When ‘Home’ and ‘Work’ Start to Mean Something
I’ve been debating what to write my next Summer Voice post about for some time now because nothing super significant has occurred in my city or internship lives as of late. As Jazmine once said, “Life is booorriinnggg!” I considered writing a post entitled “On What Makes a Home.” One, because I have yet to write a post that starts with ‘on,’ and two, because I’ve been thinking a lot about that concept recently. This is sort of that post and sort of an update post about my internship. I’m too lazy and too hot to come up with a more cohesive theme.
I made a list of six places that I have called ‘home’ in my life, starting with my hometown, where I have lived since birth. I’m a “right outside of Boston” kid and, I have to say, living eight miles north of the city, to be exact, is a pretty great thing. I count Boston as a second sort of ‘home,’ despite never actually living in the city, because I’ve been there way more times than I can count, can navigate the T with ease, and miss it when I’m away. I think having a deep knowledge of a place and an emotional connection to it are essential factors towards calling said place a home.
My third ‘home’ is in Aroostook County, Maine. Yes, the largest county east of the Mississippi and the one that has proposed splitting off into its own state since the ‘90s. I have been taking the eight-hour trip up to my grandparents’ cottage on Madawaska Lake since I was a baby. It is a place of family, relaxation and quiet. My fourth ‘home’ is, of course, New London, CT. My home for the “best four years of my life.” Connecticut College is actually more of a home to me than the city itself, though Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock may just fit all the criteria of a home for me. Good food, good memories, and a prime waterside view. Brighton, England, where I spent last fall semester abroad, is definitely my ‘home.’ I met some of the greatest people there and had an entirely new experience in a fantastic place. I still miss it everyday and would love to be able to go back and visit someday.
And finally, Brooklyn, NY. I have to admit, I never really loved New York City every time I visited in the past. I don’t really know why, but it seemed much too cold and busy for me. It still can be a bit cold and busy, but I really do love NYC now that I’ve lived here for a month and a half. I can navigate the subway system with relative ease, which is saying something when the MTA is biased against Brooklyn. I also know my bus route to and from work particularly well. When a woman asked me if the bus would be stopping at a particular stop, I felt great when I knew the answer. We’ve got a good thing going here in our apartment, as well. Taking out the trash and doing the dishes often turn into screaming matches, but we only scream with love. Similarly, we complain about living in Brooklyn quite often, but really, we love it here. I would certainly consider it a home. Plus, I’m paying bills to live here. Like, internet and electricity. It’s a big deal. This must be what real life is like.
As for my internship, I am definitely acclimating at work, as well. Past ‘jobs’ have included: cashier at Au Bon Pain for 3+ years, education intern at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, and coordinator at the LGBTQ Center on campus. Those jobs have all had their ups and downs, just like this one. Sometimes, I have to do typical intern tasks. Today, I went into Manhattan to see a woman on the 12th floor about some tea bags (don’t ask; I sure didn’t) and buy roach traps. I’ve only had to do the expected coffee run a few times. More often, my boss runs out to Starbucks and picks one up for me…for free. Most of the work I’ve done so far has been heavily research-oriented. I’ve done research for our educator (reviewing study guides, fact-checking), our director and editor (finding up-to-date coverage of the situation in Sudan for use in the film, fact-checking), and our animator (locating images of doors at a straight-on angle, close ups of windows with snow on them, not fact-checking). It’s exciting stuff.
But, really. The other day, I located a cable from an archive in Budapest that we had started looking for over a year ago. I was like, “Hey, did you check this box?” and BOOM!, there it was. I’ve also seen the images I have found for our animator become translated into animations for the film. Awesome stuff. Perseverance leads to payoff. Besides those minor (I would say major, but it’s all relative) victories, I’ve started to also feel like I actually belong where I work. We’ve started having lunches together with the entire staff (there’s five of us, but still). I’m trusted to do big tasks. Today, my boss gave me all the information that we plan to put on our website, told me to organize it, and gave me free reign to come up with creative ideas to make it the best website ever. We’re even getting a new intern next week! And, I’m sort of in charge of her! We’ll be working together on generating website content, including going through raw footage and editing it to be included as bonus content online. I’m rambling, but I’m excited. Basically, what it comes down to is that I feel like I belong here, both in the city and in my internship. I’m a Boston girl who is falling for New York. Never the Yankees, though. I’m not a total traitor.