Leaving Boston

Yesterday I got the official rejection letter from BC. I was expecting it, so it didn’t come as a surprise. I guess I had been expecting it all along because I knew it was a long shot for me. The limited number of applicants that the English Department accepts is one thing working against me, and the even more limited number of accepted applicants who study Irish literature is another. But I also figured that my particular research interests wouldn’t really be the most interesting to the faculty here. So, like I said, no surprise. And no hard feelings, either. I’ve really loved my time at BC and my professors here, and I know that this rejection in no way reflects a perception of me as undeserving or undesirable. As with all PhD acceptances, they have to pick the applicants whose interests will fit the department best, and mine don’t. Fortunately, my interests do fit well at other schools.

But that means that I am officially (and not only possibly) leaving Boston this summer. I’m not saying for certain where I’m headed yet because I still haven’t heard back from a couple of schools, and while I have a pretty good idea of where I’ll be, I’d like to know what all of my options are before I make a commitment. The thing I can say with certainty, though, is that I won’t be here. And I have mixed feelings about that because there are a great many things I’ll miss about Boston, especially the people who have made this chapter of my life spectacular–old friends and new, an amazing church family. I’ll miss my cozy apartment, the nearby reservoir where Spur and I have walked miles and miles, the way that Boston bursts with color in the spring and fall, the mild summer. Trips to the North End for savory Italian food and life-changing canolli from Mike’s Pastry. Boston Common and The Public Garden. And so many other things that I have loved here.

There’s something in me, though, that feels ready to move on. At the end of last summer, I wrote in a post that if I didn’t get into a Boston-area school it would break my heart a little to leave. And I meant it, deeply. But it’s funny how declarations of desire work sometimes, because almost as soon as I wrote that post, there was a loosening in my heart and I began to feel a little free, and maybe even a little restless. I began to understand that I would miss a great many things about Boston, and I would miss my first place, but it wouldn’t break my heart to leave. I think God was preparing me even then for the coming change. Somewhere deep down, I think I’ve believed for a while now that I wouldn’t be staying. And in that same deep-down place, I’ve felt at peace with that.

I’ve been intrigued for a while now with the One Little Word project (which works almost like a New Year’s Resolution–you choose a word to focus on throughout the year), but I’ve never really decided to pick a word. This year, though, I think a word chose me–adventure. It’s been sitting on my heart and making my eyes twinkle all year. It’s how I think of trips into the city, cooking new recipes, trying new foods at restaurants, readingUlysses, going out with friends. And it seems especially appropriate now that I know I’ll be adventuring my way to a new city this summer, and adventuring through learning how to live in a new place, and adventuring through my first semester as a PhD student. Lots to look forward to.

For now, though, I’m glad that I still have a lot of Boston adventures to come. I’m ready to leave this place, but not yet.



4 thoughts on “Leaving Boston

  1. Shana, God has amazing adventures in store for you! BC was blessed to have you, but another school is lying in wait:)
    Isn’t the written word incredible? I, too, have experienced a loosening of my heart by writing something down….setting it free:)
    We are so proud of you! I can’t wait to find out where your new adventures will take you this summer! I’m just so thankful that you are embracing the moments. You’ll never regret them.
    We are ALL hopeful that you’ll be in Abilene for a little while this summer. I just want to sit and listen to your stories and enjoy being with you.
    Love you,
    Aunt Connie:)

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