Happy Anniversary, Boston!

Exactly a year ago, I took a one-way flight to my new home. I wrote this in my journal on the plane ride:

It just hit me
It’s hitting me
It’s all going to be new from now on

…and it was.

I started writing some long stream of consciousness about my feelings about this first year in Boston, then deleted it all. A friend (who is entering grad school this coming Fall) asked me to write a post about “Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Grad School,” but to be completely honest, I don’t know that I wish I knew anything different– I expected a lot of failure as well as a lot of fun, I expected imposter syndrome as well as the deep fulfillment of doing something I love every day. Outside of research and courses, I expected life to change, and change it did. A lot.

In the Fall, I worked through a lot of personal things—I considered transferring PhD programs, I grieved a shattering loss in my life, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. The leaves turned colors and I found myself in my first New England Fall. I went apple picking and drank hot cider; I found the cold air life-giving. I saw the first snow fall and blanket the roads, minutes after seeing the BSO play Mahler 5.

Symphony Hall; one of my favorite places in the whole world.

In the Winter, I ran into someone that I never thought I’d ever see or talk to again and restored a friendship that I had thought was over. I visited practically every cafe in Cambridge, losing count of the oat lattes I consumed in an effort to warm my insides. I devoured books that I hadn’t opened since high school, listened to hours of podcasts and audiobooks on things from personal finance to social psychology. I flared. I started therapy. I wrote letters that I never sent.

In the Spring, I traveled—to conferences and reunions and weddings. I finished some projects that I thought I would never finish. I started running the Charles again as soon as the weather got warm enough. I joined a lab (or two)!

And I came full circle. It’s been hard, yet fulfilling–-as with everything that is worthwhile. 

I am filled with such gratitude to the people and the places that constitute the city that I now call Home. People here complain how everyone is a transplant—here for but a while, only to leave before you really get to know them. Yet, I find beauty in the impermanence.

An old friend once warned me that Boston may be my next heartbreak. But it was too late—I fell in love quickly, and I’m okay with that.

Happy Anniversary, Boston.

MIT Boathouse; Harvard Bridge; the landmark CITGO sign

1 thought on “Happy Anniversary, Boston!”

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