I'm going to tell you something:
Before I moved to Somerville, I never thought I'd live anywhere even remotely urban. Urban places are dirty and confusing and there are criminals and you're anonymous and YUK!
Back then, I was kind of a hater. Well, no, but I was very naive.
What I didn't realize is that at least in this urban place, there is art and culture and community and amazing food and kindred spirits and independence and did I mention the food??
I didn't know what I was missing. I didn't know how much of this lifestyle I would embrace as my own. I didn't know how easy it would be to live in a place where instead of you going to everything, everything was laid out in front of you and there are always at least five people to share it with at any given moment. Oh yeah, and you don't have to drive there.
All of the places I've lived before here required driving everywhere. EVERYWHERE. All of the places. Need milk? Drive to the grocery store. Feel like eating out? Drive to the Cracker Barrel or Olive Garden. Want to hear some live music? Good luck with that. Drive to a bar far far away. I think L.A. Guns is playing at the Rock Bottom in Reading... Seriously? We even had to drive to get the mail.
I didn't think there was anything wrong with this, because this had always been the way we did it.
Now I can walk to get food, groceries, a drink. I can walk to the homes of about ten different friends. I can walk to the theatre for rehearsal. I can take the T a few stations to work or shop. I took the T to work yesterday and then into Boston and then back home. I'm lucky, because I'm so paranoid about getting lost (which almost never happens, but which I fear always) but Boston is SO easy to get around and the T is accessible and navigable even when you're drunk - which I never am... ahem...cough cough.
Of course, you don't have as much space, and there's less privacy, and sometimes people are making noise outside your window when you want to sleep... But I feel like that's a pretty small trade-off to make. Besides, you know what I've done with less space? I've learned to keep what I love and get rid of the things I don't love so that other people can give those things new life. I'm happier and lighter without them.
My gratefulness for being here boils down to this:
Before I got here, I felt like I never did anything and I rarely went anywhere. Now, I have to turn down opportunities to do things and go places because I'm sleepy from doing the last thing or going to the last place. I am my only limitation here.
And I think that's pretty fantastic.
(Yes, yes. I'm a sap.)