Author Archives: Robert Nurisio COVT

A Milestone, A Homecoming, and Coffee

Just so you know, I set my alarm an hour earlier than normal to be sure I’d have enough time to finish this post this morning. It’s that important to me. As it just so happens, this is my 500th post on this blog; a milestone I share with pride, to be sure. I have always tried to keep things interesting and informative, from the Sit Downs to the musings of my time in patient care, and my hope is you have occasionally found it in such a way. This has been a wonderful journey, and my hope is for it to continue in the future!

Speaking of my VT journey, my particular path has taken many different twists and turns. November of 2019 will mark my 20th anniversary in Vision Therapy. Twenty years ago I was a 24 year old kid who Dr. Carole Hong graciously hired and attempted to train in the wonders of visual development. Since that time, I’ve changed cities three times, and changed offices twice as much. You’re probably thinking I have a tough time keeping a job, and you’re right, but probably not for the reasons you’d suspect. I’ve worked for and been welcomed by some amazing doctors, and together, we have shared in our growth. Personally, my life has always been about raising and supporting my kids, and after divorce, circumstances dictated moving from city to city in pursuit of being the best father I could. It’s been a journey, and the sacrifices I’ve made for them have been great, but without a doubt they remain my number one focus and my greatest source of pride. My daughter will soon be leaving for college and my son has high school on his horizon. They are well on their way, and I look forward to seeing what type of adults they will become!

I share all of this because for a long time I’ve wanted nothing more than to return to my homeland – San Francisco – which remained a pipe dream until recently. I left in January 2002 and for many reasons, have only been back a handful of times since. In that time, the city has changed, my siblings have grown into their own entities, and my parents have reached their golden years. Life has gone on without my presence, while my yearnings have continually drawn my dreams to that place.  After recently completing my time as a travelling Vision Therapist in Chattanooga, I found myself in an all too familiar position; needing a job. While there was and is fill-in type work here locally in Austin, I wanted something more permanent, something solid.  I shared with a few friends I was considering moving back to San Francisco if I could get my stars to align…and they did.  Within a week, word got back to Dr. Hong that I was considering a return to my homeland and she graciously decided to reach out. I received an email from asking if my desire to return to California was genuine, which I confirmed. We had a few conversations, both in email and over the phone, and have organized what I can only describe as an amazing and exciting homecoming. Nearly twenty years after Dr. Hong took a chance on me, we will be once again joining forces. Not to be left out of my excitement, Dr. Susan Kim, whose office is 30 miles away from Dr. Hong, also reached out looking for experienced Vision Therapists and we have agreed to collaborate on a part time basis. The excitement and anticipation I feel in joining both these offices in the land where I grew up is almost overwhelming. My only wish is there were enough superlatives in my vocabulary to adequately translate my excitement through this medium. Obviously, this move will mean leaving my kids in Austin while I move to California. Before agreeing to anything with Dr. Hong or Dr. Kim, my kids and I had a long conversation about this transition and they both were extremely understanding. They are both old enough to travel alone and are both brimming with independence, so they view this an another opportunity to spread their wings.  Much to my surprise, they not only encouraged me to make this move, they expressed an understanding of my desire to be closer to my family and in a city that I love. With the wonders of FaceTime, social media, and air travel (it still amazes me we can sit in a chair six miles above the earth while travelling 500mph…and survive!) our bond will remain strong, although through different means. My kids have grown into strong and solid individuals with great hearts filled with compassion, love and understanding; a fact I hold in a very prideful light.

So, all this to say come Labor Day weekend my transition to California will begin. While others are barbecuing and enjoying a libation or two, I’ll be loading up my U-Haul and heading west. I’ll spend a few weeks getting established and the job of changing lives will pick up soon after. I’m excited. I’m thrilled. I’m grateful. I’m humbled. I hopeful for an amazing future.

The title of this post is “A Homecoming, A milestone, and Coffee”. I’ve shared information about the milestone and the homecoming. Guess what’s next…


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