Tag Archives: Boston

It Was The Best Of Times

14 Nov

Hello, dear readers! Sorry I haven’t written to you in a while, but let me say I have been pretty busy. And no, not busy laying on a couch healing from my dog bite watching my 385th episode of Maury or getting rejected by yet ANOTHER dream job in the final round or body-shaming myself to tears…but busy being¬†happy.

Nice to have a little change, huh?

The root of this happiness is, unsurprisingly, the root of my happiness for over 8 months. The person who I ever-so-romantically approached in the Chapeau Rouge Bar while double-fisting a Gin & Tonic AND Rum & Coke (French Bachelor party men are quite generous!). The boy whose very first exchange with me was:

“Um, do you speak English?”

“Yeah”

“Okay, you’re sitting on my coat.”

My amazing Czech boyfriend, Filip! ūüôā

Fifi is the best ever

Although we did not have the dreamiest first meeting, Filip & I hung out a few more times, then began dating in February when I was still living in Prague. I know all relationships are like this at first,¬†but we soon became inseparable.¬†I can only characterize it like this: ya know those first few ‘honeymoon months’ where you laugh at everything, hang out 24/7 & are just completely¬†infatuated?¬†Well, my ENTIRE relationship has felt like this. I’m serious. Even when our honeymoon stage was well over.

This is a boy who has seen me at my absolute WORST: panicking about my crazy boss in Prague, comforting me when I was in the fetal position sobbing about not getting my dream job, & feeding me with his last few dollars when I was dead broke in another country. He even honest-to-God almost flew to USA for a weekend to sit with me in the hospital after my dog bite. Plus he 100% loves me for the quirky, crazy, opinionated, strong woman that I am. We are not luck, we are chemistry. We are compromise & hard work.

Honestly, I was pretty nervous in June when my days left in Prague were numbered. I was worried about the future of our relationship. Here I was, having found the hands down best boyfriend of my six years in the dating world, & now I was going to have to move 3,000+ miles away from him for an indefinite amount of time. Scary.

But we planned Filip’s trip to USA & promised to Skype regularly. I’m not going to lie, a long distance relationship is in no way¬†fun.¬†You miss each other¬†a lot¬†& you miss the little things, things like holding someone’s hand, watching movies together or going out to eat. But then again that’s just¬†the price you pay for this lifestyle.¬†However, Skype & daily message updates are the key to staying in tact. It made me feel like we were¬†still on the same page.¬†

And after over 4 months of Skype & daily messages, Christmas finally came, Filip came to visit me in America.

fifiandme

(4 months & 1 week apart will make you appreciate your boyfriend 100x more)

I think one of the best things about Filip’s visit was the huge sigh of relief that came along with him:¬†nothing had changed.¬†We were still best friends, laughing at weird Youtube videos, trying strange food combinations & completely crazy about each other like we were in Prague. Our relationship had survived the test of distance & time; now I felt like we were even¬†closer.¬†

During Filip’s 3 week visit (thank YOU, CZ for your long paid vaycays!) I made sure we stayed busy. Shopping, parties, pumpkin carving, a mock Thanksgiving dinner, & trips to Boston, New York & my beloved college, Roger Williams. We even went trick-or-treating on Halloween in costume since he had never done it before! As Mama G would say, Filip certainly had some F-U-N! And you know what, dear readers? It was about damn time that I did too.

This summer (after returning back home from a summer working with the MEPIs & Japanese girls) was not really the most ideal situation. But when Filip came to visit I was able to laugh harder than I had in forever & it felt great. It really was like I was complete again. It was a nice change of pace.

It was sad to see him go, but I plan on visiting him in Prague next February. It will be our 1 year anniversary! And this time at the airport when we said goodbye, something was different. There were no tears or feelings of uncertainty, it felt like we knew exactly where we stood & these next months apart would be much easier than last time.

Plus, little did I know, my usually awful (& in the past months straight up terrible) luck was about to do a complete 180.

ef

(This building officially opened like LAST WEEK)

Since before my dog bite I had been desperately & quite¬†aggressively¬†trying to find a job. Unfortunately I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do. I liked helping people, I was quite good at talking to people…& oh ya, here’s the kicker, I wanted¬†to travel for free.¬†I started my attack plan with colleges first, thinking working on a cute, well-manicured campus like Rog would prevent me from wanting to kill myself every day. I applied to every school in New England basically & got nothing. I decided to think more outside the box…&¬†it hit me.¬†I remembered while working with the Japanese girls my awesome supervisor, Christine, had praised my skills & said I would do wonderful at a tour company. I took the idea & ran with it.

Well, ran as far as you can with a heavy limp because this was around the time I was attacked by that stupid dog. The bad part was that I was basically immobile for almost a month, not even being able to¬†attend¬†an interview had I scheduled one. The good news was that all this free time allowed me to dig into Christine’s broad suggestion of ‘tour company’. I scoured the internet & eventually stumbled across¬†EF Tours.

The name sounded familiar, then I realized it was the company I had traveled with my very first time abroad to Paris & London in high school! The trip that inspired me to study abroad in college, which gave me the courage to move to Prague. Through a series of ripple effect events this company had basically changed my life. My passion for travel was discovered on my trip with EF Tours.

sillycaro

(This stoic moment in France brought to you by EF Tours)

This was cool! But I mean that was like almost 7 years ago! Surely, EF is some boring little company with cubicles & draining customer service telephone jobs right? Wrong, wrong,¬†WRONG.¬†EF Tours is this huge awesome Swedish company with 5 international headquarters, one of them¬†just happening¬†to be in Boston! Oh my God, is this a sign? Destiny? It must be because for your first year of work you get THREE WEEKS of paid vacation & FOUR for the second year (take THAT, Czech Republic!). More than that the Boston office is that awesome building in the photo above that was designed to have breath-taking panoramic views of the city, sits right at the majestic Charles River & was just built like¬†a month ago!¬†I actually trembled browsing the website–I belonged at EF.

I ended up applying to two positions & heard back from both, however, interviews were delayed due to my immobility issue. As the weeks went by I found myself making it to the first, then second, then third round for an extremely competitive sales position at the company. When Filip was here I made sure to always keep my phone near, jumping every time I received an e-mail, cursing every time it was a Groupon promo. After 3 whole days¬†after the company said they would contact me with their final decision I mustered up every ounce of courage & called them. The phone call was about 2 minutes long & by the end Filip saw me at my worst again because I was¬†sobbing in the fetal position.¬†It wasn’t fair. I was crushed.

Crushed for an entire day, then I got angry, then I got motivated. I applied to three other jobs with travel agencies trying to shake off the immense sense of hurt I felt.

stonehill

(Stonehill: I am forever haunted by ‘what could have been’)

Sidenote: so not sure if you have noticed by reading my posts, but I can get pretty dramatic¬†at times (I mean I DID do plays all through high school…). I also love a good metaphor & some personification. A prime example of this would be my college search. After almost a year of hunting, I applied to 5 different schools but all that mattered were the top 2, Stonehill College & Roger Williams University. Now, from my posts you may think I was a die hard RWU Hawk from day 1, but that’s not true. Nope, fall semester senior year I was¬†100% infatuated with Stonehill. I was obsessed with the school. I stalked the website, forced my mom to take me to 2 open houses, I even shadowed a class. I loved that school. So much that I opted for the ‘Early Action’ application option which meant applying to the school earlier than required in order to find out if I was accepted earlier than others.

I did the same thing for my RWU application because I loved that school as well, but not as much as I loved Stonehill. I can remember waiting every day for that letter. Running to my mailbox like a mad woman. Finally, it came, & the envelope was tiny.¬†Inside my worst fears were realized.¬†I was ‘deferred’¬†which meant I was not accepted with the first group so my application was put with the rest & I would have to wait until spring to find out if I was accepted.

To anyone else this would have been sucky but not completely awful–but not to me.¬†It was over. This was personal. A few days later I received not just a giant envelope but a¬†personal phone call¬†from RWU accepting me into their university. & My mind was made up. Stonehill, if you didn’t want me now, then¬†I don’t want you ever.¬†(Stonehill did eventually try to ‘win me back’ by calling me up with a bouquet of apology flowers in the form of a theatre scholarship/scouting opportunity when they accepted me in April…too late, I was already Rog’s girl!)

rog

(In the end, Rog was obviously the right choice)

My point with this tangent? I take things like rejection¬†quite personal.¬†If you don’t want me, I don’t want you & I will never want you & we’re done! So, EF, sorry, but we’re THROUGH.

But then I realized I was 23-years-old & this was a company that was just trying to run a business, not some guy who lead me on. Plus, I really¬†did¬†want EF. So bad. So, I got back on that horse. I went right back on the ‘careers’ section of the website & started from square one. Why? Because I knew¬†I belonged there¬†& I was not going to give up or let something like pride get in the way. I applied to one more position while¬†holding my breath.

Fast-forward to the next week & Filip is getting ready to leave but I can’t be completely sad because I’m too busy being excited about the travel agency company that is¬†rapidly¬†on the fast track to hiring me. Within a few days I had completed a phone interview & online business test, by the time they’re background checking me, I know things look good. Then, out of the blue, fate steps in: EF wants an in-person interview…the same day as my final in-store-assessment interview with the travel company! Taaaalk about adrenalin!

I walked in to two buildings on Monday & was then somehow miraculously offered two of my dream jobs on Tuesday. And you know¬†exactly¬†which one I accepted. I did more than get back on the horse after I fell off. I knocked on every single door¬†I could, & then, when one was opened only to be slammed in my face–I broke that mother f**ker down.¬†

EF-Tours

It is a strange, strange thing looking at your life through hindsight. To look back & try to remember the pain of the setbacks, the sting of countless defeat, the endless waiting for something to finally happen. And then suddenly, that day comes & you are on the top again.

4 months & 1 day has shrunk down to nothing…only for it to start a new countdown all over again until the next big reunion. And waiting at the top of that damn roller coaster for as long as I did seems like nothing, because now I am finally moving &¬†the ride as the newest regional manager for EF High School Exchange Year has finally begun.

JG ūüôā

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You’re Never Too Far From Home

21 Apr

I cannot even describe how unexpectedly awesome this 3-day-weekend was. For most it was just a normal 2-day-weekend, but here in Prague, like most European cities, they celebrate Easter on Monday instead of Sunday. Cue us all getting that extra day off & hey, this tradition sounds like a great idea!

Saturday: Feeling At Home in The Nature

Since the weather was¬†beautiful,¬†Filip & I decided to take advantage of it the best way possible–by exploring the great outdoors! Or, in Czech terms, “The Nature”. “The Nature” we explored more specifically was Divok√° ҆√°rka, this giant nature reserve ¬†just on the outskirts of the city that I had heard was a must-see. Turns out it totally was.¬†

We packed a picnic consisting of bread, cheese, fruit & chocolate (I am still very much a Parisian at heart), I threw on my hiking clothes & we headed out. We spent the next 5hrs exploring the beautiful woods, babbling brooks, little waterfalls & then, scaled a legit cliff face in order to get to the top. My legs were burning, my forehead was all sweaty & I was wheezing like crazy, but it was SO WORTH IT.

¬†Image(Above: Pictures cannot sum up how beautiful the highest point overlooking¬†Divok√° ҆√°rka actually is)

After our picnic, we just laid in the sun for a while & I really started thinking about¬†how perfect the moment was.¬†It was just a feeling of ultimate relaxation. I just felt¬†so happy to be alive.¬†I had experienced a similar feeling before in October when I went to Vienna for the first time. I can remember walking around the little trails & gardens behind Schonbrunn Palace¬†all alone & just thinking¬†this is happiness.¬†Sometimes it’s just so nice to have some quiet time or a moment to pause & take in all the beauty around you. For me, our picnic in¬†Divok√° ҆√°rka was this moment.¬†

Strangely enough, I also felt so at home in this moment. Back in my hometown, of Sutton, Massachusetts, we are kind of famous for this place called Purgatory Chasm. Aka: this place with a bunch of rocks where you can have picnics, hike all these woods trails & where Mama G gets about 50% of her summer 911 calls from because tourists are dumb enough to scale rock walls in flip flops.

Looking back on it, I guess I never really¬†appreciated¬†Purgatory Chasm, or the giant field across from my house, or my neighbors’ horse barns, or the fact that we have no streetlights on my road.¬†I never got the chance to.¬†Now that I have been living the city life for 9 months, I realized that I actually do¬†miss those things.¬†I miss the peace & quiet &¬†simplicity.¬†While cities have a lot of great parks to take jogs & walk your dog, the nature is where you can actually¬†admire¬†the true beauty of the Earth. So yes, as we laid in the sun feeling the cool breeze from on top of that giant hill, I felt like I was right back in Sutton, Mass.

Image(Above: I actually felt like I was in some uninhabited Swiss village or something, this reserve is definitely one of my fav places in Prague now)

Sunday: Feeling At Home in the Kitchen

Yes, you read that right. A girl whose culinary skills extend to sometimes not burnt grilled cheeses, simple salads & soup just wrote that she felt at home in the kitchen. Honestly though, I had no choice. Sunday was (American) Easter, which was a little hard. While I planned & planned my Christmas trip to France last December, I have to admit that this Easter really just kind of snuck up on me. And I had no idea how much it would affect me. 

At home, Easter begins with running downstairs to baskets that the Easter Bunny brought that are overflowing with chocolate, then we all get dressed up for church & then head to my cousin’s for dinner. This year, I was¬†completely planless.¬†But I refused to allow this to be a miserable day. Since Filip also had no plans we decided to celebrated together. (Hint: holidays away from home feel¬†so much more¬†at home when you celebrate with the people abroad¬†you love).¬†

I told him we could celebrated American Easter together on¬†one condition–it had to be properly festive! This meant pastel colored outfits, chocolate & a delicious meal! As previously stated, I am not really¬†renowned¬†for my kitchen skills, but it was either whip up a giant meal or eat take out &¬†I think Mama G, the culinary wizard, would die if she heard her daughter ate frozen pizza for Easter dinner!¬†So I thought quick.

After a trip to the grocery store & a bottle of wine was popped open, I began chopping, boiling, slicing & mixing. I have to admit I felt so adult. And a little over an hour later a delicious meal of pepper lemon chicken breast, chive mashed potatoes, mixed veggies & warm fresh bread was ready to be served! 

Image(Above: Me with my home-cooked Easter dinner! And no one got food poisoning either!)

Later on I called my family to wish them all Happy Easter. I could hear the shock in their voices when I told them about our dinner, but I knew they were proud. Even though I am really not the best cook, I was happy that¬†I could step up to the plate¬†(or the stove)¬†when I needed to.¬†Easter just wouldn’t be Easter without a home-cooked meal & making that dinner for Filip & I actually made me¬†feel more at home.¬†Because all I could picture was my own mom & aunts frantically rushing around the kitchen, putting the final touches on another perfect meal. And even though there were only two place settings at our Easter table this year, it still felt like a very special day.

Monday: Feeling At Home By Living Vicariously Through Others

Monday was the day that Czechs actually celebrate Easter. Before deciding to move to Prague, I was blown away by how WHIMSICAL some of the old Czech traditions were. As if St. Mickulas Day & eating Christmas carp weren’t enough, the Czech Easter traditions were definitely the best of all.¬†

According to tradition, on this day men are supposed to spank their women with willow branches in order to keep them fertile & beautiful (yes, you read that correctly). Afterwards, the women throw water on the men & then gift them with chocolate eggs. Filip & I were not about to break tradition! We promptly bought a colorful bundle of willow branches at the Easter market & some chocolate eggs for later. 

Image(Above: Hahaha so cute & fun, right?! Nooo. It was painful & gave me HUGE respect for Anstasia Steele for voluntarily doing such things!)

Later we followed through with tradition & it really hurt to sit down for a while. Until I snuck up on Filip & poured A TON of freezing water on him! We laughed & ate our chocolate eggs & hopefully next year’s Easter traditions will consist of just jelly beans & peeps.

While Monday was Czech Easter Monday, it was also another¬†hugely important day–Marathon Monday (aka: Patriot’s Day). Based on New England tradition, on this day, the Boston Marathon has been held since 1897. And has since been a day where people from all over come to run, to be cheered on by college students, locals, tourists & anyone who wants to enjoy the beautiful tradition.

I do not need to go into detail as to why this year’s Boston marathon was so emotional, yet extremely powerful. More than anything I wish I was back home today to be there at that finish line with my city. But I couldn’t be so I celebrated my home pride as much as I could¬†all weekend long.¬†I hiked The Nature in my Red Sox hat, spent the weekend watching The Departed, Gone Baby Gone & The Town & spent the nights having long talks with tears in my eyes, trying to explain to my Czech boyfriend how overwhelmingly proud I am to be from such an amazing city.¬†I truly cannot¬†even put it into words.¬†

Today I spent the day glued to social media. Everyone’s pictures from the race made me¬†so happy.¬†An event that just one year ago was scarred by such tragic events was able to build itself right back up. While some may have been a little wary,¬†they still showed up.¬†They still stood screaming at that finish line, they still sat chanting in their #BostonStrong t-shirts at the Sox game afterwards & more people than ever before laced up those sneakers to take part in this great event. Not because it would get more media attention, not because it would be so heavily secure,¬†but because it is a great tradition that makes our city what it is & nothing can take that away.¬†

Image(Above: Meb Keflezighi [left] & Rita Jeptoo [right] were the winners of the 2014 Boston Marathon)

To make this year even more special, today, for the first time since 1985, the Boston Marathon was won by an American.¬†That actually gave me chills.¬†Meb Keflezighi from California finished first for the men at 2 hours 8 minutes. Sure he wasn’t from Boston, on even the East Coast, but it didn’t matter. It was the fact that¬†an amazing record was broken¬†just one year after such horrible events.¬†It was a little sign of hope.¬†It was the very meaning of the words ‘Boston Strong’.¬†

So going back to the title of this post–it’s so true. You really are never too far from home. Even if you hop on a plane to fly 7 hours away, you are still very close to your roots. How? Because, no matter where you move, whether it be across the city or across the Atlantic¬†you will always take a little piece of home with you.¬†Home is memories.¬†Home is traditions & community & most important of all, home is¬†being with people you love.¬†Even if the scenery has changed a little bit.¬†

So, dear readers, please no matter where you go–always keep important memories alive.¬†You may not be home for Christmas, birthdays, or Easter but you can always¬†improvise¬†with the resources that you DO have wherever you happen to be on that day. If a day is special to you¬†keep it that way! Don’t allow a little distance to completely break a tradition that you have been celebrating for so long. Find new ways to celebrate with new friends & if you always remember to¬†surround yourself with love¬†then you will never really be that far from home ūüôā

-JG

 

 

Root For the Home Team

31 Oct

No matter how far I travel, no matter what cities I visit, where I live or how many life-changing cultural experiences I undergo, I will never forget my home. I will never forget my up-bringing or where I came from, because sure right now I live in a tiny room on the 3rd floor of an old school apartment building in the capital of the Czech Republic, but my real home is a off-yellow colonial with eggplant shutters on a quiet road with no streetlights or sidewalks.

My home is Sutton, Massachusetts.

Image(Above: our gazebo in the center of town. You’re not a true resident until you’ve awkwardly posed here with your prom date)

Ever heard of it? Probably not. It has a population of 8,000, one school system, & a giant building in the center of town that houses the police department, fire station, town hall & library. Neighbors on both sides of me have horses, we get plowed last in the winter & it’s not uncommon to be stuck behind a tractor on the way home. Sutton is so boring,¬†but I will always love it there.

Moving abroad I obviously say I am from Boston, because people know where that actually is. I mean yeah, Sutton is a good 50mins on the Mass. Pike & I don’t have a wicked hard accent…but I have worked at Dunkins for 3 years, say ‘bubbler’, ‘rotary’, ‘jimmies’ & ‘grinder’ & it is a mortal sin to date Yankees fans.¬†So while I’m not technically from Boston¬†yeah, I would say that I’m pretty f-ing close.

Telling people that I am from Boston abroad always gets the same reaction: favorable. Their eyes go wide & they comment on how beautiful the city is if they’ve been there & how beautiful they hear it is if they haven’t been there (which I assure them is very true).¬†

Image

ImageI mean, come on. It’s surrounded by water, gets all four season to a full extent, has A TON of history, delicious food & is overall just a wicked awesome place.¬†I love Boston.

Part of being from Boston, or New England in general (aka: the rest of Mass.) is you are bred from a young age to¬†love sports.¬†Love as in worship. As in your whole entire family loves sports, you love sports & your future children will love sports. It just goes hand in hand with being from this part of the country. The great thing about Boston sports though is that¬†we’re so good.¬†Finals, playoffs, world series, you name it–expect to plan that game day party in advance. From the hustling Patriots lead by the most gorgeous QB, to the fiercely relentless Bruins, to the impressive long history of the Celtics–we do the damn thing.¬†And yes, it feels nice to win & chant our name…

But in my opinion, a true Boston fan is a Boston Red Sox fan.

ImageWhy? Because they’re not always so good. Sometimes they lose. They catch balls with one hand & don’t hustle to the bases & are just plain awful.¬†But we still love them.¬†Why? Because that’s what being a true fan is. You always support your time–win or lose. You never turn your back on them.¬†It’s called loyalty.¬†It’s called believing & having faith that they can turn things around.

My up-bringing in central Mass. dealt with my saint of a Grampy being forced to lock himself in the bedroom during the game. A man who I have never heard raise his voice¬†scream his head off & curse like no other during the game.¬†The team he has been rooting for his whole life which he kindly nicknamed ‘The Red Bums’, is the bane of his existence. So much that he promised us that when he dies, we have to put on his gravestone:¬†The Red Sox Put Me Here.¬†I’m not kidding.

Growing up with Grampy, plus my dad, plus my two brothers, plus a ton of male cousins, I have had no choice but to follow sports. But the importance of these traditions never really hit me until I moved abroad.

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(Above: Out watching Superbowl 2012 with friends while studying in Paris, surrounded by bandwagon NY fans, wtf else is new)

When I was studying abroad in Paris in spring 2012, the Pats made it to the Superbowl. Superbowl Sunday is a HUGE deal to begin with, but when it’s your team?¬†It’s a holiday.¬†It’s a day full of appetizers, alcohol & aww-ing at how cute the horses in the Budweiser commercials are. And here I was, celebrating alone. Well, alone as in no one else around me¬†understood¬†how important that day was. I made a shirt, I painted my face, I cheered, I screamed. They lost & I cried. I cried like my brother did when Nomar Garciapara got traded.¬†It’s a pain that only your team can give you.¬†I felt so homesick. Like I needed to fly home & in between my Grampy/Dad/brothers scowling & storming out of the room, hear Mama G saying a re-assuring ‘Well, you can’t win every game’.¬†Heartbreaking.¬†

Now that I’m older & have been to a few more games, I feel like I need to represent my team even more here in Prague. There’s been countless debates with all the boys in my TEFL class about football & defending Brady’s honor.¬†But I never back down.¬†After a major upset for what was a super close season for the Bruins, I can’t say I was¬†the only one¬†who was surprised to hear that the Red Sox were headed to the World Series. But I had hope.

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Saying I am from Boston has always been important to me while traveling, but this year, it has become so much more.¬†After the unspeakable tragedies from the Marathon, I feel like everyone in New England has become a little closer. I can’t even describe how much this day affected me. It just seemed so unreal. A marathon that my own dad ran years ago, that my cousins & friends were watching, & one that if I went to school in Boston would also be present at.¬†It was so close.¬†Sure, you hear about things overseas, or tragedies in small towns in the midwest, but¬†this was my home.¬†I used to go to that exact street with my ex-boyfriend to our favorite restaurant. I could picture the scene.

It always blows my mind when it’s so¬†unexpected.¬†These people were running a race. They had trained months & months for that day, were crossing a dream off their bucket list. And then the bombs went off. I can remember being at school in Rhode Island & just wanting to go home. I couldn’t turn off the news. I couldn’t stop crying or shaking.¬†It was so awful.¬†It was unthinkable. Why was this happening to us? Who was trying to hurt us?¬†

Then the defense instinct kicked in. We had to hunt him down. You want to mess with us? A group of people who have a history of¬†working for everything they have.¬†Who have family that came over years & years ago who still live in the same exact house. People who deal with some of the most unbearable weather in the country & are still¬†expected to drive to work.¬†Have you seen our sports teams? Or, more importantly, have you seen our¬†sports fans?¬†We are loyal, dedicated, ruthless, tough, faithful but most importantly…we’re a family.¬†

While I couldn’t believe the horrendous footage I was seeing that day, I also was amazed at all the heroes. The ones in uniform: police officers, the firefighters, the hospital workers, but then there were¬†the heroes off the street.¬†People who rushed to help the fallen, runners who finished the marathon & immediately ran to donate blood, the local residents & restaurants who opened their doors to¬†all those affected¬†because we were¬†all going through this together.¬†It was an amazing act of humanity. It showed how resilient we truly are.

Oh & him? Yeah, we caught him.¬†In 4 days.¬†& People took to the streets. They cheered, danced, high-fived cops. Personally, I think they should’ve dropped that coward off in Boston Common & see what happened, but I digress…

So fast-forward to this week. The Red Sox are in the 2013 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. An underdog team with a spotty reputation had somehow managed to make it this far. And my Grampy is locking himself in the bedroom cursing out the television, everyone is losing sleep from staying up so late & every fingernail in Boston is bitten off. This was it. The final game.

And then…we did it.

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We won.¬†We swept them, actually with a final score of 6-1. I can’t believe it. But it goes so much deeper than this. Last night¬†wasn’t about baseball.¬†It was about something so much more.¬†It was about community. It was about working together. Many¬†of the bombing victims were asked to throw the first pitch at several games this season. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. It’s bringing tears to my eyes just typing about it. Men in wheelchairs & women missing limbs stood at the pitcher’s mound in Fenway Park being hugged by players & applauded like the heroes that they are. Their courage & bravery¬†to just wake up & get out of bed¬†is amazing to me. & This, dear readers, is why we are Boston Strong. We love our medium iced extra extras from Dunkins, we will cut you off then flip you off in a rotary & say awful terrible things when the game is on…but when the time comes¬†we are always there for each other.¬†

In the face of terror & hatred we do not cower. We get stronger. We stare down the evil. We stand together, fall together, but then¬†always help each other get back up. Like Big Papi said ‘This is our f**king city, & nobody will dictate our freedom”.¬†We are the 2013 World Series Champions, we went from the worst to first. Anything is possible.¬†

No matter what tragedies face us in the future, we will still remain strong, or more than that¬†Boston Strong,¬†because at the end of the day, we really are just all rooting for the home team ‚̧

-JG ūüôā¬†