Epic Unexpected Detour

When I first arrived in Gainesville I was taken in by it’s beauty. It is referred to as a city but I would call it a large town. Entering the town from the south you are greeted by large open fields that intermingle with deep dense woods. The woods are lush green pine that stand side by side with oak. When you look into them you get the feeling that they want to stay untouched. They hang a natural sign that reads, ‘enter at your own risk.’ I have fallen in love with the trees of the south. They have this long grey moss that hangs from them, giving me the feeling of being in movies of my childhood such as “Stand By Me”. They are so beautiful with a touch of haunting. As I am driving in with Meg I am also feeling huge relief. Her friendly presence and openness puts me at ease an I know I have nothing to worry about for at least the evening. She explains to me that her house is a hostel of sorts and that she always has people coming and going. She explains that she has band practice for a few hours; but I am welcome to shower and do laundry. The day prior I was freakin’ out as to how I would get out of Miami and now I was six hours north and about to take a hot shower and have a bed to sleep in. One of the biggest lessons I have learned on this trip is not focus on what I don’t have, rather be thankful for ALL that I have in this very moment, and really, that is all I need. I think hard about what I truly want to happen, I visualize it, and then I release it into the universe. In training my mind to think this way I have REALIZED the power my mind has to attract and manifest what I desire. I have the ability to be the creator or the destroyer of my experience here in this life. Positive thought will create and cultivate my dreams. Knowing myself and having faith in my INFINITE abilities allows me to move towards my next goal in full confidence without fear. When I doubt myself or am not being truthful with myself in moving towards MY DREAMS and MY LIFE’S PURPOSE things quickly begin to get negative and roll back down the mountain I just struggled to climb. In the spirit of the last few lines I want to share a quote from a book I started reading yesterday “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. “When someone sees the same people every day, as had happened with him at the seminary, they wind up becoming a part of that person’s life. And they want the person to change. If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. EVERYONE SEEMS TO HAVE A CLEAR IDEA OF HOW OTHER PEOPLE SHOULD LEAD THEIR LIVES, BUT NONE ABOUT HIS OR HER OWN.” True statement! Another lesson I have learned on this journey. A lot of people in my life knew nothing about this journey until I was already on it. I knew people would have something negative to say about it, and it wouldn’t be that way because their own fear and lack of trust in themselves. When I told my parents and my close friends, the majority of them thought I was crazy and foolish. Those same people are now telling me that I did the right thing FOR ME. Lesson learned: no one else can live your life for you. No one else can go out and achieve your dreams for you; so why in F would you listen to anyone else’s opinion on how you should live your life? Follow YOUR heart! Follow the messages that the universe and YOUR soul are feeding you and YOU can not go wrong!
The following day I woke up feeling full of life and energy. I was not worried about the next day only what adventure I was going to get in that day. Meg is a vegan, I made my first set of vegan pancakes, man! Swapping apple sauce for eggs makes em bomb dot com! After breakfast I hopped on goggle to search for free museums in town. The Museum of Natural History on the UF campus was the ticket. I hopped on Meg’s husbands bike and headed out. The museum was a awesome experience. There was a lot of Native American exhibits from where and how they lived to how they carved their canoes (I now have a new bucket list project). My patients were tested by ignorance. I felt so connected to the exhibit and the proud people the exhibit portrayed. A father was walking with his very young daughter. He was not reading off the prescribed plaque and thus giving completely wrong info. And then standing in front of a tribal scene he told his daughter, “the sound that “Indians” make is woo hoo hoo.” Something ignited in me an I became quickly furious. I wanted to blow up on him and explain how wrong it was for him to pass on ignorant thoughts to his daughter. It wouldn’t have been good for any of us. I put my head phones in and walked away. Later in the exhibit I read a plaque that blew me away. It explained how the Europeans came over and destroyed a culture, enslaved prior free peaceful people, and wiped them out with the disease that they brought with them. I have never seen/read that in a museum, let alone a University museum. I wonder if daddy relayed that message. In short, we all know that horrible things haunt our past. It is important to inform the next generation of these wrongs so that they are not repeated.
I arrived in Gainesville on Wednesday evening and played it mellow the following night. On Friday I ended up at a house party. The people were super welcoming and having a great time. I tried to make rounds and talk with everyone. After about an hour Racheal showed up. We were introduced and there was a instant connection based off of creativity. We talked late into the night over vodka/hawaiian punch cocktails. Racheal is a intensely focused artist who is three days away from having a Masters Degree in Fine Arts neatly tucked in her back pocket. Super intelligent, interesting woman who is secure in herself and her thoughts about this life. We momentarily parted ways an I ended up back in Meg’s hammock. The next evening Meg was playing a show at the Jam. She was guest playing the Alto Sax in “Morning Fatty” horn section, as well as spinning fire through one song. The Jam is one of the best music venues I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. The bar is indoors an the stage is outside. I felt like I was in a friends large backyard. There was a huge bonfire going on an lights strung up from huge tree to huge tree. It was basically a sick house party with close friends I had never met. Everyone was super mellow and very friendly and open for conversation. Hands down one of the best live music experiences of my life. I highly recommend you check out ” Morning Fatty” on Youtube.
The following day I spent a beautiful lazy day in the hammock talking with new friends enjoying stories and the moment. I was feeling incredibly recharged and ready to continue on my way with in the next day or two. Then Monday rolls around and Racheal calls me. She says she is supposed to go to class, but wants to know if I would be down to ditch with her and roll to the beach. No questions asked, ‘lets ride out!’ It was a awesome day that ended with meeting her brother James. The conversation and the laughs we shared made a instant connection. As we left I reached out for a hand shake and James pulled me in with a hug. He told me, “Anytime you are in Florida you are welcome at my home.” It swelled my heart so much to hear that and it felt real and unforced. On our way home Racheal told me about a big art installation that she was working on. It is the last project she has to complete in order to attain her Masters. She told me that she had posted ads on craigslist trying to enlist people to help her for ten bucks an hour. Racheal asked if I would be interested. No hesitation, ” hell ya, but I am not taking any money.” I was so jazzed to be apart of this momentous situation. For one I have never worked in a working art studio. Second it was to help a new friend get her degree!!!! The amount of creativity that flows from this woman 24/7 is ridiculous. I was nom stop inspired from our conversations an to be able to be engulfed in that creativity. I could not pass up the opportunity. Plans to leave got put on hold.
For the next five days Racheal and I put in lots of hours at the studio, bouncing ideas off each other and having a amazing time constructing and forming this massive installation. The experience further inspired me to get to NYC asap an to put all my energy and efforts toward building and manifesting my creation, that being my first book. It all culminated with opening night at the gallery. That whole week all we did was focus to create. And to see all the people taken with the installation and how it brought inquisitive smiles to their faces was further inspiration. I had my second encounter with James, he came down to support his sister. I was excited to see him again forsure. After the opening we piled into his car to go celebrate. One of the first songs he plays is 93′ Till Infinity by Hieroglyphics. Man! I knew we were brothers from another mother. That night we all celebrated, conversated, drank, and danced the night away. It makes going out for a cocktail level ten when you have something special to celebrate. Racheal’s degree is as good as tucked in that back pocket!!!!
Gainesville, Florida was not supposed to be. It was no where in my travel plans and I did not expect to be here. It has been one of the best most inspiring portions of my journey and I am beyond grateful.
I have the end of the journey in my sights and it is bitter sweet. Since yesterday afternoon I have been on a beautiful emotional roller coaster. I have a lot more to write but I am going to save it for maƱana. Stay tuned! I love you all with all my heart! Thank you for all of your beautiful thoughts and words. Remember, everyday that you wake up you the ability to change your life for every. It only takes a willingness to trust in yourself and your infinite abilities! To all of the incredible people I have met here in Gainesville that have become life long friends, wow, I am so thankful for each and everyone of you! Jan get that website up and running and I will throw it up on the blog! LOVE!