southern living

#220; hey soul sister

I know, it’s been too long. Due to internet woes of the server sort, vacation, and then my temp assignment in being ended (I’ve been on extended vacation for the last week) – I simply haven’t been motivated to write anything of any kind. Yes, I’ve spent the last week unemployed and with nowhere to write on the internet. Poor me. Though I did not use the time to work on other writing projects as I’d hoped, I did do a bunch of reading, spend some time with wonderful new friends exploring Boston, actually digging into the tumblr platform and G+, and cleaning the apartment. Thrilling life I lead, isn’t it?

In my Boston wandering this week, I’ve had the pleasure of trying some new things that I’d been wanting to do since moving here in March. Indian food, for example. I love Indian food. There are few dishes in the world I love more than saag, and living in Southern Virginia there was a noticeable lack of certain ethnic restaurants (I suppose only noticeable if you were looking for them, but I absolutely was). I craved curry, Afghan kabobs, saffron, late-night Chinese take-out (not one take-out place that didn’t serve pizza stayed open later than midnight). Needless to say, it felt a bit like the food Sahara (not that the food they have down there isn’t amazing – I would give up a few toes for a Brickhouse calzone most days!). And now I’m in Boston – land of Irish dinners and hookah bars, Little Italy and Chinatown. And I’d only had Indian food once since moving. Friday I had the worst craving for chicken saag, curry, jasmine rice! Dragging the boyfriend away from the comfort of home, we did our research and ended up in a gorgeous window table at Mela in South End (an area of the city I only know thanks to friends’ homes, I don’t know much about the theater district or happy hour score there). I don’t know that I’ve ever had better saag, and thanks for Foursquare I got to try their mango lassi for free! Yogurt, juice, ice… Tasted like a melted mango creamsicle, and it was perfect. A split bottle of wine and way too much food later, my exotic craving was finally down to a dull roar and I got to check something else off of my Boston list!

As a child, I spent time in the Boston Common at Christmas, checking out the Nativity scene and the Christmas trees – I always loved the place. As an adult, I spent hours in Dupont Circle, lying in the grass reading, writing, chatting with friends, listening to music. In DC, I always pictured the same thing happening in Boston, but had never had the pleasure. Yesterday, due to much frantic Facebook planning, I met up with a bunch of friends and had a picnic in the Public Garden. Hours spent in the shade, by the water, watching ducks and talking books, eating good food with a wonderful group of people. I wish I could that feeling of peace into words, but as we packed up and headed to a German bar for beer and dinner, the feeling swept over me and I reveled in the idea of doing it again over and over. Another Boston-centric wish checked off my list.

When I moved here I was so certain I would have the life I’d always wanted. Intellectual and involved, successful professionally and personally. It didn’t start out that way, though, and I found myself frustrated and depressed. How did it not just happen the moment I moved? It had never taken more than a couple of weeks for me to find my niche in a new place. Europe, DC, even Newport News. I made these places home as someone collects DVDs. Lined them all up in my heart as things I loved and needed and people who surrounded me with support and laughter. But here, it’s been taking work, and that was a new experience. Now that it’s happening, that I have people I can text when I’m bored or go see a movie with on a whim, people who are getting to know me and bartenders who know my name… it feels amazing. It feels like home is a concept that requires earning, as opposed to just sweeping into the room and making it my own. It feels good. Boston feels good.

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