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Welcome to my site and thank you for reading. After many times thinking, if only I had a blog, well-- here we are. This blog will feature writings on a variety of topics from roadside food, to leadership in the fire service; politics; culture- gay, straight, and indifferent, my experiences in Ohio, New York and beyond; and much much more. It's my hope that you will find it interesting and that it stirs at least some thought and discussion. I am certain you wont always agree, but that is what its all about right? Oh and one more thing:

The views expressed on this site are entirely my own. They do not reflect in anyway the views or positions of my employer (s) and should not taken as official policy of ANY organization with which I am associated. Reading or sharing any post from this site shall be taken as an indication that you have read this disclaimer and understand it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June 22, 2000

This week will mark an anniversary I can honestly say I never expected to commemorate.  Twelve years ago, on June 22, 2000, I relocated to New York City.  The sight of the Manhattan skyline and the Twin towers from the peak of a midnight Verrazano by eyes weary from hours in a U-Haul truck is something I will never forget. The city was something of a mystery and a magic and a wonder.  Christmas Gifts are always different on December 26th than they are on December 24th.  Anticipation and dreams melted into a soup that is enough to make you do crazy things—like move 500 miles away from home with no definite job, two friends from Ohio, and nowhere near as much money as should have been in savings. 

These last twelve years are now only memories—the only day that matters being the one I am now enjoying while typing away on the laptop. A ray of sun just now piercing down through the hallowed hall where I find my inspiration—or it finds me.  Twelve years doesn’t come out in an orderly way from the back of your mind.  Especially not twelve New York years.  I can remember so many things, people, events, places, experiences, successes and lessons.  Many along the way have been lost—some to death, some to indifference, most to the simple drift that happens in almost all relationships.  My Mother, Harry, Danny, John, Corrine, Three-Hundred-Forty-Three of my fellow members of the FDNY, and God knows how many others who were, in some way—minor or hugely significant— a part of my life then are now gone from this world. They are exceeded in quantity but not significance by so many dates or lovers or errors in judgment who now reveal a road-map of low self-esteem, desperate desires for warm strangers on cold summer nights, and a quest for love that I was not really ready for then, even though I was certain I was.  

Many new people came into to my world and, in a strangely fitting way, most of those have wandered out or away.  My dearest friends are largely the same as they were twelve years ago, with a few notable and happy exceptions.  Most of the other souls came into my orbit not like a Moon—sharing an eternal orbit around a goal or star—but rather as comets.  Streaking across the boundless night sky—within view for awhile, but then on their way to wherever hot rocks and gas go when you no longer serve their purposes.

It is not my intent here to put a negative light on my time in New York.  Far from it.  I have learned more here than I ever thought possible.  I have found more than I ever realized was missing.  And I have grown in a way that has taken me not away from Richard Scarry and Matchbox cars and playgrounds—but back towards it.  Into the places that an adult first feels they have to disown in order to grow, but the same places that a true adult must realize—at some beautiful moment—were really the point all along.

This applies to both my career and to my personal life.  The sad souls I have encountered here were just as much, in their way, excellent teachers as were the brightest humans I have touched or who have touched me. The days I felt the most defeated were required in order to have the days where I knew I was victorious.  And it was all part of a plan that led me here and that now, I know, is leading me away.  It might not happen today, or tomorrow, but there is a greater calling for me and a path down which I must travel.

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