I often refer to last summer as the mass exodus. Not one, not two, not three, but many, MANY of our closest friends left our little neighborhood to move to the suburbs. I think when you live in the city it's inevitable that people make the transition to the 'burbs,' especially when their children get closer to school age. But I was shell shocked when quite literally all of my friends, who felt like family, and then some, were suddenly leaving, all at once.
We don't live near either set of our parents. My family is in Upstate New York and my husband's family is even further away in Northern California. Since having kids, we've realized how challenging it can be to not have our immediate family here, for big times and small. Hence why our circle of friends (within walking distance) felt so extra essential.
When we first moved to Charlestown, over four years ago, I was four months pregnant. So many people told me it was a special place to start a family - a great town especially for new moms. Wow, was it ever. Within the first year of his life Grayson had more playmates than I could keep track of. I quickly developed incredible relationships with women who became more than friends. They were a lifeline. That first year as a new mom can be rough. It's insane how you can instantly bond with others who are going through the same thing. The moms in my 'group' would text all day long. No question was out of bounds. A typical day included conversations before 8am, coffee, playgrounds and often meeting up both before and after naps. It was easy. I felt so supported. The tough days of motherhood felt so much more doable with these ladies by my side.
So you see, last summer wasn't easy. These important people in my life were leaving and we were staying. Staying. It felt like my family was the only one who missed the moving memo.. There were tears behind a brave face as I tried to tell myself it would be okay. But as I filled out the upcoming school year emergency contact form I paused when trying to determine who to write down if my husband or I couldn't be reached. That felt like a punch to the gut. And when I told Grayson the news that his best friend was moving out of the neighborhood he burst into unexpected, heartbreaking tears. Me too buddy. Me too. It wasn't easy.
The fall hit us full steam ahead. After all the going away parties and goodbyes came a welcomed busy work schedule, school, commitments and then the holidays. The days flew by and things developed into a new norm. We were starting to build deeper friendships with others and while we certainly missed our old friends dearly, things were okay. And then the holiday cards arrived.
The common theme wasn't Christmas this year, it was "we've moved." And just like that I found myself a little sad again.
Now don't get me wrong. I am so happy for all of my friends! I really mean that. I love hearing about their new adventures and visiting their new towns. It was the right move for all of them. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss the way things were. Mostly because I know realize that I didn't appreciate how great things were back in time.
It's a weird feeling being stuck in the same. As everyone seemed to move on, here we remained exactly as we'd been. How could I not wonder if we were missing something?
Then Ryan asked me, "Are you ready to leave? Are you ready to end your Boston career?" I didn't hesitate and I still don't. The answer is no.
I have worked so incredibly hard to be so very happy with where I am today. I love my North End Yoga home. I love my Equinox family. I love the amazing people I train every week, some for years and years. I am just not ready to say goodbye to stroller workouts at the Monument, outdoor events on the Greenway and working alongside some of the best instructors there are. The lure of a bigger house, more space, two cars and all the perks of living outside the city are strongly calling our name. But the roots we have built here are keeping us grounded.
And from all this I've learned some really important lessons.
It's okay to be still. In a world that can move so quickly I often find myself dreaming up the next adventure or wishing for this or that. But it's okay to admit that you like where you are. It's okay to plant your feet and your family, for a little while longer. You are not missing out. You're probably right where you need to be.
I've also recognized just how incredibly magical it has been raising my children in a village of amazing friends. Nothing can ever stay the same forever but that doesn't mean we can't cherish and appreciate the way things were, especially when they were so impactful.
Thank you to each and every one of you who shared and continue to share this journey of motherhood with me. I can't imagine doing it without you. And thank you to everyone who has opened their arms to support us and remind us that we are loved and we still have amazing friends nearby our side, right here too.
I've had this post written for a while but just couldn't hit publish. I don't want to come across as silly or randomly emotional. But the truth is this transition has been a big part of my every day life. But for every reason calling out for me to leave - my job, my students, my classes are pulling on me to stay. I've gone through so many emotions and landed here at grateful. I'm so grateful for all I've been able to realize.
SO, even though we miss our friends like crazy, we're not going anywhere just yet...
OR at least until it's time for Kindergarten because if you live in Boston, wellllll you know all about that BPS lottery (cue my eyes rolling) andddd if we can't get into a school well then I retract my above statement (pouring of a big glass of wine) ....
Has anyone else been through a similar life transition? Do you ever feel stuck when everything is changing around you? Oh and did your kid get into a K1 Kindergarden on your list in Boston? Ah, it's so nerve wracking! Oh ya know, all the things on my mind lately :)