Shipping Up To Boston

I pulled onto the highway outside New York City, blasting Shipping up to Boston, by the Dropkick Murphy’s.

‘Blasting’ is an overstatement, since there was a gaping hole where my car radio used to be. My iPhone rested on the seat instead. The truck was no great shakes, but it carried all my belongings on the drive from DC to Boston.

I slapped the wheel as the song played. The sun was shining and the morning traffic was light. My arms were tan and an aroma of a dozen bagels floated through the cab from a brown paper bag. In my rearview were two years in Honduras, a romp in Colorado, and a pleasant night with family friends in New Jersey. Each memory put their blinker on and moved into the lane behind me.

It was a long time coming. A handful of reasons drew me to Boston – a new city, the chance for romance, an abundance of Irish pubs – but the real draw was a job. Somewhere up there was a chair and a desk with a paper sign that read Financial Empowerment Coordinator.

The Puerto Rican community had invited me to sit amongst them and disburse financial advice to low-income families. I was going from hot to cold; South to North. From rare resources to a wealth of welfare.

Massachusetts paid welfare recipients the most money per capita behind Hawaii. If working in Central America meant learning about scarcity, working in Boston meant playing in the pro-league of non-profits.

I hit a pothole and the thought bounced around in my mind. The corners of my mouth pulled into a frown.

A lot of unknown lay on the horizon. Worse, I was young with little experience – a rookie. I’d have to keep up. And could I continue blogging about my new clients? I knew the learning curve was steep, even as I coasted down the far side of Connecticut and crossed the border into Sturbridge.

I didn’t know what the New England Gods had in store for me. I didn’t know I’d be moved by the families I worked with. I didn’t know about the beautiful White Mountains and the time I’d spend there. I didn’t know about the amazing friends I’d make.

Boston would afford me a long list of opportunities. Even as I put away the blog, I would find scores of coffee shops to hide in, allowing me to finish writing my book.

Hence, after a year of living in the city, I decided to blow the dust off the keyboard and fire up WordPress. The knowledge and experience I gained in only a year, tasted too rich not to be shared. I wanted to start with that first day, when I topped the hill over route 90, and saw Boston in the distance, my iPhone blaring:

“I’m shipping up to Boston! WAAAAYYYYOOOOOOOHH!”

Suddenly Human Boston


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