When I left Pittsburgh to embark on life’s journey back in 1995, the PA license plate on my car stated proudly, “You’ve got a friend in Pennsylvania.” A truer statement has never been spoken. For me, though, it should read, “I’ve got family and lots of friends in Pennsylvania.”
From the day I left my hometown to embark on my just-starting career, my long-term goal was to get back to the state I love so much. Twenty years and two states later, I am finally going home – not to Pittsburgh, but to Harrisburg. Although in many ways it seems like only yesterday that I left, the reality is that so much has changed.
For starters, I am no longer the “young adult” I once was, but am now a middle-aged man who worries more about my retirement fund than what I will be doing on Friday night. Since I’ve been gone I’ve lost one parent, one uncle, and my last two grandparents. My mom is now the oldest person in my extended family. That’s a bit weird to comprehend. Childhood friends have married and, in some cases, been divorced and remarried. Friends have had kids, raised them, and are now becoming empty-nesters themselves. The generations are collapsing and my generation is slowing rising to the top!
It’s been a great journey so far, and I can’t wait to see what this next chapter has in store. My time in Massachusetts will always be cherished due to the wonderful friends I made and the great experiences I had along the way. Although shorter, my time here in Virginia will be equally valued. These two years at Virginia Episcopal School have provided me with a new set of memories and some great friendships.
In a few shorts weeks I will once again be living close to my family and childhood friends. I am ecstatic about that. I’m also thrilled to be embarking on a new career opportunity that will enable me to use my skills to help the people in my community through difficult times in their lives (more on that later). Family and old friends await, but so do yet-to-be known friends, new photo opportunities, and many miles of uncharted biking adventures.