I’ve been Boston for 20 days now, not counting my little “training” visit back in November. And I have a problem. I can’t seem to figure out what to say about it.
The problem is that this whole thing, this whole adventure – it doesn’t feel real. I keep waiting for the conference to end and for me to hop a flight back to Arkansas.
I’m sure some of it has to do with not having my apartment or my stuff yet; I miss my books and my DVD’s and my striped chair, and weirdly, my Christmas tree. The route I take to work isn’t mine yet and the walks Sadie and I take aren’t ours yet. I’m weary of the constant stream of details: permits, movers, packing, unpacking, paperwork, etc. My brain is tired from a new job and all the stuff I have learned, and have yet to learn. None of this is particularly exciting stuff to write about.
There are many little things that cause me to smile in delight; none are big enough for a whole blog post. I can’t imagine anyone caring that I find the sight of my dog’s footprints in the sidewalk snow (now melted) to be magical. My excitement at getting a package full of turtlenecks and new gloves is pretty silly in the grand scheme of things. The cycle of ice freezing/melting on Jamaica Pond is wondrous to me; to others? Yawn.
I am so impressed with the guys at the post office where I have my PO Box; they face lines 10-humans deep every day and are always polite and helpful (and one of them is named Vinnie. VINNIE.). There is a hat shop near where I live – a shop with nothing but hats, people. The other night I bought Christmas presents at a cute little store full of American-made jewelry and gifts…one block from my B&B. I looked up movie theaters the other day online and there are dozens of them nearby. I have a season pass to the RED SOX this summer. During a break in packing last night, I walked down to the best ice cream store ever and bought myself and my pooch a little frozen treat.
And best of all in all of these little things? I like these people. Sure, there are too many tiny girls in leggings and skinny jeans for my taste, but I walk out of the house wearing just a little mascara and don’t feel like I’ve failed a makeup version of the Hunger Games. I’m surrounded by people of all colors and ethnicities; I hear different languages on the bus every day and I love it. And I have found the people to be nice, if not as effusive as I’m used to; the other night I had my backpack open, waiting for my takeout to go in there, and a young man made sure to let me know. Another night, I slipped a bit on the ice and the lady passing by asked if I was ok. More often than not, the bus drivers say hello to me if I say hello to them. Yes, we all keep our heads down and there’s not a lot of eye contact, but that’s because there’s ice and slush all over our roads and, well, falling sucks.
And yeah, it’s snowed a lot already and it’s not even Christmas. If there’s any doubt that I’m back in New England, the weather has convinced me otherwise. Perhaps when I have to shovel my own stairs it will cement the reality of the fact that I actually, really, truly live here.
For now, here I sit at the airport, heading south to my niece’s first Christmas, a little glum to leave my dog behind, but looking forward to hanging with my family and eating all the wonderful foods I only get to eat once a year. A little girl just raced to the window, squealed, and ran back to her dad, crying “Daddy, I saw an airplane!!” I don’t remember when travel became mundane to me, but I’m glad that it’s still a new adventure for some. I want to give Southwest Airlines a high-five; the gate agents sound like real people while saying the same things over and over. I wish you all Happy Holidays – and I mean that as it’s meant; I love that my circle includes people of all faiths and beliefs, and I welcome you to say whatever holiday greeting you want to me. In fact, if you come up with something I’ve never heard before, that would be awesome.
Good tidings of comfort and joy to you all. Here’s hoping someone makes you wear foolish Christmas attire like this, and takes incriminating photos after: