Final Night Out, First Night In

My family presents the cake they had made for me.

My family presents the cake they had made for me.

Wow…  What a unique and incredible journey.  I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.  Along the way, I had no second thoughts about what I was doing, but now I’m astonished at how far I’ve come.  I’ll have another post later with more details on that.

On Friday night, I decided to invite some of my friends over to sleep in the backyard with me.  It was a small, close-knit party.  Some TV crews showed up and interviewed my friends and I.  I talked about the things I learned, about the fundraisers, about the invitation to readers and as many people as possible to sleep outside in their own yards.  I don’t know how many were sharing the sky with me that night, but when they start posting pictures on Facebook I’ll put a number up.  Anyway, my last night outside ended up being pretty low-key, which is exactly the way I wanted it.

Some of my friends set up tents in my back yard to help me celebrate my last night.

Some of my friends set up tents in my back yard to help me celebrate my last night.

When I woke up the next morning, my first thought was huh, it’s raining.  Only a moment later did I realize that I was finished.  Of course, the feeling didn’t really sink in until I was clearing off my bed on Saturday night.  It took about twenty minutes, and my bedroom floor is a landfill right now, but finally I was in my pajamas, teeth brushed, standing in the dark room next to my bed.  I was exhausted from lack of sleep within the past week.  Studying for finals, end-of school parties at friends’ houses…  I wanted so badly to just get under the blankets and sleep.  But I couldn’t.  For a year, I had been doing my very best to make sure I didn’t spend my nights inside.  It had been one of my number one priorities.  And now, it suddenly wasn’t important.

Dragging myself into bed that night felt like smashing my moral compass.  The bed was so comfortable, though, that I found myself drifting off almost immediately.  Just before I was lost in the world of dreams, a final thought wandered through my befuddled brain.  No, it’s not that sleeping outside isn’t important anymore.  It’ll always be important.  Nothing can change that.  But sleeping inside can be important, too.  It’s my life.  My choice.  I am so lucky.

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4 Responses

  1. Chad Stratton says:

    So glad I saw your story on Reddit. You are an inspiring young man, Rudy. People like you make this world a place worth living in… physically, emotionally, morally… You are just amazing. I am amazed every day at how my own 13-year-old son is becoming a better person than I was/am, and I want you to know that I am using you as an example of how to act and how to be… that simply existing is not enough – One must endeavor to impact their world and those around them in some positive way, otherwise you have wasted your shot at life. You have already established a legacy, sir, and my hat is off to you.

    Think I want to go camping now…

  2. Jerry lacy says:

    Well done,Rudy!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Congrats on your accomplishment!

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