chat with a local :: Maya Patterson {LLL intern}

If you grew up on Cape Cod for any period of time as we did or are raising a teenager now, we’re sure you know what it is like to want to get over the bridge for good at least a few times. The three of us are grateful to have found our way back to the sandbar and we’re passionate about making sure it stays a place where young people want to and can make a life. This summer, we were lucky to have an amazing intern, Maya Patterson. We chatted with her about what it’s like to be teen on the Cape today from her perspective.

What’s your Cape Cod story? 
I take great pride in being born and raised on Cape Cod. I was born at Falmouth Hospital and have lived in the town of Sandwich all 17 years of my life.

Why were you interested in an internship with LoveLiveLocal?
As I begin my transition to adulthood and the outside world, I have been trying to define my passions and what I want to do with my life. I was really drawn to the internship with LoveLiveLocal because of the positive impact that I believe it has on the community. I had been going to LoveLocal Fests for years and reaping the benefits of the amazing work of LoveLiveLocal without even knowing. I wanted to become part of the amazing “girl gang” that has been such a force for good here on Cape Cod. {eds. note: and we are so thrilled you are a part of it!}

What’s it like being a teenager on the Cape today? 
I can say with great confidence that one of the greatest blessings of my life has been growing up here on Cape Cod. Although the Cape is made up of 15 diverse towns, as a whole, the Cape community is one body. There are obviously rivalries between towns but when it comes to supporting members of the Cape, I love how seamlessly people come together to assist anyone in need. I think this community of teenagers is unique to the Cape and contributes to the magic of living here. Although it is common for my friends to say that there’s “nothing to do” or that they “can’t wait to get out of here” sometimes during the winter or when they are stuck in Cape tourist traffic, my friends and I deep down have an immense appreciation for the beautiful beaches, the cute shops, and the local food.

In terms of Cape Cod, what do you envision for your future at this point? Do you have any worries about returning here?
I see myself staying relatively close to the Cape after I graduate but I’m not sure I would want to live here straight out of college. I see myself working in Boston for a while but hopefully returning back to the Cape in possibly my retirement. I never want to lose touch with what’s happening on the Cape and I hope that it remains a place I would want to show my children and grandchildren in the future. My biggest fear for the Cape would it becoming built-up and over commercialized and losing its magic.

If you could wave a magic wand and have “the powers that be” fix or change something today about the Cape that is frustrating to a lot of teenagers, what would it be?
I don’t know if I can speak for teenagers as a whole, but I know personally I see the drug/ opioid epidemic on the Cape as a sore spot. The rise in deaths and overdoses is alarming to me and the effects of the epidemic shake the whole community. It’s frustrating to me to know that this problem cannot be solved overnight and that it is very complex.

What do you love about the Cape and growing up here that might be different than growing up somewhere else?
I don’t mean to sound pretentious when I say this, but I love how popular the Cape is. I love that people from all over the country and even the world travel to spend even a week here. People I don’t know save up for months to come to the place I call home. I would not be able to live the life I do without the economic boost from tourism and local businesses. This dependence I believe has made me a more conscientious and grateful person.

Tell us about your Cape Cod dream day! 
My Cape Cod dream day would be a beautiful sunny day with low humidity. It would start off with a delicious and nutritious breakfast at Spoon and Seed in Hyannis! After I was fueled for the day, I would hit the Boarding House on Main Street in Hyannis and stock up my beach bag with a new bathing suit, coverup, and sunscreen. I would head down scenic 6A to the beautiful Mayflower Beach in Dennis. After this I would continue my adventure on to Orleans to “the knack” and order their veggie tacos and a vanilla shake to-go. My day would conclude at the Wellfleet Drive-In Theater watching a great movie, eating my tacos, and breathing in the salty air. What more could anyone want?!

We totally agree, Maya! Thanks for chatting with us, and for giving us a little bit of insight!

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