When you’ve just graduated and are still looking for a job, it’s easy to feel like getting that first job will solve all your problems. Then you get the job offer and it comes with a whole new set of adventures to tackle. If you’re like me, you plan and implement your move half way across the country in the span of three weeks. If you’re really adventurous, desperate, or the job is just awesome, you might find yourself moving to a place where you don’t know anyone.
During and for the first month after my move, I enjoyed the challenges that were coming my way. The people in my office are simply amazing. They’re really good at answering my questions about things like where I should look for curtains and how cold I can expect it to get in Boston this winter. I actually found my apartment because my boss has a friend who is a realtor. You have to love the boss who meets you when you get off the bus from the airport and presents you with a city map. (I have to say this is probably one of my favorite gifts ever because it is useful and expresses confidence in my abilities, sort of like when Dad gave me a car jack the Valentine’s Day after I turned 16). During this time, I had fun pretending that I was a pioneer, striking out on my own to make my way in the world. As Dad pointed out before I left, it’s not like things were two hundred years ago when people left home and never came back, when it could take weeks or months to get a letter half way across the country. For a while, it was fun to wander around and buy new things, building my professional wardrobe and decorating my new apartment.
Then the adrenaline rush wore off. It hit home that there wasn’t anyone in this city that I’d known longer than six weeks. I felt (and often still feel) lonely and isolated. There are many days when I wake up and just want to see the familiar face of someone, anyone that I have history with. (Even if it was someone I hadn’t talked to often or maybe even actually liked when I knew them previously, I would love them just for being in this city at this time.)
I know that feeling at-home in Boston is largely dependent on me. I won’t feel completely comfortable here until I have commitments (outside of getting up and going to work every day) and friends that I can call at the last minute when I suddenly decide that I absolutely must go out for pizza or who will help me sneak snacks into the movie theater and then make fun of me while I talk to the characters on screen. This weekend I joined a brunch group that I found on meetup.com. I figure that brunch is a nice, safe way to meet new people. In the spring I’m planning to take some sort of lessons that involve boats; I’m not sure whether it will focus on rowing or sails, but regardless, it will not be an activity I could easily pursue in Missouri. And until I have memories in Boston, I still have my phone and friends all over the country who are going through the same thing.