It’s hard to believe but silently and quickly a one-month anniversary passed.
I may be two days late in technicalities, but the beautiful part is that it passed without knowing.
I adore my family and friends in North Carolina with heart and soul. I love the mountains and the roots that I have always had there. I really cherish the fact that I’ve been able to plant such a foundation of stability in a place of sameness for the first 24 years of my life.
I love Boston.
I remember the first day that felt like a routine.
I walked to the train stop, likely in the midst of my third week here, and for the first time I didn’t feel like I was at a conference or fall camp. I didn’t feel like I should whip my camera out to take a photo of something new and I certainly didn’t feel the need to look at the T map to check the stops.
I could walk the path without looking up at landmark houses and street signs. I could bustle along without the worry of missing something.
The thought only occurred for a second, but once it happened–that, “this is life now” thought–things were different.
I remember that first day that Boston felt like home.
It was just this past Saturday.
After venturing an hour outside of the city to go to an apple orchard in Ipswitch, Mass. and spending a morning picking apples, traipsing fields and shooting a lot of camera footage–I was tired. As we crossed the bridges and ventured back into familiar Brookline it was a relief to see our street and know that home was just a quarter-mile away.
It was home.
And it is home.
And that is both beautiful and strange.
I miss my family and friends of course in the, want-to-see-you-and-share-this-new-adventure-with-you kind of way. But it’s not a hankering for me to go home. It’s an excitement for them to come here and let me show them my happiness.
I used to give my friend Lindsay such a hard time for her Carrie-Bradshaw-like love for New York City. Oh, how she loves that city.
But now I find myself chuckling as I get lost looking at the skyline on a walk home or as I can’t help but smile at the sound of the trains outside my window.
I absolutely love it and feel like it fits. It just fits. I can honestly say that I am happy in a way that I haven’t experienced in a really long time. A different way.
This happiness for the last month has seen me challenging myself in new ways. It’s seen me exploring and trying new things. It’s seen me taking chances and channeling a new bravery. It’s seen me digging deep for confidence and resting in my own reassurance. It’s seen me crafting a new set of friends and a realizing that in some senses I’m recreating who I am. Same Ashley. New chapter. But you know how much shift in a storyline just one chapter can make . . .
One month in and I haven’t skipped a beat. Not even enough to take five minutes and revel in the fact that it had been a month on October 1st. Instead I have pondered too many times already in the last week how time is passing too quickly and I want to stop the sand in a sieve.
Savoring life is incredible.
And I can’t express how much the last month has been an incredible start to one of the adventures that I think, one day, I will look back on with some intense pride.
Miss you North Carolina; but for now why don’t you just promise to come visit? You’ll see me at Christmas, if not : )