On this date in 1998, I pulled my rental van into Somerville and became a resident of Massachusetts. Ten years later I’m still here, now in Boston, having now lead nearly a third of my life in this Commonwealth.
Here were some of my hopes and goals when I made the move:
- Escaping the heat & humidity of Virginia and return to lovely four-season weather 1
- Resume my identity as a New Englander 2
- Live in a city and enjoy the cultural benefits therein3
- Make good use of public transit and go car-free4
- Continue my career in history museum education5
- Live among a more liberal populace6
- Form a circle of friends7
- Find love. Get married. Raise a family8
So I pretty much got that all covered. Pretty good considering that I moved here with no job prospects, not really knowing anyone, and saving money by staying in a tent at Wompatuck State Park while looking for places to live.
Anyhow, it’s been a good ten years, and may the next ten be just as good.
1 Virginia seriously has only two seasons: Summer which consists of 90° / 90% humidity from March to October and the rest of the year where it just rains. Of course, I didn’t realize that in Boston, Spring doesn’t start in May or that fresh snowfall is immediately packed down into bumpy and sooty ice formations, but at least it’s only hot for like two weeks in the Summer.
2People in Boston apparently do not consider southwestern Connecticut (where I grew up) to be New England. Screw them, I say.
5I did get a job offer at Plimoth Plantation but they were offering $8/hour, the same pay rate I made in Virginia where the cost of living is half that it is here. So I went into libraries and haven’t looked back.
6Massachusetts isn’t as liberal as I imagined it to be, but I’m probably not either. Also now Virginia elects Democrats and is now considered a swing state. Go figure!
7They say it’s hard to meet people in Boston. I found it easy to meet lots of people, extremely difficult to make lasting connections. But persistence pays off and I’ve met some of the best people ever, mainly through work, volunteering, church, and alumni groups.
8None of this happened remotely in the way I imagined it would, but I wouldn’t change a thing.