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2003-04-18 - 7:56 p.m.

I had a mini-realization today. In the car on the way home. Right before getting on the on-ramp from Totten Pond Road to I-95 South. 95 South that goes right to NYC which is doing its siren call to me again these days. Calling me. Needing me. Me needing it. I need that city so hard some days that it hurts.

I've been thinking a lot about my job in days past at United Cerebral Palsy. Dwelling on it. Picturing my cubicle there. My little mini-office there. The people I knew. The crazy stories from that job. Finding an air-conditioned NYC cab for two penguins who were visiting our organization's day care center.

Traveling to the outer reaches of the Bronx. A beautiful beautiful area around Pelham Park. There's a horse ranch up there. Way beyond the end of the #6 line. And gorgeous older homes. And UCP's Bronx campus. Traveling to a low-income tenement building in Williamsburg to interview a man who couldn't climb down his apartment steps for 20 years. Until we bought him a stair glide and opened the world to him.

Taking the express bus from midtown to Staten Island. Taking the F train to our Brooklyn campus. Doing the Macarena with people in wheelchairs. Arguing with cops outside the 70th precint near where our Brooklyn campus was located and finding out months later the horrors that had occured there that very night.

Driving a large, yellow Suburban labeled "Transportation for the Handicapped" from Brooklyn to Cape Cod to pick up a donation.

Throwing beautiful parties on roofdecks, in the Hilton, in Madison Square Garden in order to raise funds.

Watching people who had been institutionalized for most of their lives... discover the world. Get their own bank account for the first time in their 60s. But their own movie ticket.

That job taught me so much.

How to move in the world. How to be in the world. How to be powerful and a difference in the world. I loved that job. Crazy loved it. And I loved my director there.

She was from a small town in Indiana and we both realized once that we were probably the only two people in NYC who had shot and eaten squirrel at one time.

She was an incredible advocate for people with disabilities. Whip-smart communications and events pro. Could handle company politics like no one's business. She was married to a Brooklyn judge and had a house in an Orthodox Jewish area in Brooklyn. Not the one I ended up in, but close. And actually, knowing her neighborhood is what helped me find where I ultimately ended up at.

Anyway. I keep thinking about her and that job. I thought I was thinking about it for other reasons. But I realized today. That someday. SOMEDAY. I want to manage the communications of a place like UCP of NYC. Maybe a non-profit that's focused on providing community health programs. A place like Fenway Health Maybe a domestic violence shelter. I dunno. Anyway. That's the goal.

Now that I've gotten my life back together a bit. Now that I've written the book and stood stable for awhile. Now that I've found my own power. Now I want to do more. Expand more.

I'm going to make a list this weekend of what I need to do to get to that place. I think I might need some additional supervisory and budget experience. I think I might need to go for that masters. I know my former boss had one. Maybe I need one.

I'm going to figure this out. Set the baby steps. And do them.

I keep thinking I should send an email to that former boss and let her know what an impact she had on my life.

I wonder if that'd be weird.

I wonder why I think it'd be weird.


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