Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Breaking up with Boston, or It's Not You It's Me

I've decided that this move away from Boston is a bit like a tortured break up. Not the happy, fulfilled kind where both parties come away from the relationship knowing they were good for one another and ready to move on. Not even the kind where both parties end the relationship full of resentment and anger. No, it's what I suspect may be the worst kind: where both parties understand that they still love each other but that their dreams are leading them away from each other for now.

I wrote here recently about trusting in your dreams to direct you, even if those dreams have gone "stale" (as a friend of mine here put it recently). In that line, I've been imagining Boston and I as a couple of would-be doctors or lawyers who always wanted to go law school or to medical school but happened, inconveniently, to fall wildly in love. Boston and I carried briefcases around when we were 3 or tried to take our parents' temperature when we were 7. Boston spent weekends studying case law for mock trial in high school, while I took a college-level epidemiology course instead of joining swim team or the drama club.

In the days before my departure we were so in love that I was compelled to ask myself: well, wouldn't being a registered nurse or PA be just as nice? I could stay here with Boston and still work with patients. Boston could go to law school and I could join a private practice, giving flu shots and writing prescriptions... But really, if I was willing to give all that up, why couldn't Boston just go into social work while I went to medical school and achieved my dream? Boston and I had a lot of impassioned fights about this.

In the end, though, no one compromised. In a turn of events perhaps surprising to no one, Boston stayed steadfast on the east coast. It was I who got on the plane. Boston and I said our tearful goodbyes. We promised to keep in touch, but we knew things would never be the same. And I don't know if I can speak for Boston, but I for one wondered if I would ever love that way again.

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