I moved to New York City in 2005 and lived there full time until 2016, with some commuting between Massachusetts from 2016 to 2018. New York isn’t right for everyone. But, it was for me. I am originally from San Francisco. I now live in Cambridge, Massachusetts (and love it here). But as most people who know me will tell you, I’m a New Yorker in my soul. I suspect I’ll always feel that way. It’s something about the pace and intensity of it, and its thrilling and bizarre diversity—if not the arts scene, which I devoured while living there.
I smiled reading your post because in my imagination, I could almost hear Billy Joel singing New York Statement of Mind in the background. It's true, you can leave NYC, but it will never leave you. 22 years ago today, my husband put on his uniform, packed his bags, and headed off to work on what was possibly one of the most beautiful blue-sky days ever to be seen in New England. But on his way to Logan to fly an American Airlines flight out of Boston, he was notified of Flight 11 and the North Tower tragedy. It's something that has never left him.
When you say you experience survivor's guilt, it resonates. Remembering 9/11 will always be about honoring victims, their families and unimaginable losses, but it's a reminder to the rest of us just how quickly life can take an unexpected change. Probably no one knows that any better than an emergency medicine physician.
While you may have missed 9/11, too, it's a comfort to me and others the universe placed you here in Boston. Hoping we'll be lucky enough to have you on duty in the event we ever end up in the ED at BWH. I appreciate you paying it forward today and for taking time to write this newsletter. Thank you for imparting your knowledge to us and for devoting yourself to the care and well-being of patients, especially when working in healthcare has never been more personally or professionally challenging.