I’m really lucky. I have the best friends and family in the world.
I was born and raised in Chicago. I have a large family. Ten aunts and uncles, 25 cousins. And most of them live in Chicago.
But you can’t pick family. You can pick friends.
I didn’t choose to be born in Chicago. I did choose to live in Boston. And it was because of the people from Boston.
Thousands of people move to Boston each year. Not many of them are 29. Making friends isn’t easy. Especially after college. Especially at 29 in a new city when everyone around you is settling down, nesting, getting married and having babies. Imagine my surprise when Boston welcomed me with open arms.
“You have to go to Kowloon. I’ll take you. When are you free?”
“Topsfield Fair! Put it in your calendar. We’re going!”
“Wanna go whale watching this weekend?”
The first year I lived out here, I made a vow to say yes every time someone invited me somewhere. It was scary and nerve-wracking sometimes, but I discovered so much and made so many friends out here. Because I said yes.
I should emphasize that when I moved out here, I had a dozen or so friends. They are why I moved out here. To get to go to Red Sox games with them, to see movies at Coolidge Corner with them, to go to see shows at the Orpheum with them, to go to the Cape with them.
And these friends made my move worthwhile. In the last few years, I’ve celebrated their promotions, I’ve been to their weddings, I’ve held their newborn kids. I moved here to celebrate these moments with them.
But I never expected to love Boston this much.
Yes, your roads are terrible. The snow is too much. And the Pats fans are … obnoxious to say the least.
But your loyalty to your teams, to your friends and to your families is devoted. And highly contagious.
Over the last three years I can’t believe how much I’ve fallen in love with Boston. With the Esplanade, with the Hancock, the North End. Discovering the difference between the South End and Southie. With the SoWa Market, with walking Fresh Pond, with the view of Storrow as I ran my first 5K. Moving to Boston, I knew I’d fall in love with the people. I didn’t think I’d fall so crazy in love with the city. Sunsets over the Charles, five way intersections at every square, food trucks and festivals. Every time I hum ‘Quality, Comfort and Price‘, every time I argue about how Santarpio’s is better than Pizzeria Regina, every time I declare my love/hate relationship with the Phantom Gourmet, I feel more and more like I am part of this city. Boston, I love you.
And I think you love me, too. That’s why you understand it’s time to leave.
Like most everyone from Boston, my family is everything. My parents recently moved back to Chicago. My brother and his wife just had their first baby. And over the last few months, I was out of work and looking for a job. I was stuck in Chicago due to the blizzard. I got a phone call for an interview out there and within the week I was given an offer.
Over the last week, I’ve started my goodbyes. Lunches at Anna’s, drinks at JJ Foley’s. Every trip on the Red Line over the Charles has gotten a little harder. Every hug has been a little more bittersweet. And I’ve definitely teared up more than once. I didn’t think it would be this difficult. I mean, I’m happy that I get to be near this face:
But it’s gonna be hard to leave town this weekend. I’ve fallen in love with everything out here. With the people, the scenery, the history. With everyone one of the WLBT staff. With Boston.
Thank you, Boston, for welcoming me with open arms. I’m gonna miss you.
This isn’t goodbye, Boston. That would be too damn hard to say. This is see you later.