It’s been a hot second since I last wrote a post on here! Although I do believe in consistency, I see my personal blog as an outlet for what truly resonates with me, and I have surrendered to the ebbs and flows of my inspiration and capacity for creativity when it comes to writing.
After graduating, I had the best summer I could have asked for- considering we are in the middle of a pandemic. I spent a lot of time with my family, and we did some mini vacations. My friends and I found creative ways to see each other outdoors, from socially distanced drinks in our yards to day trips with masks. I also became a lot better at saving money with less places available for me to spend it.
This summer, simply having everything I needed to live comfortably surrounded by people that made me happy was more than enough. Gratitude came more easily than ever before, and I fortunately had post-grad plans in place by May. I accepted a year of service position through AmeriCorps VISTA as a Marketing & Communications Specialist for a school district in the Adirondack Region of New York. I worked from home for a few months before relocating at the end of August.
When the day came for me to move, I was extremely nervous. I had just spent six months with my family and childhood/high school friends, and this was going to be the farthest I had ever lived from home. I had always liked my hometown and I loved going to school in Boston, things I always assumed I had just “lucked out” with. As my family wove through the mountains on our way to New York, I wondered if that “luck” would run out when I lived in a new place where I didn’t know anyone. These feelings intensified when I spent the first night in my apartment alone and had to find the closest urgent care for an ear infection the next day.
After a few days, though, I fell in love with Plattsburgh, my new city. I look forward to my frequent walks around the downtown area where I pass endless local restaurants and sit by Lake Champlain. I have a stack of paperback novels from a used bookstore resting on my desk and I’ve made it a weekly routine to go to a nearby natural food market for kombucha on tap. My drive through the countryside to work is one of my favorite parts of my day thanks to the bright green fields, mountain views and a sprinkling of farmer’s markets that always catch my eye. Best of all, I lucked out with great roommates and neighbors that are easy to talk to and always make a point of inviting me along to things. Some of them are great at cooking and baking too, so there’s always something new waiting in our kitchen for me to try. My job has been fun too. I’ve met new people and am doing work in my field while also helping the community around me.
I’ve been sharing this news with my friends from home and college and they’ve all echoed the same sentiment: they weren’t surprised. Some of them even laughed as I described my new home and routine. They pointed out that I’ve never had trouble meeting people and that I’m usually pretty optimistic about where I live and what I do, wherever and whatever that is. It finally occurred to me that while privilege and fate have definitely had a big hand in my happiness, mindset has also played a huge role. When I first decided to accept my work position, I was very intentional about doing my research. I used Google and social media to get an idea what daily life looked like in Plattsburgh and quickly created a list of places to go and things to try so I could hit the ground running when I moved. I made an effort to talk to and get to know my roommates rather than just being some stranger that never left their room. I also took up any offer to go out and do things with them, even a 10 mile hike I thought was going to kill me.
Most importantly, I’ve been taking the time to stop and appreciate the little things. I don’t want to sound like that TikTok voiceover about romanticizing your life, but it truly is important to recognize the abundance and little sources of joy around you. I love my daily tea with farmer’s market honey and nights where I sit and chat with my roommates and realize an hour has gone by. I love the old velvet rocking chair my grandmother gave me and the sunflowers wrapped around the outside of my favorite Dunkin’ Donuts. I love the smell of a new shower gel I just bought and sitting to read the long captions my favorite wellness Instagram accounts post. I love keeping up with everything my friends are up to and getting my mind blown by a new scenic view of the lake and mountains each week. I even love making myself a simple dinner and keeping my space clean, things I thought were going to be tedious tasks. My mind keeps going back to the words written on a sign I used to have in my dorm: “Bloom where you’re planted”.
I think every place I’ve called home has served a different purpose. My hometown is the source of all my old stories and is who I am at my core. I loved the bustle and challenge of Boston and all the growth that came with it. In the Adirondacks, I have found peace and a more stable connection to both myself and nature. Although I’ve been happy everywhere I’ve lived, I haven’t always been able to say I feel steady. I am welcoming this ease with open arms and moving a little more slowly, but a lot more intentionally.
I hope that wherever you’re currently planted, you’re blooming too.