The last couple weeks I have been writing regularly to get some thoughts down how I wanted to approach describing what happened on this trip and why I went. While reading and after finishing "Atlas Shrugged," I started seriously romancing about this trip. How would I actually go about taking it, and when I would was another story. After the "Art Uprise" event I knew it was time for me to take a break. I had the most dynamic year of my life with highs and lows like a roller coaster ride, but managed to make it out positively. It was time to fill the cup back up.
Even up until 10 minutes before the train left my plans had to keep changing due to life circumstances. It happens! But, the agent at the counter was a vet, retiring in 3 days and he hooked me up something special. Everything fell into place and we were off. My goals were to see if this was something I could keep doing (since planes and driving really bother my shoulders), reconnect with Marine buddies after 15 years, continue
building my family relationship, make some art, see a best friend and try to really be in the moment and relax. All of those goals were met, but I received so many more gifts than expected.
I won't drag this out too much since what I viewed, felt and provided during this adventure had the same theme. A belief in hope and real change, but even more than that was love. What I mean is we all shared our energy, beliefs, aspired to connect and wanted to be better. Not just in the moment, but moving forward. There were so many people on the train picking up their lives to just go for it or make a huge change. This is
something I thrive on so I listened to all of them. It was the most inspiring period of time in my life. I think the pictures convey the sense of wanting to connect and the energy I felt during my adventure.
The biggest highlights of the trip...
-painting with kids everyday and realizing I want to be a father
-hanging for 2 days with a young Cajun man that was raw, real, and trying to mend his family
-meeting an older man that is a true friend to his dying friend with cancer
-chatting with a cancer survivor for 2 days who is making the biggest change of her life
-creating art & chatting with Rich while Jake plays guitar watching the sunrise in the Cascades, it didn't look real
-listening to a national champion shuffleboard player and enjoying his simplicity of life
-talking to more individuals of different race, color, age, gender and background than I could imagine
-realizing that this adventure was all my doing and I was right
-watching a woman take a trip really for herself in a long time, and she has had a heck of a ride since crossing the border 20 plus years ago
-hanging out with Sam and being introduced to Kundalini Yoga
-meeting Tej and Russell Brand and feeling connected immediately and then finding out my friend will be working for Russell Brand
-painting with my niece and nephew
-hearing my stepdad say "I love you" for the 1st time
-hanging out with my brother for the day, amazing
-visiting a Marine buddy after 15 years
-hanging out with my sis-in-law and giving her an opportunity
-beautiful sunset and sunrise day after day and seeing America
-Meeting a Vietnamese guy from New Orleans that had it rough, is my age and we had an instant connection
-playing like kids with my brother and nephew
-hiring a young, self-taught photographer for pics to use as references and creating his 1st sale
-amtrak and the crews that work for them
-talking with Charles Barkley’s nephew that is 14 year old stud basketball player that blew me away with his respect at such a young age
-being in L.A. and liking it for the first time since the 90's during the nicest weather ever with the best air quality since the 50's
-becoming life-long friends with a young woman on the train who is joining the Peace Corps taking a
chance to figure herself out, listening to her express her life and then receiving the most amazing thing anyone has ever written to me
-finding true love, it exists
-feeling more inspired with a greater sense of what I want to do with my life
-watching the dynamic of a whole train change in a day or 2, unbelievable
-watching fireworks in San Antonio during New Year's and the Alamo
-discussing with a young man/brother from another mother friend of mine a "Kickstarter Project" that I have mentored for years and it was his idea. Love you Jay
-watching a book of my life close, while another one starts
-meeting Charlie a young man that will fight for this earth till his dying day, and sharp as a tack
-and meeting Justin on the last day. he is the finest young man I have ever met and 18, so far...
My mind is blown! I wish all of you love, peace and energy to find what it is you are looking for. Feed your soul so you can give it to others. The time is now! Everyone have a wonderful night, we are all connected…
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.