Through the course of the past several years, as we have been on the Torch journey, so much of the experience has felt surreal. There have been tremendous highs that left me utterly speechless, which is not an easy thing to do. There have been lows that took my breath away, and caused me to question my sanity. There have also been a multitude of moments that were just - surreal.
The first time Sarah and I met our local radio personalities, Jon King and Mike Marino, felt surreal. I looked around the radio station and couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that we were really there, and really going to be interviewed. Jon and Mike are such personable, down to earth gentlemen, who in every way made me feel comfortable. But I just didn't feel - real. Who was I to have an opportunity like that? That moment did not fit with my personal ideas about who I am and what my life experience is like.
When Sarah and I met with Roger and Craig, the gentlemen who would be instrumental in finding and building our food truck - surreal. I was there in the restaurant with them, but at the same time, I wasn't. How could something so wonderful be transpiring right there, with me in the center of the action? Plain old me. I felt like I was watching somebody else listen to Roger and Craig as they excitedly designed the truck with us.
It was a very long drive from Brown City, Michigan to Brighton, Michigan. It is actually about 90 miles, but leading and following the food truck home for the very first time felt like a minute and an eternity at the same time. Sarah had never driven it before. I had never navigated for it. I could not believe we actually had it - and I remember thinking it couldn't be real - and what the heck were we going to do with something so big?
Experiencing the surreal lends an indescribable excitement to life. I don't always know when those moments are coming. Unexpected surprises happen all the time at the Torch, although not all of them lead down the path of the surreal. Surreal moments in life are euphoric and memorable.
Today has felt surreal all day. A year ago, we decided we were going to expand the Torch by adding the subsidiary, Torch 180. Throughout the past year, we have educated ourselves and worked very hard to do our parts in making 180 a reality. We have networked and connected with people, attended a multitude of meetings, presented our dream every time we have been invited to do so, and investigated countless leads on buildings and properties and partnerships. We have worked and re-worked our business plan - and it doesn't look like what it did when we began this journey.
And now, here we are. This evening, we will teach our very first culinary/ServSafe class. We are embarking on something which is an historical moment for the Torch. When I pause to think about the potential impact this organization can have on countless lives, my mind is boggled and it just doesn't feel real. I am half walking in this world, and half dancing on the clouds as I anticipate this inaugural class. The profound reality that we are but a year out from having just an idea - to actually launching our training is almost too much to comprehend.
I feel blessed, humbled, excited, afraid, prepared, and like I cannot, once again, believe it is plain old me in this life, at this moment. The pull on my life to make 180 a reality throughout this past year, has brought me to tears. I have quit a million times. And yet, I am always drawn back in by the knowledge of how necessary this is and how lives can be changed and impacted.
And, as we prepare to teach the very first class of this very amazing project, I find I cannot keep a grasp on reality. I need to pinch myself. This is really happening.