I live in Boston. I didn't grow up here; I'm originally from a small suburb in Rhode Island but I chose to go to school here. I'm getting to the end of my junior year and have been here for the better part of three years. I consider myself a resident. I know the map of the T by heart, I get angry about all the traffic from Sox games and I know where to get food after midnight.
Seeing all of the terrible things going on in the world is heartbreaking. It's impossible to ignore that most days something awful happens but it's hard to cope with the fact that a lot of what's recently been reported in the news is going on ten minutes from where I live. I've been to MIT and the area where the Marathon is held. I've walked by those places more times than I can count. I could have been there on those days. I'm one of the fortunate one who wasn't.
Monday, I went home to RI to see Penny. As I've mentioned a couple of times on here, my 11 year old Golden Retriever, Penny has kidney failure. She's been getting sicker lately and I've been going to visit her frequently. I was on my way with her and my mom to the vets when I got a text from a friend. "Turn on the news now." I was confused as to what was happening. My friends know I don't usually care about what's happening on mass media. I was in the back seat with my dog so I googled "Boston news." In a few seconds my search was overwhelmingly filled with news of the bombing at the Boston Marathon. I quickly texted all of my friends who were in Boston that weekend. "Are you okay?" Hoping so badly that I would get back texts from everyone. One of my closest friends works at a building nearby. I was so relieved to hear that he was okay and heartbroken by his panicked responses to what was going on several stories under him. Again I'm fortunate enough that everyone I knew was fine.
The next couple of days I hesitantly read about the progress being made by the police, FBI, etc. I saw some graphic pictures that still make me want to cry. I tried to comfort myself by the small grouping of letters and candles left in the quad by classmates and the sight of everyone's faces around me as usual. I made a plan to give blood next week because I live next to some hospitals where victims were taken.
Then last night, at work, I heard the news about the events at MIT and Watertown. I was absolutely heartbroken that my city was yet again hit by senseless tragedy. I was up most of the night and heard that the attacks were related to the bombings earlier in the week. It's so upsetting that two people wanted to hurt so many people. I'm sad that they didn't get the clear psychological help they need and even sadder that they chose to act out their anger against innocent people. I got text updates from my school's emergency service saying that the city was under lockdown, all public transportation is closed and businesses are urged to not open. All I can hear are sirens everywhere.
Now is a time to fully appreciate everyone around you. To not judge people for being a certain color or believing in something. To be grateful to the police officers and other various authorities working hard to keep your city safe. Yes, there have been actions by the authorities and by the media which disgust me. I'm trying to not think about that and just focus on how lucky I am that my loved ones and I have emerged unscathed
As a disclaimer, I'm not pretending to be affected irrevocably by these instances. I understand that people lost their lives, their loved ones and limbs because of what happened and I lost nothing. I live in close proximity to these events and it is upsetting to see my city under attack and terrified that something else will happen, this time to someone I love. I'm sharing my experience as someone who lives in and loves Boston. I hope I didn't offend anyone; I'm just trying to process these tragedies myself.