18 years ago yesterday, I boarded a train with nothing but a duffel bag full of clothes and shuffled my way out of Buffalo to “start my life” in the Big Apple. I was 21. I had a college degree, but had no plan. I’d only just decided to move to NYC the night before and was lucky to find a ride to the station to make the 5am train early the next morning. I bought my one way ticket and off I went. No job waiting for me. No place to live. No strategy, other than to just “figure things out”. Don’t get me wrong, I had a couple of friends in the big city and my brother was there, so I had my proverbial safety net, but still no plan. The only arrangement I had was to get off that train in Penn Station and meet up with my oldest & dearest childhood friend to go see a band with some friends of my friend on Long Island. Those small details did, in fact, happen as planned. I got off one train in Penn Station, only to board another heading out of the city to join some strangers for one of many concerts I had seen up to that point. And when I got off that final train, it actually happened. That plan to go to the Big Apple to “start my life”? On that day, unbeknownst to me, that is exactly what happened. You see, it was on that very day, that I met this guy. A new guy. Kinda cute. Dirty hippy. Just my type. That day. That guy. Fast forward 18 years. I’ve lived for months out of an old beat up car with that guy. Quit an amazing job to travel the country with that guy. Led teen tours with that guy. Lived in 8 different homes with that guy. Made 3 human beings with that guy. Made a life with that guy. Created a legacy with that guy. And, by golly, he’s still my guy. Now, amidst all that wild & crazy, footloose & fancy-free adventure, we’ve squeezed in our fair share of gut-wrenching disputes and regrettable words that we only wish were just uttered under our breath, but he’s still the guy. And looking back, I realize now that although I may not have had “a plan” that brisk Buffalo morning boarding that one-way train, apparently the universe had one for me….
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