With the launch of our Kickstarter it was perfect timing for a road trip across this great country, to join our team in California. Over the last several months I had grown restless: ready for a change, ready to help more people, ready to live closer in line with what I believe, is my purpose here on earth. Detroit will always hold my heart, and most of those I love more than anything else I’ve discovered thus far. It isn’t easy for me to separate from my source of tremendous strength and positivity, but I took a leap of faith for what I perceive as the greater good, for both myself, and this beautiful world I’m so grateful to live in. My intuition tells me that in my absence, they will rise to the occasion and help carry the weight that keeps others from breathing easy; they will grow from a faint flicker of light to a roaring flame that warms even the coldest, darkest, and fear-filled hearts this winter. I believe in them because they have always believed in me, long before any measurable success had been achieved with our mission.
But despite the common tendency to doubt our philanthropic efforts, metrics are not the blowing wind which moves this ship across treacherous seas, rather experiences with the humans we’re helping and the testimonials they offer. Testimonials of mothers with advanced Alzheimer’s, who were brought to tears the first time they saw a picture of a Good Sign. And the vibrant smiles of the entire senior living community, so bright that they could change the world if only we allowed ourselves to see them. Smiles are the most penetrating long after they’ve been absent. They remind us of the joy we felt as children; the joy that once insisted we dream and love unconditionally. Everyone has a reason to smile but a reminder helps. No matter your age or health, we can all use a reminder that people care about us, especially when it doesn’t feel that way.
I have accepted that I’ve made a choice to live a life which will perpetually take me great distances from the ones I love, but in our separation we glow closer with each smile we inspire, with each ounce of joy encouraged, and with each random act of kindness, deposited into a too-frequent cold world. All around me I see a constant struggle between good and evil: I feel it at the core of my being and choose a life committed to ensuring light prevails from the shadow of darkness. I choose to believe in the good of a man before condemning his faults or follies. There is a harsh finality in our perceptions of people, places, and things. Everything is changing, and nothing is certain. If you miss the ones you love, let your love shine through another! It will find its way to them… Your plans will change; you will lose control of the reins; but the positive energy you deposit into the world will remain.
Happiness is other people. We take pictures to share them with the ones we wished were by our side. Everything is a trade off: I love the California sunshine, but it’s not quite the same without those who inspired the confidence within me to be here. I love being weightless in the Pacific, but when I close my eyes there are a few I wished in my arms, the way they are in my heart. You know who you are because life is too precious to play such cards close to your chest. You know who you are because despite my own struggles, you can count on me to be by your side. You know who you are because I couldn’t do this without you, and I wouldn’t want to! You know you are because you first taught me what love felt like. You know who you are because you gave me a home when I needed one. You know who you are because your family always welcomes me at Thanksgiving and Christmas. You know who you are because you’re always there for me, even when it’s hard for me to ask. You know who you are because you saw that your dream and mine align. You know who you are because I believe you can feel me thinking about you as I write and you read these words. You know who you are because it’s impossible to ignore the way this makes you feel. You know who you are because of the people in your life, and the magic that helped make them real.
You know who you are, and THIS IS A GOOD SIGN.