The problem with the past is that it is in the past – you really cannot go back.
I miss New York sometimes. Especially early mornings before the sun rises as I’m sitting in the dark with coffee and the dogs. My mind wanders.
I moved to New York City when I was 25-years old. I was very young and believed that, as the song sings, if I could make it there then I could make it anywhere. I was gifted with young naivete, and I was thrilled to leave the safety of my home country behind for a bite of the Big Apple.
In the beginning, I worked at a bakery on the edge of Soho. An acquaintance I met let me live in his store during business off-hours. I used to have to open up the metal sliding security door each evening I arrived with a key that I had been given. Then I would enter the building next door that shared a basement with this storefront, feel my way downstairs, and enter the storefront through a trapdoor in the floor. Then I would have to re-trace my steps, close the metal security gate, and lock myself into the dark, eerie space for the night.
Every morning I would travel to a friend’s place a few blocks away to shower before he left for work in the morning, then I would head to my job at the bakery.
I worked at that bakery – and at the outdoor flea market on 25th Street and Sixth Avenue – for a year and a half before I landed a job at the United Nations.
My first job at the UN was as a messenger for the 49th General Assembly. It was a 3+ month contract, with no guarantee of renewal. I bought a couple of suits for work, and tried to be the best-dressed messenger in the building. I also worked very hard to keep the job, and to try to land another contract after this one was up.
I worked in various capacities at the United Nations after my messenger contract was up. From the Publications Division and selling UN literature and novelties over the phone, to my one-year stint as the Administrative Officer at the Baghdad Monitoring and Verification Centre in Iraq; I was always learning and doing and growing.
I left New York to move to Providence, where I received my A.B. from Brown University after 4 years of classes. When I returned to New York, 4 years later, it was to attend Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in Manhattan – my ill-fated journey into law school!
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