Learning To Love Where You Are

Boston Adventure

To be honest, I was afraid to write this post. I sat down after a three week break, finally ready to blog and had no clue what to say. It felt scary but exciting, kind of like how I felt when I first started blogging over two years ago. I took a break for a lot of reasons, but one of the reasons was this hobby that I love so much, turned into my life. When I wasn’t working, spending time with my husband or doing other every day things, I was blogging. And by that I mean taking photos, filming videos, editing videos, editing photos, learning about SEO, being on Twitter, abusing Instagram. And when I wasn’t doing all that, I was planning in my mind what was coming next. And when I wasn’t planning, I was talking about it.

It all got very overwhelming and I just wanted a break to explore other things I was interested in I wanted more time to just spend living my life for me instead of how it would look on my blog. And here’s where we arrive at today’s topic: Learning to love where you are.

I didn’t always love Boston. In fact, I spent my first six months here talking about how all I wanted to do was leave though I did a good job at hiding my true feelings when asked about the city. To friends and family, I consistently complained about the drivers, the people, the food, the weather. Really anything and everything. As most good lessons in my life usually happen, after a conversation with my older sister, I decided to start liking my city.

My sister basically told me that it’s a choice to love or hate where I live. Anywhere can be great and anywhere can be horrible–it all depends on me. The next day, I decided to stop seeing all the things I didn’t like about Boston. I got myself a pair of headphones and I started wearing them daily. I also started driving like the locals. I stopped caring what everyone around me was doing wrong and decided to focus on what was going right.

That was a few months ago, and I can honestly say I now see Boston as a place I can call “home,” and I don’t mean home forever, but home for now. And that’s a pretty amazing feeling considering I have never loved anywhere I’ve lived. I’ve embraced this city for what it has to offer and somewhere along the way found new friends, went to new places and took risks.

So, I think it’s safe to say, “I’m back!” I hope you all understand why I needed a break and that I really did miss writing here. I think sometimes it’s good to just take a step back and look at what’s around you instead of always moving forward without thinking. Please come back soon and say hello!


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  • Gab

    Hi Courtney!

    I just moved to a new place less than a year ago and I am inspired to do a similar post! Adding you to my reading list. :)

    • http://thosegraces.com Courtney

      So glad to hear that Gab! Where did you move? Thanks for reading my blog :)

  • http://www.arashmazinani.com Arash Mazinani

    I had the pleasure of visiting Boston back in 2005 and although I only spent a weekend their I loved it! Maybe it’s because we were a group of tourists that people warmed to us and were friendly but everyone I met was cool. I loved the city too.

    I can imagine, like anywhere, living in the city would be a completely difference experience.

    • http://thosegraces.com Courtney

      That’s nice people were warm to you! I find it to be a slightly unwelcoming culture, but I agree with most natives that once you’re in, you’re in. I’ve mostly just tried to accept the people for who they are, not who I wish they were. It really is a nice place, though!

  • http://www.labyrinthhealing.com Ann

    What a lovely message! I really enjoyed this post. It really is important to love where you are–and not just your physical location, either!

    I think you talked about this idea on a couple of different levels– loving where you are in the world, but also where you are in the journey. You wanted to take a break from blogging for a little while. You gave yourself permission and you were okay with that, rather than trying to force yourself to write a post.

    This let you come back to the task with renewed energy and fresh possibilities. I love it! I think sometimes we’re afraid to walk away from stuff, to break the cycle or habit for fear we will never return to it. And yet, when we actually give ourselves a bit of breathing room, I think that’s when we do some of our very best work!

    I’m glad you left, and that you came back to write a bit more. It gives me permission to do the same– to have flexibility and to trust that I know what I need at any given time. Thanks!

    • http://thosegraces.com Courtney

      Thank you Ann! I totally agree–loving where you are isn’t only physical but mental, too.

      That’s a cool connection you made that I initially didn’t connect myself. I think sometimes taking a step back from your own world (blogging, in my case!) can be a good thing in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes you just need perspetive.

      I think flexibility is a good thing to have especially when it comes to hobbies. A lot of us who blog do it in our spare time, and that, to me, means you should enjoy it. If you don’t, what’s the point?

  • http://made-to-travel.com Jamillah

    your sister is very very wise…and this thinking really applies to so much in life, it’s not about where you are it’s totally about how you see where you are. so glad boston is warming up to you, i lived there for 3 years and it’s a city really close to my heart.

    • http://thosegraces.com Courtney

      She is very wise!

      You’re so right–it is about how you see where you are and not the actual physical place.

      I didn’t know you lived here for 3 years! Sometimes seeing your posts on NYC makes me miss it. I lived THERE for 4 years :)

  • http://taxonomyofmywardrobe.blogspot.co.uk/ Veshoevius

    I have these kind of feelings about London so really related to this post. Sometimes it takes seeing photos of London and articles about the good things about it on other people’s blogs to make me realise that I should take time to appreciate it more.
    Boston looks lovely from your photos!

    • http://thosegraces.com Courtney

      Sometimes you really just have to be a tourist in your own city to appreciate it. Some much of it becomes day to day that it’s hard to realize what’s awesome about where you are.

  • http://www.getfiercestyle.com MJ

    Loved this post and I can totally relate! I’ve moved around a lot in recent years and it wasn’t until now, living in South FL where I can honestly say I love where I am. And I don’t think it’s so much the locale because there was a time I really hated living down here, but rather my perspective. Like you said, you often have to change your mindset to see the good in any and everything! :)

    • http://thosegraces.com Courtney

      I was just on your blog on the way home, and first off, CONGRATS! on your new baby! She is beautiful!

      It’s a pretty awesome thing to love where you are, and it’s totally about your perspective. Anywhere can be awesome and anywhere, even the greatest places, can be horrible.

  • http://www.myuniquegirlz.blogspot.com Shanay

    Wow, I can really relate to this post. I moved to GA a few years ago. I had to really stay positive and not look at the negative about GA, even if I was a little home sick. It’s really a nice town.

    • http://thosegraces.com Courtney

      I’ve definitely been there! I lived in SC for three years and it was so hard to stay positive that I just didn’t. My sole focus was on getting out and I wasn’t really happy until I left. Sometimes that’s just the way things go. Wasn’t meant to be.

  • Emilie

    I moved to Boston a little over a year ago, and it took a while for it to grow on me, too. I’m from a grittier, more working class city, and Boston felt snobby to me. But now that I’ve taken the time to get to know the neighborhoods I really liked it. It’s beautiful and historic, and the perfect place for my husband and me to build a life as newlyweds.

    Also – kudos to you for taking a break. I am also a blogger with a day job as an editor, and it is very time-consuming to keep up with both. Don’t neglect your other interests!

    • http://thosegraces.com Courtney

      It’s definitely a bit snobby in some neighborhoods! I live outside the city in the “Greater Boston Area,” as we a few miles out say (haha). I don’t know if I would want to (read: could afford) to live in Boston any time soon. My husband and I moved here right after getting married–so I’m definitely in the same boat as you! It’s a nice place to be young and married.

      Thanks for the kudos! I think sometimes it’s just necessary to take a step back and breathe.

  • http://redpeeptoepumps.blogspot.com Red Peeptoe Pumps

    I’m so glad that Boston has grown on you. I fell in love with Boston the very first time I came here to visit schools, but I feel like I’m always discovering new spots and learning new things about the city. Plus, it’s easy to fall in love with Boston this time of year, with the perfect weather and beautiful changing leaves.

    • http://thosegraces.com Courtney

      It was really really hard to learn to love this city, but I think I’m almost there!

      The weather is absolutely perfect any time other than December to March.

  • http://warmbananabread.blogspot.com Caroline

    Great post. I felt the same when I moved from Scotland to Canada a few months ago, and still have days when I curse all things Canadian and long to be at home. But, like you, I decided to be positive, and have sought out things I am interested in and excited by in my new city – it will never be ‘home’, but I’m embracing it.

    • http://thosegraces.com Courtney

      Thank you Caroline!

      That must’ve been such a hard transition to make and you’re certainly brave for doing it! Are you in Canada for the long-term or just studying?

  • http://hipsandhangers.blogspot.com Tashia

    I relate to this post on so many levels. I felt the same exact way about Boston at first. The people weren’t friendly, the weather was terrible, everything was expensive, and I really didn’t feel at home at all. My feelings started to change over time, but my “ah-ha!” moment came a year in. I was flying into Logan after a week visiting family in Ohio. I felt like I was flying home for the first time since I’d moved here. Right now I am in love with Boston and I’m starting to see myself here long term (like permanent, raising a family here long term) for the first time ever! Maybe that’s because my first two terrible winters here are a distant memory. Ask me how I feel in February.

    • http://thosegraces.com Courtney

      It’s such a hard city to adapt to! It’s not very welcoming and the city is very cold both literally and figuratively. I think it’s kind of a front that the city puts up and eventually it becomes more friendly.

      It’s nice to feel like you don’t want to leave. Honestly, this is probably the first time I’ve felt that way.