I’m heading out on The Trevor Project Awareness Tour with Bill Konigsberg on Friday!
I’m excited and nervous. I have never taken a 5,000-mile driving trip before. When I start in the south (Dallas in early September), it will be summer. When I end (Minnesota in October) it’ll be chilly. I have to take two full suitcases to be prepared for all that. I’m gonna have to figure out doing laundry on the road, when I have a pretty full schedule. I have one day when I have a 7-9pm event in Bloomington, Indiana, and a 7am flight the next morning out of Indianapolis. This quick turnaround, along with packing for a trip during a trip, and leaving a rental car at the airport, and–you get it–has me feeling … a bit overwhelmed.
Here are some of my goals as I approach this new experience.
- To be fully present for each presentation. Sometimes when you get comfortable presenting, it becomes possible to “phone it in.” My goal is to be fully available and connected for every single visit. I want LGBTQ youth to know that I care, because I do, deeply. The challenge here is being open to hearing and empathizing with the pain that some of these kids are dealing with. It’s easier to put up a wall, but I vow to keep my wall down, even if it becomes emotionally exhausting.
- To smile at strangers and engage people along the way. At restaurants, at hotels.
- To do interesting activities everywhere I go (when time permits). I plan to hit the Clinton Library in Little Rock, and tour Music Row in Nashville. I know there will be a temptation to sleep afternoons away in hotel rooms, and I do want to make sure I get my rest, but this opportunity is too good to pass up.
- To sing along at the top of my lungs to Ben Folds and James Taylor and Fleetwood Mac, even if the windows of my rental car aren’t tinted.
- To make at least some of my car snacks healthy. Okay. Healthy-ish.
- To call family and friends from the road so that I stay connected.
- To blog about my travels, weekly for Huffington Post’s Gay Voices blog, and more frequently on my own blog.
That’s all I have for now. I hope you’ll follow my journey!
Oh yeah: I’m raising funds for The Trevor Project during this trip. Please consider donating today!