Yes, why – why is the first question. Most people assume that I’ve secured some kind of job or have family or friends – some sort of plan. But no – not at all. I have no job. I have no family. I hardly know a single person. Well, I know one person – Vicky, and then everyone else will be through someone else. But it will do. Surely it will.
Why am I going to Hong Kong all of a sudden, out of the blue, after living in New York for over 26 years (I took a brief hiatus to live in Massachusetts while attending college)? I was born in New York, and I’ve proclaimed very publicly that I shall die in New York, so what possesses me to leave my gorgeous duplex apartment in Chelsea (with a private entrance and a working fireplace, mind you), to jump ship to another city?
I’m not sure! And no – I don’t have a real plan here. So why?
Because it’s time. It’s all I can say to say it simply. Because it would take so much more to say it all… I’ve been in a weird place, shall we say. But where to begin on that? It would take – say an entire blog’s worth to write it all out – so let’s start at the beginning… or as close to the beginning as I can.
In June 2001 – oh yes, precisely 8 years prior, I was a happy college grad. There was a beautiful ceremony, with a wonderful speech by this guy who headed up NASA. He promised good things for us, and told us we would do good. Behind me, seated several yards away on a well groomed lawn were my entire family (or just about), including one very important person – my mother. It was a happy and hopeful occasion. I would be attending law school in a few short months, back in my homeland – the good ol’ NYC. And everything was good.
I was young (and admitteldy, still am). I was in love (but no longer am). I was still pure.
Then it began. The end of all that. The beginning of all this (perhaps).
Mom was diagnosed with cancer. Lung cancer, we would learn not without some difficulty. Late stage non-small cell lung cancer. It was the end, or just the beginning of the end.
I had struggled with much of my time the following years. But this is not to say I did not enjoy many wonderful experiences, and met many of my greatest friends. Life changed, but it went on.
Mom continued to run her business. Each of my sisters and I were still in school. I graduated in May 2004 without incident, passed two bar exams, went off to explore Machu Picchu, and took a job at a boutique law firm on Wall Street. Then it all got worse. And actually, this part never goes away.
December 2005. The end. Mom died. It had been a long four years – and everything changed.
May 2007. I thought everything was behind me, and jumped onto the fast track, joining a top 100 law firm, working for the world’s biggest hedge funds, Big 4 accounting firms, and giant insurance companies.
Summer 2007. Even though I had filed Mom’s estate taxes, it had not gone away and grave issues arose that were extremely distracting. Worse, the manager I had hired to take care of the business we had inherited unexpectedly died.
Summer 2008. This is the time I called the Great Sickness. I was not doing well.
September 2008. That Fall I made a conscious decision to get off the ride and take a pause. I left the firm, stepped off my so-called professsional track and just decided to buckle down on all these pressing issues on behalf of my family and myself.
May 2009. Here we are: I’m designing plans to pack it all up and leave.
So… that’s sort of the beginning of all this. It’s a hairy tale. Heck, I am still figuring it out myself – all I know is this:
September 2009. Hong Kong.