Twenty years ago, I packed my bags and boxes in Brooklyn and moved to Boston to begin a new job as a law professor. It was a big move for me. Not only was I embarking on the next major step of an academic career, but also I was leaving a beloved city that was my first chosen home.
I don’t love Boston the way I love New York City. Yes, Boston is “thinky,” manageable (as larger cities go), and contemplative, all qualities I appreciate and now truly embrace. However, it also can be thuggish, uptight, and lacking a sort of joie de vivre in its civic culture and social DNA. (On the latter point, my starting evidence is musical: The Gershwins and Cole Porter never wrote songs about it, and Sinatra never sang about it!)
But amidst this mixed bag, I have grown a lot here, become much wiser (umm, it takes some of us a while…), found great meaning in the work I do, and made lifelong friendships. And on the musical side, I’ve even discovered singing, a topic I’ll write about at greater length sometime soon!
Through ups and downs, Boston has taught me the differences between “happy” in a sort of superficial way vs. meaning in a deeper sense. These are no small blessings, and I accept them with gratitude.