I've debated all day whether or not to blog about this. (You can see I have a lot of important things on my mind today :)
I feel like it's a birthday and I don't really want to celebrate it because that means I am getting old... and we just "hyper-down" about things like that, as one of my co-workers would say. But, I also feel like this is a major accomplishment for me and I am DARN proud of it!!
Today marks five years since my mom, brother, father and I pulled onto Charnwood Street in Somerville, MA with my car and a U-Haul (after only getting lost a few times off the highway - which is necessary for all newcomers to Boston to experience so that they know they've really arrived in Boston). And, a new life began.
It was my first time living on my own, not surrounded by 15,000 other Mormons my age living in a college town, and no friends what-so-ever. I came without a job, or a computer to get on the internet to find a job... furniture that I had gotten donated from family and extended family and a mattress from the 1980's (but I was grateful for it all!!). But really, let's be honest, what the heck was I thinking? Looking back on it now - I was crazy, alone, and very unprepared. And I had arrived just in time for one of Boston's worst winters on record for wind speed and temperatures.
But, what kept me here? Or, why did I come in the first place. The only answer I can come up with was faith. I knew I had given my decision a lot of thought, had received a lot of counsel from family and friends... but the thing that got me here and kept me here was FAITH. I had prayed about it and knew this is where I should be. Of course, that didn't keep me from crying as I said good-bye to my mom as she got on the "T" to return to PA after helping me unpack for a few days. And, it didn't keep me from crying many, many times over the next few months. BUT, it did give me the courage to stay and not run... which I had thought about a few times :) It also helped that my dad lives an hour and a half away and I would escape there on the weekends a few times (and to thaw out)!
Our temple president told an amazing story from his own life last night at stake conference about acting on faith. I'll never forget it. "No job, no schooling, no house at where they were going... but he left his good job, picked up his young family of four, and moved many states away because he received an answer to prompting and acted on faith". "Things work out. They always do". Of course, there are parameters to that... but I won't go into those now.
But, five years. I had no idea (and no plan) to be here that long. How many more to go? Now, that's a good question. Someone asked me today if I was going to stay here long term. And, I wanted to shout "NO!" But, wait. Why? On my walk home I thought about it. I do LOVE this city. I think when I wanted to shout "NO" it was more of I HAVE to move on from Somerville. It's where I have lived for the past five years. I moved once, but only two blocks away. This street has been walked by me EVERY day for the past five years. I've watched each season change the trees and have many fond memories of Hancock Street.
To name a few:
1. The trees that coat your car in pollen
2. The lady that comes and searches through my recycling every week for cans
3. The car with the sticker that says "Please Jesus, save me from your followers" and I want to RIP it off every time I walk by... and then kick its tires
4. The hydrant across the street that's given me $300 worth in tickets (but I fought each one and won!)
5. The crazy neighbors down the street who always have the biggest Halloween decorations I've ever seen
6. Other crazy neighbors... we'll just leave it at that.
7. Street cleaning. HATE it!
8. Moving in and having our nice neighbor help us rig a pulley to get our couch through the 2nd story window. (Picture below... current duplex where I now live. And, yes, three-seater sleep sofa came up through the 2nd floor windows!)
So, yes. A LOT has changed in my life over the past five years. Things I never dreamed of.... like getting my masters degree, becoming a huge fan of the Red Sox, meeting some of the most incredible people, working in probably the best job ever as an elementary school guidance counselor, etc.... I love Boston. I KNOW I need to move on from Somerville... but how far should I go and when... the next town over... or miles and miles away. No rush on that decision... but it's on my mind. "How many more to go?"