Self Development Design 1: Why I say I was "Raised" in New York Part 1
"If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere" Frank Sinatra
Life was... easy until I graduated with my undergrad. Let me explain. I had fantastic parents who raised me right. School came pretty easy to me so I really didn't have to try. Throughout my middle school and high school days, my friends were good influences on me. No drugs, didn't do dumb things. This all sounds fine right? I wish I could scream at my high school self right about now. Although we all know hindsight is 20/20 and our past experiences shape who we are today, I wish I would have tried just a bit harder. Maybe I would have made the basketball team in 7th grade. Maybe my GPA would have been higher for a better scholarship opportunity. As far as regrets go, I have very little anymore because I honestly forget who that kid was back then.
Fast forward. Moved to New York. I needed an internship to graduate and I knew I wanted to get the hell out of Bowling Green and Ohio for awhile. I felt that this was a time where I could grow on my own and develop myself. I think this is one of the best decisions I have made so far in life. I could have stayed in Toledo and worked at the Marathon Classic (for free no thank you). I had interviews with clubs in Montana, Chicago, Long Island, and Westchester. I had said yes to Chicago before taking the Long Island interview. The Chicago club was not offering a full time position after the internship, but it was my best option thus far, not knowing how the Long Island interview would go. After my interview with Meadowbrook that clearly went well, I had a difficult choice to make. Dennis was willing to take a chance on me even though I had no prior hospitality training because I came off very professional and I had gone to a good school (yay BG). So I called Chicago and told him I had decided to take the Long Island offer because it had the potential to lead to a full time position. Chicago was frustrated but understood. This was one of my first big kid decisions. Choosing BG was a no brainer. It felt like home. This choice was different. I definitely made the right one.
I had never been to New York before deciding to move there. It just felt right. I had always loved everything about it from what I saw on TV. My face lit up as soon as we hit the GW bridge (even with all of the traffic) when I saw the skylight. I had never seen anything like it. I had visited Chicago in college but New York, it's something different. It's a different feeling for me. The buildings cover your entire view. We arrived at the club (my dad and I) and were welcomed by Frank, one of the assistant managers at the time. It's hard to explain this but you know the feeling you get when you first see and experience something? That feeling was on steroids. I was in a completely new environment, pulled up to a mansion of a clubhouse where I'd be living, and there's a Lamborghini, a Bentley, and a Porsche all parked next to one another in the parking lot. Where did I just move to?
We move all of our stuff into room 007 ;) (college all over again!). Honestly, I didn't mind the small room. It was enough (and free). I also acquired a new skill of moving furniture to optimize a room. I'm really good at it now. I look out my window and can see the putting green and the first tee. This is gonna be sweet.
When I tell you everything was free, I mean it. Rent, lunch, toilet paper. I would walk down 3 flights of stairs to work (would often be asked how the traffic was on them). If you didn't know, Long Island is famous for its traffic. I lived on the former Senior Open course. Short of Winged Foot, was the nicest course I've ever played to this day (more on the Winged Foot day later :)) I definitely didn't play as much as I could have but I did get out a good amount my first two years. I think the most memorable thing was the driving range either alone or hitting with Mitch, Naden, or Dave. You could see the entire front 9 from the range, it was just a beautiful view. It was also a place to talk about life while doing something we loved.
I don't know if it's my generation or if I wasn't listening completely in college, but for some reason I thought my first big kid job I would be "managing" right out of the gate. HAHAHA! O my naive Kyle. Look out for the next post titled, "Self Development Design 1: Why I say I was "Raised" in New York Part 2" coming next week where I share the reality of what my first career job the first year actually looked like.