Marathon Life

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Back to Boston, 15 year reunion and running

My 15 year high school was last night. It was strange to see everyone after all this time. When I lived in Somerville (Davis Sq area) after college I really didn't see anyone from my high school. I was removed enough. I did go to my 5 year reunion in 1999 though. That was a small gathering at a hole in the wall bar somewhere downtown. This reunion was more organized at a function hall called Mosley's located on the Boston line in Dedham (my hometown). It was good to see everyone, but I wish more people would have shown up. Some I definitely wanted to see. (photo on right is Kerry, Danielle and I with Ms. Clement our 5th grade teacher).

I just couldn't really identify with many people there. I'm not raising a family and I don't have kids. I think being the only gay person in my entire graduating class (or at least at the reunion) has made me feel this way. I was never an outcast in high school. I wasn't really picked on. I was athletic and the captain of the tennis team. I sort of blended in. I'm sure people had their suspicions though.

As I progressed through my 20s, something inside of me wanted me to leave and go very far away. I had an overwhelming urge to do this once things in my professional and personal life just weren't sitting with me well.. I never had the desire to stay close to where my family lives for various reasons. Maybe if my upbringing were a bit different I would never have moved. I couldn't picture myself living in the same place for my entire life. Some people are content with that. There's certainly nothing wrong with that, but it just feels so foreign to me. I think people like to put themselves in very comfortable surroundings and I can see why. I needed to branch out, see other areas of this country. I really loved California since the first time I visited on a work trip in 2001. I fell in love. I told myself then that I would move someday and I did. I never looked back.

I feel down today though. Maybe it's because of the weather. I have realized that Southern California has changed me. It has spoiled me. But it's just not the weather. It's so much more than that. Being back in Mass has made me reflect on my life. I've realized that I have never really followed my passion in a professional sense. With the marathon running I have followed my passion. I set goals, achieved them and feel at peace.

My career is not where I want it to be right now.  I've never stuck around at a job long enough to really get into a higher level at the position. Since 1999 I've had 8 full-time positions. That wasn't a misprint. Now, I wouldn't say I am your typical Generation X job hopper, who is always discontented with job after job. There have been various reasons why I didn't stay at each job. I've only been laid off once (this year), so basically I have quit 6 jobs. Some I quit just to escape an impending layoff. So I was perceptive enough to read the writing on the wall. Others I quit simply because I just wasn't interested in that particular job (insurance, inside sales, journalism).

It took me a while to realize that I want to work in marketing. But am I truly happy? Some days I feel ok with everything. Other days, I just want to drop everything an open a chocolate or gelato cafe. I think it's in my blood that I have always wanted to work for myself. My dad ran his own business for 20+ years before he died.

I'm in Boston until Dec 2. I decided to come home for two reasons. First, I was FORCED to take vacation time at work. We can't carry over our PTO (Paid Time Off) to 2010 due to cost saving measures at my company. I guess it's better than taking a pay cut or being laid off. So I was able to book a free trip with my American Advantage miles.

This is the first time since I moved away in 2004 that I have been to Boston during a cold time of year.  Boston has crappy weather most of the year if you count heat, humidity and rain, in addition to the cold, snow and ice of the winter months. Anyway, Friday felt like Seattle with cold, windy and rainy conditions. Yesterday was colder, drier and windy and I went running 6 miles. It was a struggle to keep a decent pace of 7:05 per mile. Dead brown leaves everywhere with broken branches all over the streets. Nothing is green. Green makes Anthony happy. Brown does not.   

My mom and I drove down to Cape Cod on Thanksgiving evening, directly after I flew into Logan. I do enjoy the townhouse condo in West Yarmouth and have fond memories . We had great summers here as kids. My parents bought the place in the summer of 1980. It's depressing to be there in the winter months since many places are seasonal and closed from mid-Sept to mid-May. It's a ghost town.

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posted by Anthony at 7:01 PM


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