Austin is a city that I have always wanted to visit. I would often say “If it is good enough for Lance Armstrong, it is good enough for me.” Well, I said that years ago, so we will throw that comment out the window for now. For years I have wanted to take a trip to the “Live Music Capital of the World,” and when my journey started I knew that this was a city I was going to be sure to spend some time in.
When I rolled into town I had thought I would be exploring the city alone, until I got a last minute message from an old friend whom I had no clue lived in Austin. The Results: A killer time with a very special dude that has a passion and drive for life that is jaw dropping. Check out my story of how that connection occurred: Do you know what the words Hey man-What’s Up, can do for someone. 4 1/2 days later: Shane showed me the city, introduced me to some amazing people, and dropped a world of knowledge on me.
Oh and he also scared the shit out of me as he didn’t give me a heads up on his amazing ability to sleep walk and talk.
“It’s Ok, It’s just me, It’s Just me,” as he had one finger over his lip and crouched down next to my air mattress at 4am.
“I know it’s you, what the fu*k are you doing,” as he proceeded to the bathroom and right back to bed without another word.
I could write a blog for days about our experiences, live music, Whiskey & Soda, learning Shane had a better voice than the hired entertainment, tacos stands to die for, Whiskey & Soda, an inspirational wedding coordinator, a film producer, Shane’s Barbecue Chicken Casserole, a professional distance runner, the CEO of a hot tech company in Austin, 6th street (madhouse), Rainey District, Volleyball players, lessons on how to regain ones mojo, Country Music -White Horse, our man Thomas-a life long Austin native, and did I say Whiskey & Soda. My brain is probably recovering still, so I am not sure if I mentioned that already.
As I drove Shane to the airport at 4:00am on Monday morning as he set off for day 1 of what could be his dream job, we started chatting about the trip and how much fun we had. We joked about how funny it was that for years we have known each other, but in reality we actually knew very little about how much we had in common: like how much he loves to cook food and how much I love to eat it! My mind started rolling into thoughts of some of the amazing people I had met on this trip and how Austin was filled with some great experiences and some inspiring people.
I have said this in a previous post, but I will repeat it now: I set out on this journey in search of passionate people to document and chat with and learn from, but what I am quickly finding out is that I am learning so much from people that I was not searching out. One of the greatest gifts so far has been the understanding that we all have a story, we all have some passion for something (some greater than others), and we all have a perspectives on life that has been created and molded from our experiences throughout this crazy journey called life. We can learn from all of this if we just “two ears and one mouth” listen.
In effort to keep this post from going long – I wanted to pull out 4 really cool and inspiring things that were said to me during my time in Austin with some context to who said them. I hope you enjoy and It would be a blessing if one of them spoke to you in some way that can impact and add value to your life and your journey.
**When asked about how he got into producing movies: I actually was in finance in New York city, but I was unhappy. I just decided to quit my job and for years I just hustled. I made money where I could and joined projects often for free. Now 3 years later we were chatting at a party in an amazing bar in Austin where his film was about to be unveiled at the Austin PSPX convention. Amazing right!
**While eating some of the best Queso and Dip I have ever had at a Mexican Cantina and sipping on some Margs (but not listening to Katy Perry—Move Quote Warning: The Interview), I started chatting with a very strong, determined, and passionate women. This young lady has gone through the loss of her mother to prostate cancer, the battle of helping her father through a stroke and other health issues, watching one of her best friends undergo a potential terminal cancer battle, while making sure her friends two kids are well taken care of, relationship issues, all while running her own wedding planning company running out of St. Louis, while living in Austin. WOW, talk about a tough cookie (sorry I got that from my mom who is from a small town called Paw Paw, IL. I will try to refrain from that saying again). As we spoke, I sat there listening to her positive reactions to questions and witness her upbeat and positive energy, which was enough to fill your soul and feed off her joy. Even through everything that was weighing on her shoulders, she was the one person in the room that was still glowing the brightest.
**My man Shane as he was talking about his outlook on life and how he interacts with others and why his new job as a transition specialists for youth in the military is a perfect fit for who he is and what he is all about. (Those kids are in for a treat when they get to experience the beard and all of his buddha like wisdom). “Dude there are energy givers and there are energy suckers in this world. My goal is to be an energy giver. I want to give energy to people and I want them to feed off me and if they are going through a tough time I want to fill there cup. I also want to surround myself with other energy givers, so they can help me fill my cup when I need it, so I can continue along my mission to help others.” This dude is an Energy Giver to the Max!
**A professional distance runner and personal trainer that I met while out and about in Austin. I simply offered to buy her a drink out of kindness and it turned into a 30 minute discussion about her passion and why she loves it so much. Disclaimer: if you ever ask someone really really passionate about their passion, you better be ready to listen for a while. One thing she said to me that stuck out, was that she just loves that she was able to take her passion for running and then turn it into a career not only as a runner, but as a personal trainer for others to watch them succeed, hit their goals, and feel better about who they are. She went on about some youth athletes that she trained that are now older and just watching them progress in life and how much of an intrinsic value she feels from watching this and being a part of their lives. “I feel blessed that I can take my passion for running and not only make money as a professional athlete, but then turn that into a career where I can continue my passion and then help others in the process.” It just shows that there are some amazing people in this world and that as individuals we can transition from one passion into another passion and into a purpose that maybe we never saw years earlier. Passion to Passion to Purpose.
Video that quickly highlights some of my time in Austin: