Towards the end of the school year, one of the After School kids (we’ll call him J.) developed the habit of telling me that I was “breaking his heart.” The reason for this was usually because I informed him that it was time to do his homework. J. was known for being just a little bit melodramatic.
The best was the day when he yelled, while walking out the front door of Casserly House, “MEGAN, why are you always BREAKING MY HEART?!” It was all I could do to not start laughing in his face.
Those who know me well will know that, like J., I harbor some over-dramatic tendencies. These days I feel a little like him when I think about the impending end of JVC. I just keep thinking, “JVC, why are you always breaking my heart?” Honestly, it’s almost like JVC is trying to break up with me, and I just don’t know how to let a good thing go.
In the spirit of Month Eleven, here’s the letter I wish I could write:
JVC, why are you trying to end things? I’ve given you almost a year of my life–eleven months to be exact. (But let’s be honest, I’ve really been infatuated with the idea of you for much longer.) It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that our relationship began, but in other ways it feels like a century has passed.
Of all of the gifts I have received, the people you introduced me to is what I cherish the most–the strangers who became my community mates who became some of my best friends, the ESOL students whose kindness and hospitality floored me, the kids who left footprints on my heart, the other members of JVC East who made my year so wonderful, even the people I didn’t meet–the kids, clients, and women whose stories I just heard pieces of.
But I also gave up a lot for you–most importantly, being near my family, my friends, and my beloved Missouri. I worked for less than minimum wage, moved in with strangers in a city I had never set foot in, and committed to challenging myself on a daily basis. I gave up my pride, my comfort, and my preconceived notions.
I gave myself over to you, for better or for worse, crossed my fingers, and hoped that it would be for better–that I would be for better because of you. And I like to think that I am.
But now, after all that we’ve been through together–the good times and the bad times–what do you mean, you just expect me to leave? That in two weeks, you are going to “De-Orientate” me, send me to one last week of work, then you expect me to pack my bags, leave this house, and fly away from Boston?
Letting go isn’t easy, and much like the way relationships can slowly, gradually decline, while I’m clinging to these last moments, part of me can already tell that you’re slipping away. I’m slipping away.
Endings are so bittersweet. I always knew this wasn’t forever, but I also thought that this year wouldn’t end quite so quickly, that I wouldn’t leave it so… attached. To Boston. To these four faces around the dinner table every night. To the life that I built for myself far away from all that I had loved.
the last week of after school. saying goodbye–for now. shoe shopping. reading tattoos on the heart in the common. 80’s milkshake at max brenner chocolate. harbor islands trip. georgetown cupcake grand opening.
three day weekend: bunker hill day. a schedule change. seeing the kids in a new light. strawberry planting: part 2. newark weekend. visiting nyc: bryant park, a failed shake shack trip, the highline. sundresses and watermelon. the ironbound.
pre-camp craziness. jim’s last day. dinner with some hometown faces. fro yo by fenway. cops vs. kids softball game.
pizza, gelato, and hanging out in the north end. nahant beach day. flying kites. sailors + sissy k’s. early monrings at st. cecelia’s. lots of job hunting.