Day 61 - The Power of the Human Spirit

Trip Start May 18, 2008
Trip End Jul 17, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Maryland
Friday, July 18, 2008

Day 61

This would end up being the last day of my trip as I planned on leaving today to get back home for good. I got up this morning at Anna's place and we had morning coffee and conversation. This morning's topic was education. Anna had started a small non-profit with her good friend Rachel (also Joanie's good friend) called LinkEducation. This organization was formed so that schools, educators, educational agencies, and the like could be united under a forum of communication and networking. Anna started this project not too long ago with Rachel and this have taken off. I was so impressed with their amazing ambition to create a network like this so that those who previously didn't have access to information or contact with educational organizations now have it. The noble vision of building those bridges for people, especially youth, to take advantage of opportunities in society was extremely encouraging to me. We talked a lot about the issues our American society has with education and planning for it. I threw into the mix the study of languages and we got to some core issues that plague our system for young students. It's nice to think that women like Anna are starting to build a vision and take action to transform society. She is transforming society.

Over coffee, she told me that she was scheduled to be making an acceptance speech for this grant that they were awarded. She had to make a presentation about "Rediscovering Your Heart". While we laughed at her circumstance, I thought it was great that she was getting somewhere with the kind of work she really cares about. I let her know that any kind of help I could be to her non-profit, I'm willing to put the effort in to help. Anna was meeting a friend for brunch so it was time for me to go. To go home. I said my goodbyes to Anna by the Brooklyn subway station. But I had to get my car in Queens at Uzuri's place. With my stuff on me. It's quite a ride to where Uzuri's house was in Queens but at least I only had to take one train. Once I got off the train, it was quite a walk from there... one last challenging situation for me to get through to mark my trip. I schleped this gear for almost 20 minutes to Uzuri's house to claim my car. It was tough but I'm glad I had to do it. It almost seemed fitting that that was one of my final challenging tasks to get back home. I drive.

This drive is a familiar one, once I got passed Brookyln. I took Staten Island to New Jersey and back on the Jersey Turnpike back home, but not before getting stuck in some traffic in Brooklyn. Once passed, the familiar scenery and drive put me at ease throughout. Once I entered Maryland, I stopped and got myself the last state highway map that I'd claim on this trip. The welcome center was also handing out these mini Orioles schedules. I took one for good measure to get the taste of the Chicago Cubs out of my system. I arrived back at my house after the 4 hour drive, and after 2 months of being away from it. My brother, Eric, stood outside. Everything was back to normal. He gave me a head nod as he continued to talk on the cell phone outside. I was greeted by those inside with a simple, "Oh good, you're home." I thought, neat. Because I didn't expect a huge homecoming from my family, I knew that the meaning of this life-changing trip I just took would be in how I'd live my life from this point forward. In that sense, the real adventure is just beginning...

"'What kind of future do I envision for myself? What kind of self am I trying to develop? What do I want to accomplish in my life?' The thing is to paint this vision of your life in your heart as specifically as possible. That 'painting' itself becomes the design of your future. The power of the heart enables us to actually create with our lives a wonderful masterpiece in accordance with that design."
- Daisaku Ikeda

I had such a fortunate opportunity to come across, become friends with, and share dialogue with many new faces across the country. I won't ever forget the people I met on this trip, the places I went, nor the things I learned for they'll stick with me and truly are a part of life history now. I once heard that an adventure means to challenge creating a path into new worlds. When we discover these new worlds in our lives and make them a part of ourselves, we can't help but notice that the realm of our lives are expanding as we experience.

"One thing is certain: That is that the power of belief, the power of thought, will move reality in the direction of what we believe and conceive of it. If you really believe you can do something, you can. That is a fact."
- Daisaku Ikeda

Miles driven today: 220.0mi

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