What I’ve Learned From Winter


If I had a dollar for every time I’ve screeched those words since coming to Boston, I’d probably have enough money to fly back to LA to see the sun again.

It seems like almost every day since I’ve arrived I’ve chatted with someone or another about how, yes, I grew up in Texas. Yes, I went to college in California. No, I’ve never done winter before. Yes, I’ve seen snow. No, I do not own a snow shovel. Why should I?

Sometimes it’s fun to be the oddball, the one who gets attention for being new and different. Obviously I knew what I was getting myself into when choosing to move to Boston, and I enjoy learning. I’ve had a number of conversations made hilarious to others by my lack of knowledge of winter weather, wear, and practices. But to me this whole thing is about a lot more than just a girl who’s never lived in the cold before.

Every time I step into the cold and wonder why people choose to live this way, I reconsider two thoughts:

  1. One of my strongest beliefs: we have control over our lives. We should never settle. We have the power to make decisions that make our lives better.
  2. An idea which can best be summed up by a quote from one of my childhood favorites, Sweet Home Alabama: “What is it with you southern girls anyway? Can’t make the right decision until you’ve tried all the wrong ones?”

Well, pretty much, yes.

That’s my blessing and my curse. I want life to be perfect. Good isn’t good enough. Los Angeles was great, but it had its flaws. Thus it was not good enough, hence the move to Boston, where the flaws are very real and very painful and very expensive (yes, I’m talking about the weather).

At times I feel like the enlightened person coming into a community that is stuck in its ways and never knew of anything else. I feel like I need to shout from the rooftops, “Attention Bostonians! Life doesn’t have to be like this! The sun doesn’t have to set at 4:00! You don’t have to worry about getting icicles on your eyelashes! There’s a magical place where none of these things happen, and life is better because of it.”

Of course I won’t, because that would be dramatic. But sometimes I want to. People look at me like I’m crazy with my lack of knowledge about winter, and I give them that crazy look right back because they actually chose to live here, knowing full well what it entailed. Sometimes I’m even angry at myself for making this choice.

But then I think about just how stuck I would feel if I had never left California. This weather may be miserable, but it’s making me stronger. Stronger in my endurance, stronger in my commitment to doing tough work despite the frigid conditions, and stronger in my sense of self, because every time I fret about the cold it reminds me how passionate and perseverant I am; every time I see this problem, I want to make a change.

The cold sucks. It does. But it reminds me every day of who I am, why I’m here, and how I want to make decisions about my life. I may not know much about all of this, but I know that these affirmations are enough to make it worth it.

Here’s to four more months of winter, marshmallow jackets, snow shovels, and everything else I have yet to learn.

Until next time.

My first snow.


  1. Ms. Savage · November 27, 2014

    Wow. I live in Long Beach and am looking to move to Boston next spring. Reading this post was kind of like a glimpse at a future I could have. Thank you! I am loving your style of writing.


    • leah14rose · November 30, 2014

      Thanks so much for the kind words! Happy to provide any other insights if you’d like.


  2. kithomas333 · January 9, 2015

    Two things. One: my parents bought me a snow jacket that goes down to my ankles when I moved here last year. I thought they were a little nuts, now I wear it every day for months on end. Two: the cold sucks, but you can’t really beat seeing a snowfall, and especially around Christmas time. =)


  3. Pingback: Take Me Back | Leah Rose

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