A Tree Grows…in Boston

I walked into my shift in the library this morning and noticed something pretty interesting. On one of our whiteboards we have a question for students to answer. It says: If you could give a book to your younger self, which would it be? 

My answer was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith. This is a story about a young Irish girl named Francie Nolan who lives with her family in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn ; I feel as though I can connect to her very well in that she has to work through so many struggles to get what she wants out of life. Francie’s mother, Katie, works very hard to make money for the family while her father, Johnny, is an alcoholic and can’t hold a steady job. Despite that fact, Francie can’t help but love and appreciate him just as he is.

I see myself as Boston’s version of Francie. When I started school, I wasn’t prepared for how hard things would hit me. I wanted to try my hardest as a nursing major, and in the end that didn’t work out so I had to explore a different option in health and wellness. All of this while worrying about how things were back home in Connecticut. Needless to say it’s about 3 years later; I’m a health major and still worry about the same stuff. I worry about my older brother and younger sister (ya know…still stuck in the middle and all 😂). I worry about how mom and dad are doing. I also remember being worried sick and crying so hard when we lost our black lab Lily eight months ago. Me being the overly-sensitive emotional one, it can take a while to get over those things. 💜

I know for sure that I still wouldn’t trade these last 3 years for anything at all. I really have grown so much, and have met so many others that have helped along the way. I’m obsessively grateful for all of the wonderful experiences I’ve had and will continue to have in the next few months! It just goes to show you – give yourself room to breathe and take in everything around you while focusing on where you are in life. You can still expand and grow in everything that you do, like that tree.

“Let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry…have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere-be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.” Chapter 48, pg. 413

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