Conclusion of the Millennial Trains Project Ride

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Yesterday concluded the 2014 PDX > NYC trip with the Millennial Trains Project, a nonprofit that organizes cross-country train rides for young entrepreneurs, innovators, and creative types.

In the coming weeks, there are many things I will share with you and the world from the trip. I transformed as a person: I felt the difference as soon as I got off the bus in Washington, DC, where I’ve lived for nearly 3 years. I carry a new confidence, a more balanced self-love, a deeper humility. My heart has grown ten- or fifty-fold, and my spirit has begun to molt. There is no doubt in my mind about the power and the positivity of the Divine.

I owe every last quote, picture, and growth spurt to the contributors who supported my crowdfunding campaign. Thank you; this is for you.

I’ve got to process and to write, but for now, check out a preliminary photo set I put together of 15 of the coolest pics I took on the trip: it’s here.

Another poem

Let’s call it “Bummed-Out Afternoons”.

Gone forever are those afternoons;
Gone forever, the chicken strips
I ate through tears, sobs and weaknesses;
Gone forever are the poems,
The Spanish epics and the
South American cuentos;
The A’s I got when A’s were all that mattered;
The teenaged cloying heart I carried.

Gone forever is the purity of my impurities,
The innocence to self-awareness.
Gone forever — those bummed-out afternoons,
Sleeping myself into a stupor,
Crying,
Crying more and more often than ever before.

Gone forever is each night as I live it;
Gone forever, the words I never said,
Likewise the ones I wish I hadn’t.
Gone forever, my life as I have lived it;
Here to stay, the memories that chase me.

Long were those balmy spring afternoons,
Those wired summer nights alone,
Those hard-pressed winter days,
Those bang-up autumn moments.

Where will my heart go now,
What life is there left for me to live?
What feeling more real and more raw
Than that unconscious adolescent roar?

 

– j.e.

Cold and rainy days

Cold and rainy days: they’re made for cuddling, for tea, for blankets and for movies. I’ve been championing the cause of watching all of VICE News‘s documentaries recently, whether the weather’s been good or bad, because I’ve been sick. But today I’m back in the office, braving the unseasonal cold between the train station and the building, and I can’t think of anything but a bed and a fireplace.

Everything in due time…

For the readers, I say, take this as a lesson in being true. If you can, be true to yourself. Just do it. Go cuddle. Now. Cuddle for those of us who can’t. Cuddle hard.

Digging through the old stuff

Astrology has been up in my grill recently. It’s partially because I’ve made new friends who are into that stuff, and partially because apparently the astrology itself has been bonkers. Mars in mothafuckin’ retrograde wreaked some hilarity in my life a couple months ago; now this cardinal who’s-y what’s-it with the planets and shit is blowing my mind, taking me on journeys through the past. Some of them are full of terror. Some of them are not so bad.

Check this haiku I wrote in April 2012 (yes, I just happen to have turned to that section of an old journal by coincidence):

 

Love is The Unknown.
The mind is a kangaroo.
Just bounce on my heart.

 

I think this is important because I so often question the validity of my thoughts and my creations. But I like this haiku. I probably thought it was totally stupid when I wrote it. And it might in fact be totally stupid. To someone else. But I think it is nice and true.

My Dreamscape Is Weird

Hi.

I’ve been given some very odd dreams lately. The realm my sleeping mind has occupied has been weird and uncharacteristically rich. I recently issued a series of tweets describing a dream in which Google annexed the moon (like, our moon) and announced the acquisition on cable television at 2 a.m.

It was a cool dream. I think I’m going to write a short story from it. Colors featured prominently in it — the moon was orange, but everything else felt blue and silver — and, just, what’s cooler than such a vivid, emotionally jarring scenario like that? The most potent part of the dream was really that when I woke up, I felt that I wouldn’t be surprised if Google really did take the moon one day. THey could.

This wasn’t the only recent dream that I emerged from not knowing if it was real or not. The other night, maybe Saturday night, I dreamt of an illicit love affair I’ve longed for for years now. Shit was coming to a head, emotionally and physically, and we were at some kind of ultimatum. I didn’t know what choice to make. It was like the choice between marriage or ending it altogether — one extreme, or the other.

Amazingly enough, a friend came to me a few days later asking for advice on a very similar situation. Except his isn’t a dream.

So maybe Google really will take the moon soon.

Here’s hoping for much more weirdness tonight. My brain is awesome and I love the things it tells me.

What’s the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?

How to Leave a Peruvian Girl

You may have to do it more than once.
You may have to do it more tenderly than you originally planned.
(You may fail at this.)

You may have to kiss her very sweetly,
Even as you remind her
It just isn’t working.
You may end up kissing quite deeply.

She might take your hands in hers
And put one in her hair.
She may tell you that she loves you;
She may say it many times.

She’ll say it in Spanish,
She’ll throw it down in English,
She’ll say it on the way between biting your neck
And kissing your ear.

She may act like she doesn’t understand you or hear you
When you tell her she can’t stay.
She won’t listen.
Then again, you won’t repeat yourself.

You may begin to doubt your resolve;
You may consider giving it one more go,
Or yet another go.
You’ll wonder for the thousandth time what might’ve been.

– J.E. sometime in October or November

What it feels like to have run a successful crowdfunding campaign

HOLY CRAP.

I came up with the idea for Rose Petal Pathways back in November, when I was spending some time meditating on where to focus my energies in life. At the time, I was pretty bored and pretty sick of feeling like an underachiever. I wanted to add a little extracurricular excitement to my daily pursuits, and I also wanted to stop wondering when I’d ever get around to doing one of those big, fulfilling projects I’m always daydreaming about. So I spent some time alone, just me, the universe, and a tiny notebook, and wrote down whatever came to mind while my eyes were closed. After having done this a few times, one day I opened my eyes, smiled, and said, “OK. I’m gonna do the crowdfunding campaign.”

It was really, really exciting, y’all. If you know me personally, you know I can be indecisive and scatterbrained; from knowing that, you’d know that I rarely have the satisfaction of seeing a big project through from start to finish. So setting myself to raise $5,000 by February 1 (and later, when the deadline was extended, February 15), and then completely following through, has been a transformative experience. But the metaphysical shift I’m talking about hasn’t been a passive experience; rather, it’s been through the actions I’ve taken on a daily basis that I’ve grown a ton, learned about myself, and really gathered some momentum over here.

The truth is that I am bursting with ideas. I didn’t use the word “daydream” lightly above; I am up in them clouds like it’s my job, for real tho. Luckily, successfully raising more than $5,000 nearly entirely on my own in a month and a half has revealed to me the possibility that my dreams really can become my job. Nothing like turning a profit, and having a blast while doing it, to really make you perk up.

At the end of my campaign, after a night of dancing and celebration with dozens of D.C.-area Iranians who had come out to party and support my project, I was overcome by a feeling I’d never felt before. I still don’t know what to call it. It was some kind of deep satisfaction, a better payoff than anything I could have asked for or imagined. It was something about knowing that my friends, the ones who helped me do everything from the crowdfunding’s social media campaign to throwing a dance party at the end of the period, thought my idea and I were worth giving up all that time and effort. All they’ve gotten in return is my profuse and genuine thanks. What more I can give, only time will tell. But what I do know is that this was awesome.

So I say go out there and do it up. What have you got to lose?

Hit me up on Twitter. Don’t be shy.julierpp

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