Coming Home

by Emilia Diamant

I always intended to come back to Boston.

I graduated from high school 10 years ago and left to do my undergraduate degree in New York City. In my four years at NYU, I moved around a lot; Tthe longest I lived in one dorm room was six months my senior year. I  did a semester in Italy and finally landed in the East Village, which I still hold is the greatest neighborhood on earth. After a year in Costa Rica working at a boarding school, I very randomly moved to North Carolina; first Durham, then Cary, then Raleigh. I went to graduate school, had an amazing job, cultivated important friendships, but afater four years,  I knew it was time to come home.

I love it here. The culture is complicated and dynamic. We love sports, drinking, and fist-fighting. We also love the arts, fine dining, and politics. This is also an  incredibly segregated city, home to one of the most historic school busing struggles in the country. I find that I love being in paradox–my city taught me that it’s okay to be two things at once.

I grew up here. My parents raised me to be a rabble-rouser, a thinker, an activist, a foodie, a friend and a sports enthusiast (maybe a little less onthe sports thing.) And to be honest, the biggest reasons I returned to Boston are Anita and Jim —  my parents.  Ten years ago, when I left, I was ready to go. Not only was I was anxious to get out of the suburbs and into the city, but I had been…let’s say…difficult for several years there. I had not made my parents’ lives easy, and I had as sense that things would get better if I left.

I was right.Moving away allowed me to finally realize that (a) my parents are awesome, (b) I had been a jerk to them for many years and (c) I still had time to build strong relationships with both of them.

But as I entered my “late” 20s and think about the next phase of my life–and theirs–I knew that I wanted to be close to them. I wanted my independence but I also wanted to be able to spend a Shabbat dinner with them or attend the various amazing events they plan throughout the year.*

As I  explore Boston as an adult, I’ve added one more paradox , being both a child and  an adult (mostly.) I see my parents often, but not so much that anyone feels stifled (I hope.) We share  celebrations, though  not every one. We have the option of having lunch together, but we don’t always take it. It’s a luxury to be casual about seeing one another now, not a rushed five day trip where we feel the need to spend everysinglemomenttogether.

My city, my parents, my life; they teach me that it is ok, even enriching, to be two things at once.

This adventure has just begun.

*My mother is the Founding President of Mayyim Hayyim Community Mikveh and Education Center in Newton, and my father is the co-founder of the Boston Jewish Music Festival. Yeah, I know, they rock.