In 2000, my three college friends and I spent our fall break in Boston. We stayed with some gals who had graduated before us, ate amazing Italian food, had a day outing to Martha’s Vineyard, and for me, it was my first big girl vacation [meaning I was traveling without a chaperone].

I fell in love with the city.

The history there amazes me. [I’m a history nerd, big time. Take me to Williamsburg and you have my undying affection.] The weather that last week of October was divine- it was literally everything I pictured New England to be. We ate lobster, with the guts still inside.

And deep in me, somewhere that I don’t see very much, I have always wished I would have applied to Harvard. Undergrad. Grad school. Anything. Maybe I still will, though Nashville has such a death grip on my heart that I can’t fathom leaving.

Boston, and New England in general, represents something unique for me. It reminds me of a carefree time in my adult life. I think we all have those childhood memories, but as an adult, that is the city that embodies that freedom.

I feel Boston calling me. In my real life [offline], I’m being a weird Annie right now- I’m wading through some new waters and having to fight some old demons and as I predicted, Pete Wilson’s book and sermon series are maybe ruining my life a little bit and making me face some things about me that I don’t want to. No thank you, kind sir. No thank you.

When it comes to fight or flight, I say book me a ticket to Boston.

It’s been a few days that I’ve felt un-Annie and a few days that my heart has heard, “just go to Boston.” A change of scenery. An escape. A quiet that, no matter how much time I spend alone here, I’m not finding.

This isn’t a time where I need a retreat- I know me. This is me wanting to run. Tis a different thing, my friends. In situations like this, cowards are the ones who run. Not the brave. The brave face their fears, their struggles, their hurts. They face them and speak firmly to them.

I haven’t figured out how to do that yet. Not this time. But I think I’m ready to try.

I hear Boston calling, but I hear Jesus whispering.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me””watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” — Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)

. . . . .

Where is YOUR Boston? What city or spot calls to you when you want to get away from it all? [Or am I the only freak who thinks about visiting other cities for an emotional break? I can handle it if I am. 🙂]