On the bus to NYC

May 13 (posted later) - One week before my 47th birthday, I have left my home and family and departed on a new adventure. I sit on a Shortline bus within recent college graduates who face similar uncertainty but I know I have an army of support behind me.

My wife Tricia sends me off making me promise that I'll come back home at the end of the summer, fearful that this may be the beginning of a life-changing career move that will entice me to move the family to NYC.

My children, all in their teens, have their own lives and my departure is more about how it may or may not impact their routines. Sure, they'll miss me, They'll visit me. Ultimately, they are supportive and just want to know where they'll be sleeping when they visit (air mattresses) and how they might need to be involved with this undertaking. 

The "this" that I hope to write about is ever-evolving. This middle-aged, white, Christian, heterosexual, able-bodied, cis-gender male considers himself a diversity educator. And I continue to ask myself my role to play in this ever-changing, polarizing, complex world. While others like me may struggle identifying their privilege and how to navigate all such awkwardness, I come to the conversation with my own unique approach...

I BUILD SUPERHEROES.

By "build," yes, I do often lead a cute little craft activity where children make their own action figure complete with capes and bendy arms but that is not what I'm talking about...

I mean I seek to uplift, inspire, embolden, or make the INvisible - EXTRAvisible.

Over the past dozen years, I've recruited college students to use the popularity of superheroes and the accessibility of really simple art-making to invite people into often difficult, uncomfortable conversations in a way that is.....well, fun. Yes, topics such as poverty, violence, racism, and oppression should never be called "fun." So let me rephrase, we find moments of joy in bridging the gap between people who have been told they are in opposition. 

Meeting people different from oneself. Sharing a smile. Painting a tile. Empathizing with another's struggle. laughing. building. making...learning...joyful. 

I hope to keep writing and keep spreading joy. 

Keep reading as I meet and hopefully introduce you to some new heroes for New York and the world. 

Dan NapolitanoComment