I will apologize for leaving everybody hanging as this post is long overdue. You can attribute the tardiness to my doing what the majority of recent college graduates do post university life: mooch off of their parents. Because of my lack of responsibilities however, I am able to take some time to reflect on my journey as well as thank everyone who made it a possibility.
After bicycling around 1800 miles, hitchhiking, camping, staying with strangers and all the rest we made it to Wrigley Field. The plan has been from the beginning to sneak some of my brother’s ashes onto the field and spread them there as those were his wishes. While this isn’t exactly allowed, I don’t think it is an action that would really affect anyone. Admitting guilt to breaking the rules on the internet is definitely not the most intelligent action I could partake in however, I doubt my actions were anything significant enough to rouse the higher ups within the Cubs organization. So yes, I hid some Michael dust in my pocket and spread him around different parts of the stadium while we were on a tour. Knowing my brother, I think he would have been happy to know that his remains were snuck in as he was never one to follow the rules to begin with. As there were quite a bit of ashes (very surprising considering my brother was a twig), I wasn’t able to sneak all of him in there. So the rest went into Lake Michigan next to the Adler Planetarium where you could see the Chicago skyline. I think he would have been cool with it.
Most people suck. If you have spent a decent amount of time with me this is something you have probably heard me say. I have been repeatedly called pessimistic by friends and family (to which I always sarcastically reply that I am not pessimistic, I am realistic and there’s a difference). Of course, I have always been impartial towards the people I spend my time with. They don’t suck, it is everyone else. Seeing the world around me, it seems like this place is flooded with crazy lunatics that want to drag everyone else down. Because of this, I allowed my pessimism to blind me to the fact that this is clearly not the case.
This trip would not have been accomplishable without the help of a tremendous amount of people. Without listing names, I would like to say thank you while also thanking in particular the many strangers that helped us along the way. Numerous individuals have commented about these “chance” occurrences with others who decided to extend a helping hand. Looking back, I can see that these were not chance occurrences at all. I have no doubt that had we gone a different route we would have ran into others who would have been more than happy to offer us assistance. It was not fate that we happened to encounter amazing people in every place we visited. There are just a considerable amount of nice people in this world and we met a few of them.
The phrase, “pay it forward” comes to mind and I have heard it thrown around a couple of times by people on this trip. I realized that I am not a huge fan of the term. It makes it seem like I am in debt to someone else because they helped me and I don’t want to simply repay a debt. I would rather reflect the kindness and generosity that has been demonstrated toward me because I know that there are others out there who will appreciate it. The altruism of others that I have witnessed recently has opened up my eyes. Both Max and I experienced an astronomical amount of love from friends, family and strangers in an abbreviated time frame. I can only hope that I am able to replicate a fraction of this kindness in my entire life.
Before I left, I wondered if I would have some sort of enlightening experience. I think I have and it is pretty simple (it just took me a little longer to figure it out). I don’t know if it is quite the insightful, profound realization I expected but it is by far the most important thing that I learned over the past month and a half. Does this world have a bunch of crazy lunatics in it? Of course it does. But there are a lot of good people too.
“I understand what you’re saying, and your comments are valuable, but I’m gonna ignore your advice.”
- Mr. Fox