Sunday, May 20, 2007

Flashback

*for a variety of reasons, I spent a lot of time alone and in my head this weekend. I went on a two hour run on Saturday and came home desperate to find this piece I wrote in the Spring of 2005. I'm posting it now to remind myself of a few things...

"Chalk it up to spring fever I suppose but I fell in love this weekend. It’s been coming on for about a week now but Sunday night I came to the conclusion that I am madly, wildly, passionately in love with Boston.

I moved here two months ago and pretty much from the moment I stepped off the plane I folded my arms defiantly and dared this place to impress me. Completely obnoxious I realize but that’s what happens when you move out of California. It’s not that people there don’t realize there are 49 other states, they just don’t care.

It wasn’t really love at first sight there either. I had a romanticized notion of what it would be like to pick up and move to a brand new city all by myself. Going to church didn’t turn out to yield the instant circle of friends I imagined it would, I hated my job so much I would call my mother in the middle of the day and sob into the phone, just finding time to go for the runs that normally clear my head was an exercise in frustration and so I gave them up completely. I was lonely and depressed and felt like an utter failure. But then as I slowly quit resenting California for not being the same as the life I left behind and used the time on my own to find out what I was like when there was no one around to impress, I found I was falling for my new home. And although beach bonfires and daily runs along the water, lazy Saturday morning breakfasts at the sugar shack and long drives down PCH could easily be mistaken for the things that seduced me, I’m convinced it was the shedding of an old skin, being forced to overcome long held fears, the willingness to keep trying when it really did look pointless…to me that’s the definition of true love.

Which brings me to this weekend. It wasn’t really anything terribly spectacular. We had a party Friday night and it was fun. I went for a long run on Saturday morning, that night we went to the movies, Sunday was a low-key birthday gathering with a rousing game of Apples to Apples. It was just a weekend. But I was just me. I wasn’t in “I have to impress these people mode.” I was the version of me I got to know in California and was worried wouldn’t quite make it here. Friday night a partygoer and I bonded over the obscure book he noticed on my nightstand, I managed to survive three of the nastiest hills Beacon Hill has to offer and Saturday night I got to play with a friend who is every bit the kindred spirit I told everyone I was sure I would never find in this place. It’s not hard to love Boston itself. It’s a beautiful, vibrant city stuffed to the gills with art and music and food and culture-but loving it for those reasons is like having a crush on the star quarterback. That’s as obvious as straight white teeth and six pack abs. But loving the potential for personal growth and fulfillment in Boston…that’s like falling for the skinny kid in your art class who makes jokes you don’t quite get and makes you CD’s full of stuff you’ve never heard of.

I don’t know how long this particular affair will last…I can already see that Boston’s truly appalling winters and the distance from my family will eventually be wedges that drive us apart. But it seems cowardly not to allow myself this chance at romance just because the potential for breakup is certain. It took splitting up with California to show me how well prepared I was for the next one…"

5 comments:

Chloe Elizabeth said...

Oh, to be able to write like that. Isn't it interesting how perspective and feelings change with experience, especially when we finally open ourselves up to the changes?

Alaska Wanderer said...

Hi Kate! I guess I'll have to start posting more now that my blog is getting read. Good to hear from you
-Matt

AP said...

You need to hear the song "Boston" by Augustana. Check it out if you haven't already heard it. Awesome. And it goes great with this post.

f*bomb. said...

So what does it mean if you came back to California? Are you playing for keeps now, Katie? Are you?

vfg said...

I love this. A lot of it resonated with me, though it took a couple of minutes for me to link that to my own recent move--it wasn't the situation, but the way you captured the complexity of the emotions that also caught me.