This week was my Leaversary! 40 years ago at the age of 18 I decided I needed to leave the Bruderhof and struck off on my own with one month’s rent and $50. I had started tech school in Pittsburgh and had arranged for financial aid so that was covered. That first weekend I walked to the nearest intersection and got a job at Penguini’s Pizzeria washing pots. I was cut off from my parents, childhood friends and the life I had known where I thought I would live out my days. It was exciting, scary and very lonely. I had to create a completely new life with different values and culture – music, movies, TV. I was suddenly exposed to all of the 60s and 70s rock and roll in a single day! Wow!! I watched a lot of bad sitcom reruns and learned some of the wrong things. It took me three years to kiss a girl and immediately confessed that I loved her! It was our first date and she never went out with me again. I have to laugh at that now. It took a few more years and plenty of mistakes but eventually I met the right girl, went back to school, became a doctor, had children, paid my debts and now am able to reach back and help others navigate the same path. Cheers to everyone willing to risk it all and strike out on your own. I and many others are here to help if you just ask.