I spent five of the most formative years of my life in Boston, Massachusetts. At this point, besides the town I grew up in it is still the longest I have lived anywhere. It very much made me who I am today, and I absolutely love it to pieces.
But with this most recent visit I truly felt it. The gradual difference as the years go by and everything I knew and loved about it slowly starts to change as everyone moves on with their lives.
It’s still fantastic, and I will never stop visiting because it truly puts my soul at peace, but it’s not the same place as it was when I left it. Slowly but surely, more friends have moved away. No one I’m close with is still in school. Everyone has their grown-up jobs with vacation time. People don’t go out every night of the week anymore (thank God). People are moving in with their significant others and getting married. Every moment it’s shifting more and more towards an unrecognizable world, with the people I love scattered everywhere in between.
Seeing that all makes you stop for a moment and wonder. What if I had stayed? Got a job in recruiting like I was ready to, found a new place to live in Cambridge and started the next chapter of my life there? Who would I be? Would I be proud of where I was today? Would I be happy?
I guess what I’m getting at is that life’s a gamble. There’s no way around it. While many things are in your control, many are not and often you will just have to roll with the punches. Every decision at this age holds infinite possibilities as we continue to decide who we are and who we want to be, so we must choose wisely.
So how do you know when you’ve made the right decision? Does anyone ever truly know? Probably not, because such is life. We all do the best we can and make the best decision in the moment but this isn’t Click. We’ll never truly know how the choice we made will impact our life until it does, and never in comparison to the other options we had.
So take it one day at a time. If you’re not happy, change something. Let the people in your life know you care about them and will always be there for them, no matter how wonky life gets.
Boston folks, I love you now and always. I’m doing my best at creating a new life across the country but regardless of how excited I am about everything Napa, will always wonder what would have happened if I had stayed.
Thanks to all the college friends who are still there when you need them and love you through your embarrassing moments just as much as your exceptional ones. Come visit soon, I have an air mattress with your name on it.