Kissimmee, FL - October 2014
5YJ - 9 months
Like yesterday, yet an eternity. These memories, these stories. Priceless. We’ve only just begun. Thank you.
Kissimmee, FL - October 2014
Life is like an entree of food. You bring ingredients together - people, places, experiences. Those ingredients can go really bad together or they can go so-so or sometimes, if you’re really lucky, those ingredients can go perfect together. I’m lucky enough to be able to say that while some of the ingredients of my life haven’t worked out so well, I’ve gotten to the point of getting it right or quickly making it right most of the time.
You have to experiment in the kitchen. Try out different recipes and ingredients and make it work best for what you want. I learned that from my grandmother. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but you don’t give up trying. Once you get it right, you know you got it right and you don’t usually change it so much. You move on to experimenting and making another dish your own. It’s an art. It really is. It’s an art that I’ve learned to love.
One of my favorite dishes that I prepare is meatloaf. It’s not my favorite dish to make or even my favorite dish to eat, but almost everyone that has ever tried the meatloaf, loved it. So, it’s my go to dish to share. (my favorite dish to prepare is beef stroganoff. It takes more time and attention and ingredients. It’s a special dish for me, something that I rarely prepare tho.)
When I know my chance and time to prepare something in the kitchen is coming, I look forward to it, I love it. I get to share something that I created, something that I personally have tasted and loved. That’s special. Then to share that meal with people and to be able to sit around that very meal and realize that it’s bringing you together, it doesn’t matter what your’e doing while sharing the meal, you’re together with other people and that’s perfection. Food, homemade meals bring us together.
Thankfully, I was able to share some meatloaf with Paul before the end of my stay in Kissimmee. That was special for me. He bought the food of course (I think I had like $4 in my wallet at this point, ha) and then I put the ingredients together and we made it work. Good stuff. Always enjoy sharing something I love - cooking, while on the journey. Not to mention the grocery shopping for the ingredients…I love love love grocery shopping. Ha. It’s cool to see how different stores across the country (and maybe eventually across the world) are set up and to see what people are buying. It’s cool thing. I’ve learned to appreciate it so much more while on 5YJ.
Was a great meal (the mashed potatoes ended up a bit runny for my liking, but hey, what can ya do? ha) day. :)
(sorry, not photos of the meatloaf…I know, what kinda person writes about something without taking photos of it…This kind. haha.)
Throwing it back on Wednesday. Creative minds can only go so long without creating. It’s our purpose to create. When not fulfilling that purpose or working towards fulfilling that purpose, we are lost. It is a part of us. We don’t need pay to do it, we do it because we love creating and sharing what we create. I find happiness in creating. I’m looking forward to continuing creating while on the journey and hopefully including the people that I meet in those creations. If we meet and you’d like to be a part of/collaborate on a creation with me, let me know. I’m totally down for it. :)
Biscuits & gravy for dinner! Yummmm! @lilpatdagod did great! :)
Kissimmee, FL - September 2014
Yay showing @lilpatdagod how to make my biscuits with sausage and bacon gravy. He’s never really cooked before. This is such a fun experience. Loving teaching him. Looking forward to being the first to try his cooking. 😋
Kissimmee, FL - September 2014
But I thought every day was International Coffee Day?!? Oh well. :)
Did you have your coffee today???
With deciding to drop the Smugmug site and focus on moving everything to one site, I had to spend a lot of time moving every photo taken on 5YJ to 5yearjourney.com. It was a long process, too long. But it’s done finally. They’re all over at 5yearjourney.com/galleries .
I wish I could say that the worst part was moving the photos and having to wait for them to upload, but no that wasn’t the worst part. The worst part was going through them and getting stuck reminiscing about all the people that I’ve met along the way, the experiences that we’ve shared, and their individual stories that got them to whatever point in life that they’ve found themselves in.
This 9 months alone have changed my life more so than any other 9 month time period in my life, ever. It has been the most intense 9 months that I’ve ever experienced. Hell, we could have had a baby (or at least tried) by now.
Two of the most common questions that I get is “What has been the best part of the journey so far?” and “What has been the worst part?”
It’s hard to narrow either down to one instance a piece. Overall the experience has been something amazing and way beyond anything I would have ever expected it to be and it’s all due to the amazing people that I’ve met along the way. Sure some people had some bad intentions with inviting me into their homes, but that’s to be expected. For the most part, the people have stepped up and wanted to be a part of this crazy idea that I had sitting in room in Brooklyn - an idea to travel around and meet people where they are, have some experiences together, share stories, and come closer together. These people didn’t know me before I arrived. They not only accepted me into their homes, they not only were a part of 5-Year Journey, they allowed me to be a part of theirs. They opened their lives up to me and shared things with me that they sometimes didn’t even feel comfortable sharing with friends and family. That means the world to me. I am honored.
So yeah, it was ridiculously hard having to go through those photos and relive those memories. It brought me back to those places with people that I’ve met along the way. And yes, I thought, “Damn, I wish I could spend a little bit more time with them.” on many occasions while going through the photos. And in reality, there were times that I thought, “I hope I never see that person again.”. Lol. Gotta be real. Some people are easier to get along with than others. Haha. That’s a reality for all of us. Sometimes we just don’t click. That’s life. I’d be lying if I said that I clicked with every single person I’ve ever met. It’s not possible.
The experience of going through those photos was emotionally draining. I was sad about it, but in the best of ways. I look at the experiences over the last 9 months and realize that there are (at least) another 4 years and 3 months of these experiences left. If I live to see them. And anything can happen. What I can say is that regardless of when this is all done, the people that I’ve met (even the bad experiences…I learn from them, too.) have enriched my life and hopefully the lives of others. My life has been full, I have lived it to the fullest. The photos and the writing only capture a small portion of what I’ve experienced, but regardless of the piece that’s been written or the moment captured, they all bring me back - they’re all stories in their own right.
I feel great about being able to move all the photos here, but I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t concerned at least a little bit about 5yearjourney.com. The due date (November 20th) for the annual bill for the site is coming soon. It’s $191 and I have no idea how I would manage to cover the cost of it. I am to a point where I know that everything will work out as it should and if 5yearjourney.com needs to go away, it will. Whatever happens will be for the best. I will then turn full focus to living the experience and just sharing on social networks and in books as I go.
Enough about that tho. The amazing people, the places, the experiences we share. That’s where it’s at.
If you see me coming, say hi and maybe offer to meet. Let’s get out and explore the world together, create some experiences, share some stories. That’s what 5YJ is all about. See ya out there!