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Saturday, Sep 8, 2007 from Chicago, Illinois
Posted: Sep 8, 2007 | 424 words | 2 Comments
Today I will return to Michigan for the first time, exactly one year after leaving my home state. I have had a lot of feelings in my life, but nothing so quintessential as this. I am humbled and speechless about what has happened in this last year. Well, I guess I cant be that speechless if I’m writing something about it. I guess what it has done is open my eyes and given me more experience than I could have ever imagined.
For as long as I know I’ll be asking “Why me?” and “How did this even happen?” To deserve such an adventure leaves me speechless. To be quite frank, I have experienced more of this country in just one year than most do in their entire lives, yet I’m only 24 years old. It’s quite remarkable really. Very few people have the experience of being flown to NYC to be on a national TV show. Very few people have the opportunity of sponsorship from one of the best-known car companies in the world. Somehow, reasons I can’t explain, this all happened to me.
This hardly begins to describe my experience. To have someone who I have only known for 15 or 20 minutes hand me a $100 bill is something I could have never imagined. That doesn’t happen to just everyone, not to mention on more than one occasion. And then there are moments where people have extended a hand stating, “I’m just honored to meet you and shake your hand”. Like I said, I don’t know how this all came about, but it did.
All in all, I’m going to have a hard time stepping down from this cloud. This country has opened it’s arms and shown me an amazing experience. I can assure people that the American Dream is still alive. In addition to that I can assure everyone of the kindness of strangers. At the end of the day (or year for that matter), I have a lot of people to thank, from taking a stranger into their homes or handing me a single dollar bill, and of course those who had faith in a big dream.
It was over two years ago this big idea and trip came to my mind and there was no predicting where it would go. It has been a collective effort and to everyone, I must say “Thank you!” The American people have given me the greatest year I could imagine. Now, it’s time to head back to Michigan where it all began.
Comment by Kristi Sauer
From Hugo, MN
Congratulations, Justin!!! This has been an amazing trip and you should be so proud at what you have accomplished! I can't wait to buy the book ;)Thank goodness you've blogged it all so that it has been fully documented! I am sure you haven't yet figured out "what's next", but I hope you continue to blog and keep in touch with everyone!
Comment by Deb (Jen's Mom)
From East Leroy, MI
Welcome back Bugsy! I've really enjoyed reading your blogs and seeing the pictures. I loved the latest ones about Rice & hearing about his surprise visit home!