I met the most charming young lady today. I’m all the better for having made her acquaintance. She reminded me of the days when I felt passionate enough about something to forge ahead into a seemingly impossible task and damn the consequences. It renews my faith in today’s youth. She’s four months into a trek from the east coast and tomorrow morning she begins the leg into what can reasonably be called the most inhospitable territory for an exposed person to be in. Miles and miles of high plains desert, until the mountains. Not a journey for the timid. But that’s not what she talks about. She talks about the kindness of strangers she meets along the way. This is clearly as much about finding her inner peace and joy as it is about meeting and overcoming the challenges of life. I’m going to do an impromptu interview of sorts with her later via e-mail to flesh out what she wants people to know about what she’s doing. So if you see her along the way, stop and say hello, she’d love to meet you.
Several hours later: Aubrey is kind enough to tell part of her story.
Me: Where did you start? /Where will you end up?
Aubrey: I started in Brooklyn, NY and will end up in LA.
Me: What’s in store when you finish?
Aubrey: When I finish I hope to be in Los Angeles in time to watch the Dodgers play because I am a die hard baseball fan. I also plan to finish writing my book and submit it for publishing.
Me: What have your learned about yourself on this adventure?
Aubrey: I have so much more to give others than I ever thought possible simply by opening my heart and breaking down my walls that have prevented me from receiving the love and acceptance I have always yearned for my entire life.
Me: What’s your most memorable memory in life not including the trip?
Aubrey: My favorite memory in life not about the trip is a tough one because I’m a passionate person. One of my favorite memories is when I first stepped foot in New York City at the age of 17. It was the middle of the summer in 1998. I walked out of Port Authority on the corner of 42nd St and 8th Ave all by myself with nothing but a backpack. The pulse and the chaos of that city thrives in my veins. I didn’t make it two blocks before I watched a cab driver hit a bike messenger with his cab, then proceed to get out and blame the bicyclist for the incident instead of making sure he was okay. Loud cursing and screaming ensued between the two of them. Then the messenger took his bike chain off and slammed it against the hood of the cab. Priceless.
Me: What is your advice to those who have a dream but might not know how to follow through?
Aubrey: My advice to those who wish to pursue their dreams but don’t know how is this. Want it with all your heart, not just for your ego, but for the benefit of your soul and for all of those around you. Allow that desire to fill you until you overflow with love and then let it go. Take steps in the direction you want to go, you do not need to know how, follow your intuition and never doubt yourself and it will lead you down the right path. Most of all, be grateful for every moment, let go of the past and do not overly concern yourself with the future because you will burden yourself unnecessarily. Let go of fear and embrace uncertainty, the only thing in this world that you can control is yourself. When you learn to be mindful and correct negative thought patterns you will be amazed by the number of doors that will open to you.
Me: Any thoughts you want to share that might not make your book?
Aubrey: As far as any thoughts I have to share that might not make my book, well I’m not sure because I haven’t finished it yet. I will say this; I gave away almost everything I owned and left the home that I loved with hardly any money and few belongings because I believe with all my heart that I will make it across an entire continent without a single person trying to do me harm. I believe that if I am kind and open to others that I will experience kindness and openness from others, and I believe that the amount of love a person has to give makes them far more valuable than any thing that I could physically possess. Your perception becomes your reality, and so I have made it this far supported entirely by the kindness of others without a single soul trying to do me harm.