A Date For 2015 by NPSD’s Lauren Padula

This is a letter from Lauren Padula, Co-Leader of November Project San Diego, to the City Of Boston. Lauren (left in photo) has experience in this town and is ready to set her sights on the marathon, even though she will not be racing this Monday. Wait no longer, here is Lauren’s letter to Boston…

Padula

Dear Boston,

My love affair with you began when I was 17 years old. A high school junior looking into college options. I was ready to leave my small town and venture into a big city. And you were it. From the minute I stepped off the plane at Logan, I knew.
I spent the next 6 years exploring every corner, T station, and (let’s be honest) bar. I made amazing, life long friends, discovered a love for distance running, and even studied enough to graduate with not one, but two degrees (thank you Northeastern).
I witnessed 2 Red Sox World Series Championships, a few flipped cars during Patriots riots, and was even able to run the Boston Marathon. At the time, I didn’t realize the significance of these events, or how unique to Boston they were. It’s just the way things were.

Fast forward to 2013. Long, cold winters have been left behind for endless summers, Patriots football games are watched at 10AM, and those Northeastern degrees are being put to good use. April 15th was a normal day for most people in San Diego. But all I could talk about that morning was how it was my favorite day of the year in Boston: Marathon Monday. Whether running it or cheering from that same corner on Boylston Street, it was a day incomparable to anything else. As I walked into that patient’s house and saw the first reports of the bombings, all I felt was numb. I didn’t even realize I was crying until my poor, confused patient handed me a tissue. This can’t happen to Boston, to my city. It just can’t.
But it did. In the weeks after, I watched a city come together like never before. And I realized that even if you leave Boston, Boston never leaves you. It becomes entwined in your soul, your being.
I had heard of NP by then, and over the next few months went from curiosity about what it was, to jealousy that I wasn’t in Boston to participate, to finally “Fuck it, I’m starting a chapter here.”
Why? Because every city can use a November Project. A piece of the strength and community that both NP and Boston have come to represent. A place to come together, to hug, and to make real, human connections.
So thank you Boston. Thank you for allowing me to spend 6 unforgettable years in your city, for birthing this amazing phenomenon we call November Project, and for showing the world the true meaning of spirit, even in the darkest of times.
Thank you from myself, from my tribe, and from the city of San Diego. You’ve given us a piece of you and we cherish it always.

Love,
LP

P.S. 2015 Boston Marathon – you and I have a date. And yes, this is a #verbal.

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