Assabetchya didn’t know this

Over the weekend, my boyfriend and I went hiking in an area that he found in Sudbury, Mass. called Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge. The 2,230-acre refuge is beautiful and once we stopped walking over the crunching ice that our cold New England nights brought, it was completely silent. Think: totally serene, without another person, car, building, or iPhone in sight. We had only been on the trails for a few minutes, when we came across this huge bunker. We went over to check it bunker311out, and its steel door was welded shut, making us even more curious to its use. Mid-hike, I had to know what these were since they were popping up everywhere along our trail (so yes, an iPhone became in sight at this point). It turns out that before the refuge was turned over to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in 2000, the land belonged to the U.S. Army and was known as Fort Devens. These bunkers were used as ammunition bunkers in the World War II era. How cool is that? That’s all I needed to know to become so interested in the history of the land we were walking on, but we kept calm and carried on.

Once we were home and relaxing after our three hours of exploring the outdoors, I researched this area a little bit more. I found that there were actually 50 of these bunkers, officially referred to as “igloos,” and each has an inside dimensions of 81x26x12 feet, with a curved roof. Bunker #303 is sometimes open for tours – I will need to find out when and go back!

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The site was chosen because of its convenient railroad shipping to the Boston Navy Yard, yet far enough inland so that a German battleship could not attack the area. Seriously, I just think this is so cool.

After WWII this site served as a troop training ground, ordinance testing and laboratory disposal area. A 1980s assessment led to this being categorized as an EPA “Superfund” clean-up site in 1990, as the site was contaminated with arsenic, pesticides and other chemicals. Extensive Army clean-up efforts continued for years, ending with the site being turned over to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in 2000 and opened to the public in 2005. So wear a hazmat suit when hiking. Kidding, but seriously for anyone who either loves WWII history and/or hiking, I’d definitely recommend stopping by here – it’s beautiful, and filled with so much history. If you’re as interested as I was, you can learn more about the land and its history here. Cheers!

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The “supposed to” theory

25. What an odd age. We spend our Friday nights out at the bar and then have to stumble with a hangover to our friend’s baby shower the next morning and try not to down the whole tub of mimosas. (Side note: if you do happen to have either a baby or bridal shower while still in your twenties – you better have a tub of mimosas for the friends who aren’t quite on your level yet and had to have a whole army, a few ibuprofen’s and about three Gatorade’s to help her out of bed to make it to these events.) Life in your twenties feels kind of like being stuck as the rope in a game of tug-of-war – one side is trying to get you to take shots on a Tuesday and dance on the bar while the other side is pleading you to settle down and stop spending so much damn money on “fun”! What is up with this never-ending battle?

Us twenty-somethings have a lot going on. But for the first time in our lives – there are no deadlines. We went our whole lives being told what to do and when to do it, but they never told us that once we graduate from college it’s like we’re just thrown off of the high speed ferry we’ve been on our whole lives and are left to either sink or learn how to swim real fast.

I think we often get caught up in the thought that we’re “supposed to” be somewhere other than where we are. We’re supposed to love our job, supposed to wear the perfect outfit, supposed to travel, exercise, volunteer, study – but when?! That’s the thing, there is no answer. The only thing you’re supposed to be doing is exactly what you are doing: figuring it all out – one step at time. We all know that mistakes are the stepstools to success – when we find we’re doing one thing wrong, we change it up until we get it right. That’s what your twenties are about, some are mistakes we learn from and others turn out to be a beautiful part of your life. Forget about the “supposed to” and start thinking about how the experiences you’ve created for yourself – whether good or bad – have showed you who you are and where you want to go.

Being a twenty-something is a beautiful thing in itself. We are old enough to make decisions on our own, old enough to work full time and make our own money, even old enough to fall in love and start a family. But we’re also so young. We have so many opportunities at our fingertips, so much space to grow, things to learn and so much time to decide what we want to do. Where we are “supposed” to be is exactly where we are: on a never ending journey of self-discovery and creating happiness in our own lives. Instead of thinking you should be doing something else, be thankful for the roads that lead you to where you are today and look forward to the beautiful memories you are going to make with the rest of your tomorrows.