On July 1, 2006 as I steered my filled to the brim little Malibu onto the onramp of 95 south in Foxboro, that Jennifer Nettles and BonJovi song came on the radio. Tears pricked the back of my eyes, but I knew I was following my dreams of living in New York City by leaving sleepy Foxboro behind. Seven years, seven months and 23 days later, I’m sort of going back home.
My life started to come undone in 2011. I had taken a job with limited security, long hours while battling two separate major health scares and a chronic disease I only sort of understand. I lost my job two days before my birthday in 2012. It is now March 23, 2014, and I haven’t officially worked full time since then. I’ve been on countless interviews, and had my soul destroyed by two rejections that I had been told were sure things. My savings is gone. I can’t sleep. And returning to Foxboro hasn’t ever been, or will ever be, an option. I got by on a string of part time jobs and freelance gigs, generosity from family and friends, but I have to make my own way. Relying on other people to help me pay my bills is a terrible way to live. So some time in the coming months, pending a miracle, I will be moving back to Massachusetts, to Western Mass., where some of my best memories of life exist. My sister and my future brother in law have opened up their home to me and my two furbabies and have a job waiting tables ready for me. This act of generosity has moved me to tears, repeatedly, with my sister Ginny only responding to me “You know you’d do it for me.” And it’s truth. The blessing of family. I’ll be able to sleep, without constantly living in fear of how I’m going to survive another week. It kills me to leave, but it might actually kill me if I say.
I won’t be doing any sort of organized party because it’s not something I really want to celebrate, but I do want to see everyone who’s made my life here so incredible, the stuff I only dreamed about when I was waking up in sleepy Foxboro every day. I lived the dream. I worked as a sports editor/writer/videographer. I covered the Jets, Mets and Giants. I learned so much from the incredible colleagues I had; they opened up their experiences to me and took care of me when I was overwhelmed and scared by my surroundings. I marched in the Pride parade. I wrote a national weekly baseball column. I lived more in four years than I ever thought was possible. But circumstances change and it’s time for me to retreat and get some rest and then make a new plan. Will I come back? Maybe. But I can’t think that far ahead right now.