This is 201 E. St Johns Avenue in Villas, NJ. About 8 miles from Cape May. My grandparents owned this house from 1974-1995. Growing up, we didn’t have much money, so this simple house was my family’s usual summer vacation spot, even though it was a but of a drive to the beach.
From Thursday, May 12th to Sunday, May 15th in 1998, I spent time alone here — sitting on this porch for hours each day — thinking, planning, preparing for a college internship that was going to start on Monday, May 23rd. I was going “big-time”, getting a shot at a corporate world opportunity at the end of my junior year. I knew this would be meaningful and consequential and I wanted to enter on day-1 prepared.
Now, I’d just finished my finals the week prior and was looking forward to a fun summer ahead but I needed this time alone for introspection, reflection. I was stuck between being a boy and a man and needed to think through the opportunity in front of me, my eventual senior year, then a start to life and career after that.
I’ve found looking back that I’ve enjoyed time alone and that I’ve needed my time alone to assess things happening around me. I used to think that being alone meant being lonely, but it’s not. Being alone is required and often desirable to help you get you plan to get your mind right and your actions right.