One of the perks to being a Roman Pontifical Student on the other side of the world is a three month summer vacation that lasts until early fall.
This was not only the most time I spent in America since I left, but it was also my first visit back to LA in 2 years, and the longest amount of time I have been able to spend with my family in 20 years.
I worked my ass off all summer to save money for school, was able to help my mother take care of my 101 year old Grandma, play with my nephews, have long talks with my sister, work out as much as I wanted, swim, shop, relax, study (a little), and even handle a list of business affairs.
America is a strange place. Millions of people fight for their right to vote for & donate money to politicians that despise them, and wonder why nothing really changes for the better. – Never mind that now. I’ve deleted the rest of that rant. I don’t want to talk about our political suicide.
I want to talk about how awesome my friends are.
If there is one thing I saw over & over again – it was that 2 years away from America has not made me any less loved. I had friends drive for 8 hours just to pick me up and spend less than that hanging out talking. Strangers gave me a ride home, family put me up and took me to dinner, friends gave me work, went for walks, had coffee, let me borrow gear, rode Harleys with me, cooked for me, took me to meditation gardens, wrote songs with me, laughed, cried, and shared triumphs. I earned almost enough to get through another school year, made payments on old debts, and saw some turtles.
I taught my nephew to sing Dean Martin, listened to my cousin when he needed to be heard, danced with my grandmother, and saw my Mom cry when I had to move on.
I got to perform in New York City and set the vibe for the coolest show I’ve done with my friends in many years, spent a night and day with one of my favorite philosophers, saw the grave of one of my heroes, sang Mambo Italiano with Steve Waddington and my childhood best friend drove 4 hours to hang out for a day.
I’m too tired, moved, and happy to be clever. I just want to say thank you.
Thank you to everyone who didn’t stop reaching out until we saw each other. It wasn’t easy, because my phone # of 14 years was gone, and they all had to work a bit harder to be in touch. But YOU were. And we hung out, and did shit. And it was awesome.
I felt very missed, quite loved, and very, very, happy to be back for a bit.
Now I sit here, in an airport on a loooooong layover, ready to return to Roma and begin a series of difficult studies once again.
Vacation time has come to a close, and a new school year begins.
So much is coming up in the next year – a book, a podcast, a new single, some live shows, and a lot of homework.
I can’t thank everyone enough for this summer. You all made it wonderful, perfect, fun, and energizing. If I didn’t see you this trip- know that I love you anyway. I didn’t see 90% of the people I wanted to see. And the best 10% made damn sure we saw each other. That was rad.
Next time I hope to book a little more time in each city.