(This blog post was initially posted the summer of 2015.)
So I have a couple of more serious posts in the works, like one about cultural appropriation in the West. But since they require a bit of research, I want to really put a lot of time into them.
Time is something I have not had enough of lately, and I mean that in the best way. I've always had far, far too much time on my hands. I grew up with crippling anxiety. I couldn't speak to strangers at all. I would often get sick and throw up when I was around too many people. For a long time, I hardly left my house at all. At some point I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and depression, and my life was run by fear.
After spending so much time locked in my head, never really experiencing anything at all for years, I became more and more depressed. I started realizing I would never, ever be happy unless I threw myself out there, even if that meant coming home in tears every day after failing to function like a normal person. It's taken years of hard work, but I've grown to treat embracing fear and snatching up new opportunities as my single goal in life. Experiencing fear is no longer a bad thing to me - in fact, the second I'm afraid, I know I'm headed in the right direction towards growth and a worthwhile experience.
I just want to truly live my life and take risks. I want to be brave. And I don't mean brave in the sense of jumping out of planes. I mean brave in ways that may be small to others, but are monumental to me. Even talking to new people is being brave for me. My panic attacks can still be vicious, and my anxiety is perpetually present. But nothing feels better than doing the things that scare me and coming out with a new experience, even if it's a bad one. Boston became the perfect vessel for that experimentation, and I've gotten better and better at seizing opportunities when they come my way.
Since moving to Boston, I've become so much braver, so much more whole. For the two years I've lived here, I have completely transformed over and over. And I love every second of it - the failures, the joys, the friends I've made, and even the friends I've lost. All of it has taught me so much, and I am doing what I've always wanted to do: living as genuinely as possible.
I've begun going out of my way to take time to really explore the city. Sometimes this means wandering around aimlessly with my friends and seeing where we end up, or following the lead of friends who have grown up in the Boston area and checking out places they like. Recently I made a list of some places I want to check out, and it feels so good to have somewhat of a plan laid out.
I recently met up with my girl from my hometown, Erin. She hasn't spent much time in Boston at all, and I was kind of nervous to take the ropes and pick where to take her the entire day. I feel like you learn so much more about a place when you're the one in charge of sharing it with someone else. I realized I knew way more about life here in Boston than I thought I did.
I never get much of a chance to explore Newbury Street since it's a bit of a trek for me from Dorchester. But we did a little shopping beforehand and ended up getting sushi at Snappy Sushi.
I've never been there before, and it was wonderful sitting at a table outside and watching the people walk by. I honestly haven't eaten at a restaurant on Newbury Street before. I always thought every restaurant there would be out of my price range, but this adorable little sushi place was delicious as well as affordable.
I also like to spend a lot of time exploring Boston on my own. As someone who often needs to recharge and reflect, going out and about by myself is something I absolutely have to do. I got to check off one of the places I've been wanting to see for ages: Voltage Cafe and Art right off Kenmore on the red line. I wish the photos I took could do it justice. I'm really quite shitty at remembering to take photos when I go out, because I'm the type who likes to soak in the experience and forget about my phone (and on top of that, I feel awkward as hell, which I need to work on).
Voltage is a cafe that regularly rotates the art is has on display, but the cafe itself is a gorgeous work of art, down to the tiniest of details. My favorite little detail, for example, was the fact that they had a little glass jar of sugar cubes to add to your coffee.
The walls are decorated in bright colors and patterns, the decor combines rustic wood with vintage memorabilia, and, best of all, the cafe features shelves and shelves of books. The books range from children's books to novels to gigantic art books featuring the most random array of topics.
If you ever have the chance to check it out or need a new place to study, definitely head to Voltage! It's absolutely beautiful, and it really does feel so good to try something new.
If you have any questions about my experiences with anxiety, feel free to contact me. Thanks for reading. x