Every once in a while, I have a moment where I’m walking home or on the subway or at Fenway or something and it just hits me…I live in Boston.
At no point growing up did I ever think I’d land in Boston.
There was, admittedly, a brief and fleeting infatuation with the city when I was old enough to learn that Peter Gammons didn’t actually live at ESPN, but rather within the cozy confines of Beantown.
However, I didn’t really think I’d ever live here, I had visions of living elsewhere on the east coast.
With moderate levels of remorse, I must admit that I grew up as a huge fan of New York.
I was a Yankees fan. I was a Mets fan. I was a Giants, Jets, Rangers, Knicks and—yes—even a Liberty fan.
In my defense, this was all my Pappy’s fault. To this day, he is a diehard fan of all of New York’s teams, except for the Islanders. In fact, he may actually hate the Islanders.
I think his infatuation with New York was, much like mine, influenced by the mere fact that New York is considered THE city in the United States.
Anyone who comes from the middle of nowhere (read: Hartley, Iowa) has a desire, no matter how deep down it’s buried, to get out and try their hand in a place like New York.
I was so enthralled with NYC that I applied to NYU my senior year of high school. I had every intention of leaving Hartley, moving across the country and becoming some sort of small-town success story.
Needless to say, that isn’t exactly how things panned out.
It was a complicated application, because after they’d received the generic application, they replied and asked for more.
They wanted me to hook ‘em up with some references, write a personal essay and create a video documenting my everyday life.
I thought it was a little weird, but it was NYU.
I wrote a pretty solid personal essay. I had some bad-ass references, including an amazing little ditty written by the then-Ms. Gregg, my favorite teacher of all-time. I made a video that showed how…um…unique, yeah, unique…life in northwest Iowa can be and I sent it all in.
…and I waited.
And I waited and waited and waited for weeks and then months.
I finally got a reply back from NYU about six months later telling me that I hadn’t met some criteria along the way and I wouldn’t be accepted for admittance. It was a little bit of a kick in the stones, but didn’t exactly come as a shock.
By the end of 2002, I’d forgotten all about NYU and New York in general.
I was having a blast at Minnesota State and had come to the realization that I wanted to be a writer.
I’d officially converted to a full-fledged Minnesota Twins fan after spending years slowly transitioning.
And—most importantly—I’d fallen madly in love with a lovely gal named Grace.
Seven years later, New York is long-since forgotten.
I’m incredibly happy in Boston. I’m still with the aforementioned lovely gal, and have her to thank for helping get me out of the Midwest to make my attempt at becoming a small-town success story.
Anyway, long-winded—moderately intoxicated—rambling notwithstanding the whole point of this bad-boy is that every now and then I can’t help but look around and just think “HOLY CRAP.”
…and I f’n love that and never want to lose that feeling.