August 28, 2011

Pre-Departure Part Two: Boston

A friend of mine, Niva, said to me the other day "it's funny how when you're about to leave a place you love you suddenly start to notice all of the beautiful things about it." That was absolutely my experience during the last two and a half weeks. I returned to Boston (after an awesome eleven-hour road trip out from Erie) to babysit, couch-surf, and bid Boston farewell. A special "thanks" to those of my friends who housed me during the last few weeks (the Family Giller gets a loud shout-out for giving me a base of operations/letting me keep my huge suitcases in their living room). I spent time with friends, I babysat a little, enjoyed some final classes at my favorite yoga studio, visited Gloucester, and wandered around Boston just soaking it all in.

I have lived in Boston for eight years. I moved out here after high school to attend Gordon College in Wenham, MA (so I suppose if we're being tecnical, I have lived in the Boston area for eight years, and Boston proper for three).  The last three years I lived in Boston's South End, a truly beautiful neighborhood. 

Boston is a beautiful city, but for me the idea of "home" is defined by the presence of people I love. For that reason, Erie will always be home. However, the eight years of my life in Mass. have been the years where I really grew up in a lot of ways. I enjoy meeting people, and I have collected an eclectic group people who I feel fortunate to consider as part of my Boston family. It makes for some interesting stories- building relationships with people who bring out the different sides of my personality. I can most easily break it down into a few categories:

There are a handful of good friends from my time in college at Gordon who stuck around after school (some of whom still live here, some have moved on to new things already) and together we have gone from kids just leaving home for the first time to (semi) productive members of society. We took naps together after signing our first lease agreements, we've helped each other move from one apartment to another (over and over and over, in my case) and we've supported one another as we develop our individual interests and goals. 

After Gordon, when I started my "business casual" era, I was fortunate to work for an organization that was relatively small non-profit (our Boston office had a staff of 15-20), which makes for close quarters. The David Project  was led at the time by Charles Jacobs, a passionate and strong voice in Boston's Jewish community, and a smart man who surrounded himself with a staff that was greatly committed to educating people about the Arab-Israeli conflict.  The friends I made during my two years as a part of that staff share with me a passion that has come to define my life, and that is a bond that can't be broken.

In an account of people I love in Boston, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the babies I have cared for here. I have spent time nannying (full and part-time) for several families in Boston (proper), and I want to each of you now how special it is to be welcomed into your homes and hearts. Not everyone gets to go to work and is greeted with kisses, tickles, and cuddles. The kids I've gotten to know have become my friends as much as their parents, and all of you have helped make Boston feel like home. 

This is necessarily an oversimplification,  In any case, it is because of this beautiful web of characters who make up my family here that I will always think of Boston as home. I left Boston on July 1st this year, not knowing if I would be coming back to stay or say "goodbye for now". As excited as I am for this next step into the future, it's always hard to end an era. But, as far as "goodbyes" go, the last few weeks have been spectacular- I'm so grateful for all the memories my friends and family here have made with me. But this is not really goodbye. So, Boston, I'll see you soon. Until then, I'll think of you fondly, and often.

1 comment:

Liron Etta Giller said...

A beautiful tribute to Boston, the friends who have shaped and influenced you, and a really great Jenna story.