Today, it hit me. I am sitting in a fishing lodge near Blackville, New Brunswick, and tour is over halfway over. How did I get here? Yesterday I was loading my bags into our house in Hamilton, never having left home before. I learned how to set up a concert, public speak like a pro and deal with life on a tour bus. Today, the road is my home, and I have never felt so fulfilled.
When people ask me what road life is like, I always have trouble answering. The easy answers would be, ‘crazy’, ‘unpredictable’ or simply, ‘exhausting’. These aren’t enough. I could talk about the bus, the band, the shows, the billets, the problems or successes, the laughter or the awkward silences. Even that doesn’t do it justice. After all, we came together a group of people with differing talents and personalities, each looking to make an impact and inspire change. Look at how far we’ve come!
How can I explain to someone how it feels to hear students telling me that this project changed their lives? How can I paraphrase the giddiness that comes when a teacher commends me for choosing to do what I do? Tour is those moments. It is hearing a sixteen year-old argue the shortfalls of our consumerist, egocentric society and call for change in a Live Global workshop. It is seeing the look of passion and determination on an eighteen year-old’s face when I explain the LiveDifferent Academy. It is the look of excitement that fills a twelve year-old’s face when they tell me that in two years, they want to go on a Hero Holiday. Tour is in these moments, the ones that make you realize that it doesn’t matter how silent the audience is, that one student you touch with your message makes up for all the ones that you don’t. Tour is falling asleep at night with the knowledge and understanding that we are living differently. Tour is like nothing else.
This is what carries me through the harder days: the fact that this is a unique opportunity. My mantra for this experience has always been, ‘Every day is an adventure’. I am learning to grab each opportunity that life throws at me, and to face all challenges head-on. I am determined to walk away from tour feeling like I really seized each day, with no regrets.
So here we are. I’m halfway home. Tomorrow we will continue on to give love, bring hope and inspire change. I’m amazed to see how far we’ve come. I can’t wait to see what more we will accomplish.
Paisley, a LiveDifferent Academy student on the road