A year ago today, I was sitting in a coffee shop nervously scanning my noise monitoring site location maps, unsure of exactly how I was going to bike to and measure noise at every single one of those red dots staring back at me. After two cups of coffee (and a muffin, and a cookie (okay, two cookies), and a croissant), I gathered my belongings and decided–then and there– to start and biked to my first site in Hyde Park. Three accidents, 4 tickets, three bikes, and over 4,000 travel miles later, I managed to accomplish those things that once felt impossible. I also learned a lot about myself.
For starters, dreams, without elbow grease, are wasted opportunities. And, if you are going to dream, dream so outrageously that people believe you to be absolutely crazy. Most likely, in the darkest and unsurest of times, even you will think yourself to be absolutely crazy. It’s okay, however. Crazy is an underrated state of mind. And, crazy begets discovery.
Find your family (that group of people who see and support your potential–but are not above calling you on your shit), cherish the time that they are in your life, learn all you can from them, and love them unconditionally. They are the rarest of the rare. Listen, even if it hurts you deeply. A challenge is most often never completely painless. Remain humble in your growth. Remember that nothing is ever permanent. Learn to start and finish. Believe in before and after. Pay it forward.
So, on the eve of this anniversary of sorts, I look back on–with immense joy–all the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met while, simultaneously, looking forward to the places I shall eventually go. I am as grateful for the struggles as I am for the successes. But in my world, things never happen in a vacuum. Thank you to all of you who have made this journey possible.
Noise and the City is growing. Our first ever Community Noise Report Card will be out this Fall! In collaboration with local artist (and family member) Julio Cesar Roman, our Community Sound Portraits series is currently underway. Finally, what was once The Greater Boston Neighborhood Noise Survey is now the National Neighborhood Noise Survey! We will be surveying in the following cities across the United States: Boston, Massachusetts; Boise, Idaho, Chicago, Illinois; Hartford, Connecticut; New York City, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Portland, Maine, Seattle, Washington, and Worcester, Massachusetts. The survey opening is coming really soon! We also have two interns working with us this summer. I will formally introduce them shortly.
In the meantime, virtual drinks for everyone!