The odometer has clicked to 3,000 miles, tall palm trees line the streets, and dusty deserts have made way to a cavalcade of motorists heading to the grand blue Pacific. This can only mean one thing: I’ve arrived in Los Angeles.
The last few days have brought with them opportunities to get new perspectives on passion. Among them:
– Father Jim, the assistant priest at El Santuario de Chimayó, a famous church that has been called “the most important Catholic pilgrimage center in the United States.” Father Jim spoke about discovering his passion as a child while playing priest with his older sisters in Colorado. (Sante Fa, New Mexico)
– David, former employee of Los Alamos National Labs who quit his job to follow his passion for organic farming, and in the process developed a new form of garlic powder. (Santa Fe, New Mexico)
– Pritham, a good friend who balanced working as a full time management consultant with studying for her MCATs. She just completed her first year in osteopathic medicine and discusses the road that led her there. (Phoenix, Arizona)
– Three contestants who were auditioning for their own talk show on Oprah’s forthcoming TV network. (Laguna Niguel, California)
As I reflect on my time on the road, I feel blessed to have encountered so many unique perspectives, and also been supported so heartily by the family, friends, and friends-of-friends who were kind enough to open their hearts (and often their homes) to help make my project possible.
A few quotes that have stayed with me:
– “If you are fearful, fear will find you” – Volunteer for Heidelberg Project on working in neighborhoods with high crime (Detroit)
– “There is no such thing as a safe job anymore – Entrepreneurial baker on choosing your passion for a career versus what you think will be lucrative and stable (Chicago)
– “The unique thing about poverty in Buffalo is that it is neither entirely urban or rural. It is wide swaths of urban neighborhoods that are vacant, except for a few remaining city dwellers” – Local journalist on the new age of urban poverty (Buffalo)
– “To fail is to succeed at the wrong thing” – Engineer turned Pastor on the definition of failure (Tulsa)