So, I am in NY. Not the city yet, that's tomorrow (and the photo is from Southampton, not what most people think of as NY). My sister and bro-in-law, Lisa and Aaron, picked me up at JFK on Friday night and drove me out to their house in Southampton NY. Pretty awesome here.
Before I get into travel logging (or however you spell that), let me explain why this trip means a lot to me.
First of all, for those who don't know, I grew up in Manhattan. Yes, it's true, people have been raised in Manhattan. I was born, went to K-12, came back after college, and we had our first kid here. NYC will always be a part of me. As they say, you can take the boy out of New York, but you can't take the New York out of the boy.
I am beyond comfortable anywhere in the city, will walk anywhere, and prefer the subway to any other mode of transport (after my feet). I am a lifelong and die-hard Yankee and Rangers fan, have always loved the Knicks (although #2 after my Blazers and, growing up, the Knicks were nothing to write home about), and hate NY football. When I was eating gluten, I was a huge pizza and bagel guy too. Honestly, there wasn't a lot more of a NYC boy that you could be than me.
But, I moved. A lot. Chicago, LA, SF, NYC, Wilton CT, Ridgefield CT, and now Portland OR. Despite all of my wandering (there's a setup for anyone that wants it - you have my permission!) NY always is a part of me and has a special place in my heart. It took me a while to realize that, but now I do.
Coming back, at this point in my life, with both kids out of the house, Krista on her path (except for when I fuck that up!), a new job, rekindled/deepened/newly formed friendships, health issues, etc. means way more to me than just walking by yet another Original rays. It means really understanding myself. Re-feeling some of my past feels, creating new ones, and even dealing with some of the tougher stuff. But it's all that I want in a trip back to the home of my youth. It's going to make me laugh, undoubtedly cry, smile, remember, and for sure, scream POTVIN SUCKS at the top of my lungs.
So what does this week hold in store? I am pregaming now in Southampton before the main events begin in the city. Starting Monday night through the 10th:
I'll be meeting old friends from as far back as elementary school
Seeing people that I used to work with and haven't seen in over 20 years (and others that I've worked with way more recently)
Meeting new friends who are dealing with some of the same stuff that I am
Meeting some people from orgs that I am doing stuff with
Catching up with newer friends and rekindling some old and very important to me relationships
Seeing cousins aunts and a lot of my mom and sis and family
Having lunch with the grandson of someone that was a big part of my life growing up
Changing the world of healthcare
Taking a lot of walks in central park
Going to a NY Rangers game (just a wee bit excited about that one)
Resting as much as I can (I blocked off 2 hours a day just for rest)
Scheduling all over my rest time
Undoubtedly overdoing it (but if I admit it it's not real, right?)
Honestly, to say that I am excited is kind of an understatement. I've dealt with a lot this year (two years of the Blazers not in the playoffs is tough - I bet you didn't think that's what I was going to say!) and am nowhere near done. So when I thought about what I wanted to do before the season of surgeries kicks off (lung surgery in April, Abdomen stuff in June, Kidney TBD) visiting my family in NY, my friends, and seeing lots of people was right up at the top of my list. (In all honesty so was skydiving but the weather didn't cooperate on that one.)
I've blogged a lot about what I've learned since July. Some of the key lessons that helped me decide to take this trip are investing in those people who are true friends and with whom I have two-way relationships, having more fun, and being more appreciative of everything around me and every experience and really enjoying my life. This trip to NYC, although not a new destination for me, will help me feel all of those lessons. And this is definitely a help for my mental health and my mindfulness.
Stay tuned for more updates throughout the week!
As my very very smart wife likes to say, "just because you could, doesn't mean you should". Well, on this trip, I can, so I will and I definitely will be better for it!