December 1st marks the end of the first quarter of my year in Boston. This is the last year before I move to New York, the final year of the project and the green light at the end of the dock (and, yes, I get the ominous foreshadowing that reference entails).
Comparing years and cities is a futile exercise, requiring a jumbling of terms that simply do not have the same meaning across the board. City life in Boston is nothing like city life in New Orleans. Apples and Oranges, red socks and bead necklaces.
It’s not even relevant to compare my personal state of being from 1 year ago to that now, as so many factors come into play. In New Orleans, I was working a job I hated for a distasteful company, I had recently been thrust out of yet another ill-advised relationship and my only friend in the city was my roommate, a relationship that would disintegrate into open hostility within a few weeks. Mentally, I was not well.
Here in Boston, the situation is almost comically superior. I have an easy job I enjoy (most of the time), no relationship baggage weighing me down, and a living situation that is conducive to my penchant for enjoying either long, masturbatory conversations on various topics or just saying, ‘Fuck it,’ and getting wasted on a random Wednesday night. Nothing’s ever perfect (especially with a less than impressive reality agent), but after 9 years of this project, the ease by which I’ve settled into this year feels like something I’ve earned.
Which could make moving to New York City a little harder than I expected. As far as cities go, Boston isn’t quite big enough to hold my attention for too long. I will inevitably start feeling that familiar traveling-itch in half a year or so. But a guy could get comfortable in this situation. Drinking buddies, friends who can go out on a moment’s notice, enough financial stability to allow for those random excursions and a location within the city that makes exploring as simple as walking two blocks and getting on the train. I would have to be insane to blow up a situation like that.
I never made any claim to sanity.
The number of causalities this project has racked up could fill a Tarantino film. Romantic relationships, both good and bad, have drowned because of it, close friendships have withered from the distance, jobs with potential for advancement and permanent financial security have been recklessly abandoned, and established social dynamics have been capped at the knees. All for that damn green light.
Who is to say what will happen in the next 9 months? A lot can happen in that much time, even a baby (*a baby will not happen), but a year also has a way of flying by so fast that the boxes I never got around to unpacking are suddenly being taped back up and I’ll be waving goodbye, yet again.
I’m not there yet. I have a lot to look forward to in this year, including exploring more of Boston’s hidden gems and an upcoming cross-country road trip that I’ll discuss further in the upcoming month. But, perhaps what I’m anticipating most is the simple pleasures of a life flush with friends and opportunities. Ultimately, that has always been what 10 Cities was about. The crazy crackhead bosses and drunken debates with moral relativists add spice to my journey, but the building blocks of my decade on the road are the relationships that sustain me in a year, the friendships that pull me out of my head long enough to keep me going just a little bit longer.
If the next 9 months in Boston are anything like the last 3, it’s going to be difficult to say goodbye.
I can’t imagine a better problem to have.