of my life. When I first arrived, I had no place to live. I stayed with a friend of a friend of a friend .. this French Canadian bohemian family living in East Boston who’s bathroom had one of those showers that also functioned as a toilet .. I was mortified.
I remember crying every day my first week here. I was alone, missed my family and friends, and was soon-to-be homeless because my invitation to live this with eclectic family only lasted a week. But through the generosity of someone I met through City Year - the Americorps program I had come to Boston to participate in - a complete stranger, and native Bostonian, who I had only known for 10 minutes, handed me her house keys telling me I had another place to stay indefinitely until I found my permanent home … which luckily happened soon after that.
When I moved to Boston, I was so shy .. such an introvert. But there’s something about not knowing anyone that forces you to meet everyone you can just so you can survive. Living and working in this city helped shape me into the person I am today. Someone who can’t meet enough people and hear the stories they have to tell. Someone who loves to explore and learn as much about a place as she can.
Thank you, Boston, for helping make me who I am. It’s not that I wasn’t a totally awesome person at 20 (I mean, look at that face I’m making in the photo below), but I’m really proud of who I became during my first time living here.