2017 Part 2 – More Family and Charity

Happy Sunday, friends and followers!

As I shared in 2017 Part 1 - Presence and Living for Today, I took on life as if I only had a couple days to live one August day, and from that exercise, I completed three huge items in my life - cleaned up the past with a couple women I had dated, got baptized, and planned a wonderful event for a local family with a child battling cancer. What an experience during those couple days!

As 2017 turned the corner, more wonderful opportunities showed up in my life. As a result of the work I had done earlier in the summer, I was able to let go of more of my past, some I didn't even realize I was holding on to. I continued to show up and insert myself into the lives of my family members. We had always talked about reviving my grandpa's tradition of booking cabins up north the week before Labor Day. We talked for a few years and one day that summer we talked again, and I knew it was time. My cousin and I found a place up north and drove to check it out. It was perfect, so we booked it for the fall of 2018. More to come on that in the coming posts.

As fall approached, I continued on in the self-development work and ended up on a date with a woman I had met that summer. I hadn't dated in years, prior to that summer, and within a month, went on dates with a couple different women. It followed that relationship cleanup I took part in. Coincidence? Probably not. I'd continue to date and spend time with the second woman, something that would ultimately turn into a couple year relationship, one that would teach me so much about myself, relationships, and my future.

That October, the charity 5K I organized for the chapter of a cancer foundation I opened took place. The first two years, attendance had been about 40 people, adults and children. We put in a lot of work for that event and it was mostly supported by friends, families and close acquaintances. As we began building a presence with the family events and sharing more with the community, combined with the couple years of building the race, it looked like numbers were going to be much higher. As the week of the event approached, the weather outlook was grim. It didn't change as the week went on, unfortunately. Regardless, our day would go on...

We set up in torrential rains, preparing as best we could. I still have no idea how or why, but nearly 200 people participated, in the pouring rain and cold wind. We had ceremonies for the children to start, providing three families with amazing experiences and packages they could take with them. The race was kicked off by the biker group we lined up to partner with us that day. That was an experience that will never be forgotten. Goosebumps, tears, and incredibly gratifying feelings lasted for hours. We had two incredible organizations fighting the same fight, saying heck with the weather, and pushing through to ensure our families would experience joy and happiness in the worst of times.

I left that event knowing my life wouldn't be the same, and knowing many others would have an experience that would last a long time. I flew to be with family in Massachusetts, something that became tradition each October. A new dating experience, a wildly successful charity, and the opening of doors I didn't think would open - that's what the end of 2017 consisted of.

Life continued to show me what was possible, something that pushed me to continue on with developing and serving. I know today that as long as I continue to grow and continue to serve with purpose, 2010s will continue to turn into 2012s and those will continue to turn into 2017s and beyond. With all the chaos and craziness that comes with it, my life has proven that the limit on human potential and growth is the equivalent of what we believe. Believe it's all been done and it has. Believe there's more out there and there is. That's life for me. A far cry from the kid on the streets who had no hope and no future in sight.

Stay hopeful and stay faithful, everyone. And until next time, subscribe below for notifications of new posts.

Peace,

J

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