i’m all about honesty. i find that i can’t get things out of my head, unless i am able to mentally unpack the less-than-happy-instagrammed-version of my life.
because not everything is able to look nice under the “nashville” or “walden” filter. and sometimes it’s nicer when those things aren’t put out of focus in order for the sole purpose of looking nicer to the outside world.
boston and i have been on the out-and-outs lately. i’m not sure if its the realization that i’m not really a city girl after all. or rather, there is a dissonance between my perception of this city as an outsider and as a resident. or a muddled combination of the two. but i know with a startling certainty that my time in this town of beans and blank-staring people on the subway is limited.
i first had fuzzy feelings about living here when i was eight, something someone should question when moving somewhere. i remember i was watching the first episode of “survivor” and elizabeth hasselbeck was being filmed as a contestant pre- “the view” in her hometown of boston.
they had a helicopter shot of her standing on a bridge (which is odd, because i’m sure its the one i cross with my bike everyday) and i remember thinking “i’m moving to that city when i’m a big girl. i’m doing it.” and “gosh darn it, i want a grape popsicle right now”. she was smiling and it was sunny outside and i could only imagine sunny and happy days and winning a million dollars on reality tv in this fabled city i had just seen for the first time.
and i guess in the midst of being 21 years old in a now-foreign city where i don’t enjoy $145 handbags and scowling, i feel a bit like i was lied to. when i first moved here, it was almost eery how amazingly the city seemed to roll out a fancy, ornate carpet for me to walk on. i had a kick-ass apartment in fenway. i started dating a boy a month after i moved here. i got my two dream jobs. i was making friends and wearing peasant skirts and clogs and getting free food out the wazoo and petting puppies and not caring that i was so broke and eating ramen every other night.
and then all of a sudden, i got dumped. i moved into a less than ideal apartment with a less than ideal roommate. i was forced to quit one of my dream jobs. i was biking 16 miles a day in order to take 8am classes and then close at a job i was slowly starting to resent. my dog died+ my bike and phone were stolen all in the same month. i had to manually end a friendship that turned sour very quickly. in short, the city seemed to slowly roll back the ornate carpet it had rolled out for me. all of a sudden, without warning, and didn’t show signs of coming back anytime soon. the city wasn’t a good place for me in this time period, not a very soft cushion to soften all of it down. a scowl on the subway could unravel me entirely.
i’m not a person who is emotionally affected by weather shifts, but it seems that common courtesy, “excuse me”s and door-holding is seemingly forgotten once the temperature dips below 40 degrees. i’ve slowly become a person who is shocked when people are nice to me, rather than expecting kindness, something that honestly disturbs me sometimes. my most commonly used phrase during the months of december through april was, “man, boston sure is on the rag today!”
despite all of this, boston has been a dream actualized. i know i wouldn’t be a content human being without living here for the last 12 months. but i’ve now realized that cities seem colder to me, not in the sense of weather, but in the sense that most sentences that float around the city start with the word “i….”, laced with entitlement, tied up neatly with a bow of expecting to come first at all times.
maybe it’s me that needs to grow a thicker skin. or perhaps the city and i could meet half-way and get back to that sweet spot of luck and free food again. because gosh darn it, burritos and cookies always taste better when they are free.
even so, i’m still holding out for that richly adorned carpet to come back. perhaps it just needs to come back from the cleaners.