Those who prefer the mountains

I recently found this article in the Boston Globe discussing a study that found those who prefer mountain vacations tend to be introverts, and those who prefer ocean vacations tend to be extroverts. As a person who grew up going to both, this strikes me as both true and false at the same time.

First of all, the obvious fact is that not all beaches are packed tight with people, and not all mountains are lonesome escapes. In fact, one of my favorite beaches is in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, which hosts about ten people in the thick of summer. Then again…well, it’s in the mountains.

As a kid, I always dreamed of owning a private tropical island in the middle of the ocean and living there completely alone. I know, I’m about a level 100 introvert. I dreamed of a single hammock, a heap of bananas, and a few animal friends to keep me company. Just me in the warm sun, surrounded by parrots and palm trees. As I grew up and fell in love I hesitantly expanded my dream island to a population of 2…maybe. After all, even Robinson Crusoe had a partner.

I don’t think it’s exclusively the place, but rather who gravitates to the place. A private island, sure, no one else can go to it except who I invite, when I invite them. It’s paradise! However, a beach is usually flooded with people who like to show off their gym bodies and set off fireworks after dark. They like to jump in freezing water and play volleyball with strangers before grilling hamburgers and hitting the souvenir shops, casinos and bars.

Disregarding the fact that many mountain tourist spots are exactly the same, they do tend to calm down the further from the freeway you go. Those little log cabins do exist, surrounded by hummingbirds and wild raspberries. The people who go there enjoy skiing and hiking, and don’t mind when it rains because they have a bunch of books to keep them company. They like campfires with a few close friends, they like stargazing without light pollution and getting up early to see the sunrise.

I guess it makes sense for extroverts to gravitate to the ocean and introverts to gravitate to the mountains. But I’ve always found the ocean to speak to me more. Especially after most people have left it…a September evening, walking the empty beach in jeans and a sweatshirt. The ocean is gray, soft, cold. Massive. It comforts you with its largeness, assures you that your worries are small and will pass like the tides. Touching the water is to be connected to the entire planet. The mountains let you hide, but the ocean reminds you that you don’t need to.

Chasing Michael Rezendes

This is the mortifying, victorious story of how little introvert me chased down award-winning investigative journalist Michael Rezendes.
Michael Rezendes is a member of the Boston Globe Spotlight team that covered the Catholic Church abuse scandal. If you saw the movie Spotlight, he was played by Mark Ruffalo, and honestly, I was more star-struck than if actual Mark Ruffalo were there, and I love the Avengers.

I’m an intern reporter at the Boston Globe, as many of you know, and Rezendes is a living legend in journalism. All the interns gather every month or so for a “Lunch and Learn,” where we get free sandwiches and special lectures. This one, hosted by Rezendes and Jenn Abelson, also of Spotlight, was about investigative journalism.

They both shared amazing stories about “Fishy Business,” “Clash in the Name of Care,” and, of course, the Catholic Church scandal the movie focused on. I took plenty of notes and learned a lot, but I couldn’t help my hands from shaking .These people are the best of the best.

My mom had messaged me and said she wanted a picture of me with them. I thought to myself, that’s rather unprofessional…I mean, they’re just normal people trying to do their job. But as I sat, I realized that this was the time. I might never see them again, this building is huge, and after my internship is over, who knows if I’ll ever get the opportunity?

I had a mission.

As the meeting was over, I scrambled to get to the front, but Rezendes and Abelson were out the door and people were pushing their chairs in my way and huddling around the trash. I fought my way out, and caught them heading around a corner. I couldn’t believe it—I was chasing the Spotlight team around the office. What the hell?!

They were talking to someone in their cubicles when I finally caught up, and I was about to turn around and give up (realizing how silly this all was), when Rezendes saw me staring at them from behind a pillar and said hi.

“Um, hi,” I said, almost dropping my phone. “Ah, so, my mom really likes Spotlight, and I was wondering if I could get a picture?”

Of course he said yes, and the deed was done. I shook his hand and scooted back to my desk, hands shaking, face burning, giggling uncontrollably. God, I just chased down a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for a photo-op

He’ll forget it happened, I figured, he won’t remember me.

Nope. He said hi to me in the hall the next day.

I don’t know if he sees me as the crazy intern, or the one brave enough to talk to him separately, or what, but it doesn’t matter. He recognized me. Michael Rezendes recognized me. What is my life??

So yes, this is the closest thing I have to knowing a famous person, and it was one of the coolest days of my internship so far…I can’t even handle it.

I still can’t believe I did this! He was so nice, and so incredibly intelligent. What a great, inspiring person to have had the pleasure to meet.

Now here’s hoping he doesn’t find this post and think I’m even more of a crazy person.

I’m back!

It’s been four months—I know, but I have a good excuse. Good excuses, I should say. I was hired mid October for a co-op position at the Boston Globe! And I’ve been  writing for them since late December, with a lot of running around in between. So now I work from 9-5, with night classes from 6-8. Long days, I know. But I’m doing it:)

I have a private cubicle. Amazing, for the introvert life. I have lunch with the two other co-ops in my division, so I do socialize and I’m making friends, all while keeping quiet and to myself for most of the day. My boss works from home so really, I have a lot of time to myself, which helps my process.

I really like working for the Globe. I’ve been published already—nothing big, just little feature articles on what’s going on. I write in the regionals section, so I cover the towns north of Boston. Little suburbs, mainly, so I write about charities, schools, stuff like that.

What else? Well, I’m trying to maneuver a study abroad semester for the fall. My boyfriend, by the way, is studying abroad in Mexico right now, so I’m dealing with that. Expect posts on both in the future…I joined an Emerson College blog on books and publishing, and am taking an American Sign Language class as an elective, which is honestly both really fun and very informative.

I’m also thinking of starting a YouTube channel, for little vlogs and ukulele songs. We’ll see if that comes to fruition. I’m writing songs now, comedic ones, serious ones…I have an idea of having a show called “Songs that sound ridiculous on ukulele,” in which I’d sing like, death metal and emo songs on  my bouncy, silly, tiny-guitar.

I’m glad to rejoin the introvert playground!