Saturday, April 26, 2008

anthony's song

At this time every year, I think about moving back to PA. And every year, I walk around the amazing city of Boston and contemplate the trees and Fenway and think, "One more year." Well, not this year. I am officially moving back to PA, sometime next month.

I love Boston so much, that it took seven years for me to realize that I've been pretty lonely here. All of my grad school friends moved to New York and D.C. The SWiG girls are all married and have their own friends. Peter's moving to L.A. The jobs for adjunct English profs are dwindling, both in the individual institutions and across the armpit of the state. To accommodate the vast number of adjuncts, schools have been cutting class loads. I can't afford to stay here. There are actually more opportunities in Philly right now. And I want to go back to school anyway.

The writing continues to trip me up. I may lose my writer's group by leaving, and that will screw me. But I've been working so hard over the past seven years, choosing work over family and friends. It hasn't made my writing any better. It's only made me more stressed and depressed and uninspired. What do you write about when all you do is sit in your room and write? Stupid dreams. From that comes nothing. There has to be some kind of invention, craft to tell a good story. There has to be the spark of real spontaneous unscripted life. It can't be all personal fantasy; no one cares about that.

When I was in the UK this past March, I stopped in little crappy towns through England. I saw people going to work, living their lives. I wondered: Why do they stay in this little crappy town? Then I realized. Family. Friends. It's home. Why am I not home?

I don't feel like I ever really left.

Honestly? Let me cup my hand around my mouth and bring my voice to a whisper, so the Bostonians don't hear me. Boston is pretty. Boston has beautiful tree-lined streets and gay marriage and green coffeeshops and farmers markets and great recycling programs. But compared to Pennsylvania, Boston is kinda boring.

Now, if I could only deal with losing the Red Sox... sigh.


Anonymous said...

Oh, Anney, I'll miss you! I had no idea you were so unhappy here, and I'm glad you've decided to do something about it, but it's totally Boston's loss.

jillksb said...

ha--the last part made me laugh out loud, the boston is dull as shit part. home is all about the people. that's what i've come to realize over the years. no matter how much you love a lake or a river or a place's restaurants or "diversity" nothing comes close to friends and family. you can always visit boston--hopefully it'll always be here.

Anney E. J. Ryan said...

So true... I'm glad that you got what I meant by that. I do really really love Boston, but I'm bored because my crazy old friends from high school and college are not here.

jillksb said...

ya, i don't love boston, never have. but it's home. and that only became clear to me after i moved away and then grudgingly moved back. altho i do find that i have more of an appreciation for it the more i travel in the u.s. i feel like it's one of the only cities out there that isn't planned and that gives it so much character, makes it kind of an underdog, and who doesn't love underdogs.