January 1st, 2008, I moved out of my parents’ house in Bayside, Queens and moved in with some friends in Oswego, NY. In a week, it will be exactly 10 years, a decade, since I have been out on my own, and it has not been all roses and sunshine.
After going to college at SUNY Oswego and spending more time at the campus EMS service than I did in class, I moved back to my parents’ house in New York City. I began to attend college at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Something was missing. I did not feel like I was doing what I needed to do to get to where I wanted to be in life. At that time I was an EMT-B and all I wanted to be was a Paramedic. One day while talking to a friend from Oswego, he mentioned that he was moving into a house with two other people and needed a 4th person. I did a little research and was able to find a full-time EMS position with Rural Medical Services and moved back to Oswego, NY. The next few months were an absolute nightmare
Living with friends, while on the surface sounds like a good idea, turned out to be the worst thing I ever did in my life. Sharing a living space should be a compromise between the people living there. However, of the 4 of us, 2 of them ran the show and were dominant over the rest. I endured this suffering for almost 9 months but eventually reached an agreement with them to be bought out of my lease and I moved again. This time from Oswego, NY to Syracuse, NY where I rented a room in a house of a very lovely, but also controlling, girl from Oregon. During my time in Oswego, I had lost my full-time job at Rural Metro and had begun working part-time at WAVES Ambulance as well as the Apple Retail Store in Syracuse, NY.
After my move to Syracuse, I met the woman I eventually would marry. But the years that followed were not easy. About a year after moving to Syracuse, I lost my job at WAVES and I also left my job at Apple. I had began working as an EMT for a medical alarm monitoring company full time. It was a job, but it wasn’t an EMS job. I felt my goals slipping away from me. I eventually lost that job too and slipped into a deep depression and became suicidal.
During that time and for a long time after, I fantasized about “moving back home”. New York City was always the goal. I talked about it, I tried to convince Allison that we could make it work despite the extremely high cost of living. I was bouncing around from job to job in Syracuse and I knew in my heart of hearts that if I went back home to NYC I would get my EMT certification back and eventually get my Paramedic certification and be living the dream. I would get a job with FDNY, be respected among my peers, we would have a modest apartment in Queens, go into Manhattan on the weekends. I would play in the dirt and live in the clouds. It is all I could think about. I was obsessed. I would not allow myself to see the beauty and enjoyment of where I was living. I hate the apartments we lived in and I hated everything about Syracuse.
When we would go visit my parents and family in NYC, I changed into a completely different person. I became relaxed, I felt alive. I felt at home…
Home, its a weird word. It has a definition, many in fact. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary