This piece has zero to do with sports so if you are looking for hot takes on prospects and OTAs, get lost…But come back here on Monday!
I’ve always viewed certain dates as checkpoints more than celebrations. Maybe I’m just someone who looks back at things more than looking forward to what is on the horizon. It is such a contrast to when I was younger.
As a youngling, I couldn’t wait to get the fuck out of high school or college. I counted the days down to when I could take that first sip of alcohol at the age of 21. I knew exactly how long until I turned 16 and could drive my parents’ car straight into a series of donuts in a parking lot because. That represented the apex of my freedom.
Nowadays, nothing seems to register as far as dates go. I guess wedding anniversaries, kids’ birthdays, and my birthday should, but since I’m not married and don’t have kids of my own, and hate events where I am the center of attention, I don’t exactly care to circle anything on the calendar.
That said, there is one date that is kind of near and dear to my heart and that’s May 31st. May 31st, 2002 to be exact. That is the day I moved from Buffalo to NYC. What is funny about it is that I view it as kind of a bittersweet moment in my life.
The person who moved here 11 years ago, the guy who had more aspirations than Terry Pegula buying the Sabres, is long gone. I think at one point I saw myself as a VJ at MTV or Quentin Tarantino’s protege. I still marvel at the fact that I made that move. At that point, I had never lived anywhere but my parents’ house.
Today, I don’t think I could ever make a move like that. I’d only leave NYC if it was a decision based on income or if I got thrown out my apartment. Maybe it is just that I have gotten too comfortable here or maybe I’m just BSing myself into thinking I made it. In the grand scheme of things, I think it is really more about lack of motivation, not wanting to take on such a life-changing task when I can just stay on the course of zero surprises.
5/31/02 still resonates with me though. By making that move, I crossed the final frontier into my adult state of mind, not relying on my parents for everything anymore. Everything changed after that day. In a way, I’m happy I made the move, but a part of me wishes I hadn’t jetted out of college so quickly to get here. Taking a year off and just boozing would have been a lot more fun.
I still remember packing my parents’ car with 3 suitcases, a shitty Zeneith TV, and a CD Player and driving to NYC with the parents in the back seat. I still remember how badly my mom was dreading this move. I assure you, she was hoping it would only be a phase so her little boy would come back home. It still haunts me to leave my parents and I know I’ll regret it in the long run. I’ll always remember the excitement I had getting into the city through the Holland Tunnel, only to immediately start driving the wrong way on a one way street, a cab driver beeping and swearing at me like a drunken sailor. Welcome to NY.
After I settled into the dorm at NYU, my home during that summer internship, I couldn’t really look at my mom because she was emotional. My dad, on the other hand, just wanted to get the hell out of NYC before they ticketed his truck. After I said goodbye, I had this feeling of uneasiness that I’ve never had before and still haven’t felt since. I was scared. It was as if I had ginger ale in my brain and I couldn’t feel anything. I remember I laid in my bed in a fetal position and I didn’t want to move. For a brief 5 minutes, I wanted to go home. I wasn’t ready to grow up. I felt paralyzed.
But finally, I had to get up. I had to find a way to channel my nerves into something. I started walking down 5th Avenue and the entire time, I just stared at the endless rows of buildings. There was just something so inspirational about looking at the skyline. I still feel in awe when I’m in a cab ride home and I stare out the window at the skyline. It is like something out of a movie that you can’t believe until you live it.
During my first walk down the street, it felt like everything suddenly made sense. The nerves I had in the dorm room were long gone. Being scared morphed into being excited. The future would become what I wanted to make it. I was in control.
I’d love to tell you that I haven’t looked back since then, but a part of my heart will always be in Buffalo. You can never replace the family and friends you grew up with at home. However, sometimes when the fire feels like it’s out, I think back to the age of hope and dreams and the excitement of making that first giant step. If I could make strides then, why can’t I now?
And that’s what this post means.
We are often told that age is not a factor when it comes to accomplishing our goals, I think sometimes because the older you are, the better that idea makes you feel. “The past is the past. Great things are still ahead.”
However, sometimes you have to look back at the times in which you felt invincible and had a sense of endless persistence. When you think to those times, try not think of it as time lost. I’ve fallen into that trip many times. Think of it as inspiration. Everyone can dream no matter the age and luckily, those dreams don’t expire until you do.