In this episode I recap my recent road trip.
what's up, gentlemen, this is Rising Phoenix podcast podcast about how to rise up after divorce. I'm your host divorce coach, Michael Rhodes. Let's get into
Hello, and welcome to the show. This is episode 111. This will just be a solo episode where I will be recapping my recent road trip. If you're not interested in that, you're probably going to want to skip this one. But I will say that I'm going to give somewhat of an update on my mental state and where I'm at, at the end of this thing, you don't have to stay tuned.
You could just fast forward I guess. But let me start with why this road trip came to be. And that was because there was talk at some point earlier this year, I don't remember if it was myself or someone else or, or how it came about. But there was talk of having a get together a party, if you will, at my place here in Pennsylvania. I used to do that. When back before my ex left I used to have up and then you know, of course COVID hit but I used to have a party pretty regularly, I have a decent sized yard. So I would get Bounce, bounce houses, bands, face painters. But I think one year I had a tarot card reader and fire breathers and all kinds of shit. It was always a good time, I would put up a projector and a big screen outside. And we would play Madden football tournaments on PlayStation. And I really missed having this party. So I thought maybe this is the year to bring it back. And with that came a while everyone come here, every one being the guys that are in my program. And you know, weird sort of
twist of fate. I'm not sure the word but four of my my clients, students Brothers live in Texas. So there was talk of these, these gentlemen getting together getting an RV and driving up to Pennsylvania. And I thought what a great idea. I'll join you. And so I purchased the plane ticket and decided that I was going to fly to Austin meet up with them and drive back in an RV. Unfortunately, one by one people had to drop out for various reasons. And it was disappointing and frustrating. But I understood they were legitimate reasons from what I could tell. And even if they weren't, it's it is what it is right. So
it unfortunately didn't, didn't pan out that way to you know, the plan didn't come to fruition. But I decided because I bought the plane ticket and because I committed to this idea. And the idea was to record in the RV while we're driving and then stop and meet people along the way and in the roundtable discussions and record that I didn't really have a real plan in terms of format, other than let's just sit down and talk about the shit we've been through. And so even though I wasn't gonna have people with me, I knew that I could still meet up with folks along the way. And that was that was still the plan. And so I decided that
I was gonna go through that. And so I flew to Austin on the 30th of July. One day after my, my little daughter's birthday, I decided that's when I booked the flight. And I got to Austin around noon on Sunday the 30th and spent a few hours meeting various folks, Dan and Richard and then Jim, these aren't an order and then Warren. So I got to sit down and talk with with a few guys. I didn't record every interaction, definitely not. I wish I would have had like a camera crew follow me around.
That would have been weird, but there's definitely I definitely missed opportunities to record things. But I did manage to record some with Dan and some with Jim. And, and I'll get to sort of what I'm going to do with all this stuff. I don't know how any of this footage has turned out, cross my fingers. There were times when the battery would die on on the camera or I didn't set up the microphones correctly or whatever. So it might all be a wash. We'll see. So anyway, so I spent the night then in Austin woke up in the morning and headed for Dallas. And as you know, if you're in the divorce support for men group, there was events planned. And the first event was in Austin and we I was fortunate to have some folks come out but I had already known all these folks through the discord or through the Facebook group or through my program. But the Dallas event I didn't know anybody there was a few people that were said they might maybe they will or yeah they could or no or maybe or whatever. And unfortunately But but in some ways, fortunately, only one person came out and that was Jose. So I guess let me back up, I got to Dallas, or on my way to Dallas. You know, I kind of decided that this trip, I could do whatever the hell I wanted. Because I didn't have any constraints or restraints. It wasn't like someone, the only the only thing I had to do was be in Baltimore. At some time, I couldn't remember the times Exactly. To pick up people at the airport on Thursday, because the guys who had talked about taking the RV, we're actually just going to fly. So the only thing the only deadline per se or only place absolutely had to be was in Baltimore, or really, at the BWI Airport at some point on Thursday turned out to be Thursday afternoon. So, because of that, when I was driving to Dallas, I saw a sign for Waco, Texas. And, you know, being born in the 70s. And being sort of an 80s 90s kid, I am certainly familiar with the Branch Davidian stuff that occurred in Waco. And so while driving, I did a quick search and it, it was available to go see you, you could go to the place where it all happened. And it was still there to varying degrees. So So I made a detour. And I went to the Branch Davidian compound, I guess, and it's still there, those people are still there, but there are, they're closed on Mondays. Which is weird, but there was a gate and it had a signs, you know, enter at your own risk and donation, suggested donation per car. So you literally, it was open. And by open, I mean, it just wasn't open to the public. While I was sitting there, there were two trucks that came in and open the gate and went in. But then you can see a big rock monument, I guess that that says the branch and it talks about you know, who they are, or whatever. I thought I could see a church back in the back left corner. It wasn't really exciting, because I didn't get to go in, but it was still cool. nonetheless. I've seen the movie that Netflix released. I think last year, I haven't seen the documentary everyone tells me I need to watch the documentary. And I definitely will. I just thought it was it was a you know, it was a once in a I shouldn't say once in a lifetime. But it I mean, I don't know the next time I'll be near Waco, Texas, so So I took the opportunity. And, and I did record some footage there. I took a lot I took pictures more than I recorded anything. I did do live videos throughout this journey. And if you go to my my page, Michael Brooks divorce coach on Facebook, you'll see I did a lot of live clips or live videos and and again, I'm going to talk about what I'm gonna do with all this footage. But let's go from there I headed in I got to Dallas, I think it was around. I want to say one o'clock maybe in the afternoon. And I just went and had lunch. And then I had to take care of some work stuff. Even though I was on vacation, there were still some things that I decided I would take care of. So I spent some time taking care of those. And then I walked around a little bit more and hit a coffee shop and uploaded episode 110 the episode with Jonathan and once I got that done, I someone suggested go to Old Town downtown Dallas, and it's like a replica or present or preserved section of town from like the 1880s or 1800s or 1700s or some shit like that. It was really cool that she had like old saloons and you know, different doctors house and dentist's office bank. It was it was really cool. But again, it was closed. So I could go in but there was nobody in like working in a shop or any guides telling you about the buildings or anything of that nature. But I did get to walk around in
105 degree fucking weather that it said it felt like 110 I don't know. It didn't feel like 110 I feel like a fucking million because it was so fucking hot. And I did a lot of walking. And so throughout the course of the day I hooked up with with Jose and he picked a good spot for dinner. I met him there was our we had a great conversation during dinner and I asked him if we could record just just a few minutes and we did that and he was gracious and he really and you're he'll hear this going forward but this trip he was the only one that I didn't know previous and so I I owe a huge credit data debt of gratitude to Jose for taking the time to not only, you know, recommend and meet with me, but then to talk with me and allow me to record it. He really kind of made I don't want to say he made the trip but man it would have been. I mean, awesome was great, but it would have been it would have starting off essentially with first real you know, real part of the trip you know the travel part if I would have drove to Dallas and then had met with nobody and I would have really fucking sucked so I a huge debt of gratitude to Jose for doing it and then he took me to my car after after we had dinner and after we recorded just a great guy a great experience. It really was. It really meant a lot to me, honestly, and I thanked him and I'll continue to do so during the appropriate times because it it really did it really picked me up especially after a fucking I walked for probably I don't know total but from going for after I uploaded episode 110 I probably did about 45 minutes straight walking in that harm five decrease talking heat so and then we had great food, great conversation it was it really just It set the tone for me in a lot of ways. And so then after that I hopped in the car. Not sure what time it was, I think it was later in the evening. Five, six o'clock maybe it might even been later now I'm not sure. And then I drove for a few hours I did stop at a buches those of you that are in Texas and I think they're also in Florida know what the fuck I'm talking about. I had no idea what the fuck it was. But they those signs were everywhere. So I was like alright, alright, you got me, I'll stop. And I did pick up a few things and I'm glad I did stop because it's an interesting place. Someone in my group said it's like a gas station of Walmart had a baby. That's what Bucky says it's, it's interesting. So I stopped there and then continued on I ended up spending the night in Arkadelphia Arkansas my initial plan was to get the hot springs Arkansas and so on the on the way there I did a search I'm at Hampton Hilton guy I have some points from the work travel and there was nothing and apparently hot springs Arkansas is so small that they don't have Hampton and Hilton's. Right in in, in Hot Springs. So I found a decent Hampton Inn in Arkadelphia or Arkadelphia. Yeah. And I got there and I pretty much crashed out. And then I got up the next morning and I headed for Murfreesboro, Tennessee, I have a friend who went through the Alpha code because he was a podcast listener and he heard about the Alpha code. Then he went through the Alpha code. And now we're in a, another Alpha Code program together. It's it's called Inspired by me it's that's a whole other topic. But but him and I happened to be in that same group. And of course, he knows me, because he listened to the podcast. And then he ended up joining the Alpha code. And I spent the night at his place. We went out for a little bit had a drink. I had the best old fashioned I've ever had in my life. Shout out to the bartender's name, I don't remember it, but that fucking old fashioned was awesome. And then we did some recording. And he turned the camera on me and asked me some questions and sort of held my feet to the fire it just in terms of talking about my experiences and what I'm doing and why I'm doing what I'm doing and, and really just asking some, some, some tough questions, I guess, in some ways, but it was just it was very emotional. He thanked me for, you know, sort of leading him out of his darkness. And you know, we both cried. And it was really, really nice and really touching. But it was also very emotional. And that's sort of a theme that I'm, I'm going to carry out through this thing. And when I get to sort of, you know, my state of mind, I'll kind of talk a little bit more about this, but I had a great time. Oh, I'll go back a little bit. So on my way, again, the theme of like, I'll go wherever the fuck I want wherever the fuck I want. I noticed that Memphis was right on the way and I told this story and I'll probably put this out later, but it's it's in one of my lives. I told the story how many many years ago 1998. I think I found myself in Memphis, Tennessee. When I was stationed in New Orleans, Louisiana. We got evacuated for a hurricane. And it's a it's a long story. I won't tell it now, but I ended up one night in Memphis and had a great time but I hadn't been back since and so because Memphis was right on the way I said fuck it. I'm gonna stop and I did and I had the best fucking lunch I had half a rack of ribs at a couple of cocktails think they were funky monkeys even came a little monkey candy things for lack of a better description. Had a couple drinks, had my lunch had another drink at BB kings place got some had souvenirs shit like that and then got back in the car. I was probably only in Memphis for an hour and a half give or take. And I'm really fucking glad I did. Again it brought up kind of a lot I have emotions about my past and you know, had been since 1998. And that man, my, my life, my world was different than. And so you know, it, it was another emotional part of the journey. And then like I said, I made it to my buddy Adams and spent the night there. And again, had a great time, got up the next day, showered, and then got on the road. Big, big shout out to Adam, he, he asked me if I had a cooler, I'm like, I don't know, man, I, you know, I don't have cool, he got me a cooler, he cleaned it out, he put waters and sandwiches and snacks in it. I mean, it was. You know, I'm very appreciative. And again, this goes to the emotional aspect of this whole thing. And so then after that, I decided to head for a while the plan was to head for Cincinnati. And again, after a lot of communication and back and forth in the event that was created, it was determined that probably the best place to go is Dayton, because I have a student slash client slash brother who lives near Dayton. And then of course, Pete, who has been a longtime member of the discord and a longtime podcast listener and a friend, as well, was near Dayton, or lives near Dayton, and maybe in Dayton. And it was determined that that was really the best place for us to meet so. So I made it to Dayton, and had again, had a great dinner, had a couple drinks, did some recording with myself. Shout out to Josh, my student, client, brother, who was there with us, who got a phone number that smokin hot waitress, congrats, Josh, I hope you fucking colder. If not, I'll take it. I know I'm far from Dayton. But man, she was, she was quite lovely. So after that, I hopped in the car, and I drove for about two and a half hours, I think I ended up in Cambridge, Ohio, wherever the fuck that is. And again, found the Hampton Inn spent the night crashed out pretty pretty immediately got up the next day, and then headed towards the airport, I actually had to take the rental car back, get on the shuttle, go back to the airport and then get on the shuttle and then go to the the long term or the Express parking so I can get my car. In the meantime, the guys that flew into Texas were there and I was actually able to meet up with him and actually ride the shuttle back to the parking area with them. So it kind of kind of all worked out. And then we drove to Ellicott City, which is a little bit south of Baltimore. And again, this is all done sort of, via the events and the people that had expressed interest in going and we were able to meet up with with Frank and Bill. And then of course, Dan from from Texas, and Isaac from Texas. Were there so there was five of us did a little bit of recording, and had a had a great meal and great conversation. And then and that was a wrap and then I headed home. And I brought Dan and Isaac to my place and then eventually to their hotel. And then the next day, everyone started rolling in. And when I say everyone, some of my other students slash clients, Scott came, Ron came and Eric came and I'm super appreciative appreciative to all those gentlemen, for coming in. We had a great Friday evening, just hanging out and talking and, and spending time together smoking cigars, having a few drinks, just cook burgers on the grill, my oldest daughter intermingled with the group quite well and was the life of the party, I think and my little one was was there as well but she was kind of keeping to herself but it was a really it was a great
experience. And then And then Saturday I had a much larger party where a few other folks came from out of town and and we had a pretty good time shout out to all those folks that came i and that that stopped by and James and of course all of my local friends of course Mr. Christopher long I have to thank him he cooked chicken wings. Thanks, Chris. And fries and you know we had all the other accoutrements salads and chips and pretzels and all that good shit. So it was really a good time. But it was, you know, it was it. The whole experience from start to finish was was pretty draining and pretty. Emotional in a lot of ways. For various reasons to talking to other people to driving 678 hours a day, every day for a couple of days straight to try Trying to make sure that there were people in the cities and trying to get commitments from folks and trying to pick places. And you know, it was really hard in places where I'd never been, like Dallas and like Cincinnati slash Dayton, I had no fucking idea where to meet, you know, I can Google and just pick a random place. But I, I tried that. But it was, it was nice that the people that once they, the people that committed and the people that came, were really good about picking somewhere. And I appreciate that the main driver was was Josh and Pete in Dayton. And Bill in Baltimore, he picked the elegant city place. And it was it was, it was definitely helpful. But there was a stress around it, trying to figure it out. And I certainly didn't want to make this journey and me with anybody, it would have been nice, obviously, to meet with more folks, different folks. That's why I say it was a meeting with me, it was a really, I really appreciate that, because I didn't know him. He said he had listened to the podcast. And obviously, he was aware of me, but you know, we never to my knowledge interacted previously. And so that was really, that was really awesome. I wish there would have been more of that. But, you know, maybe next time, maybe I can get better at sort of pre planning. I'm not too good at that. I'm not a details guy. Unless I need to be. You know, I can tell you about fight flight freeze or fawn, but you want to plan some type of trip, I'm just gonna fly by the seat of my pants. And I'll be like, I don't know, we'll fucking figure it out. So I think I will do this again. I think I will do it again next year. I think I will also continue, I know others have said, Oh, next time, I'm definitely coming. I don't think I want that. I think I'm gonna do this solo. From now on. If folks want to meet me in cities, that's great. But I think and it's not a pouty thing. It's like, you know, I'm not pissed that no one came, but I think that's what occurred. And I think the like, I mean, and I don't think anyone would be unflexible, but the ability to just be like, you know, fuck it, I'm stopping in Memphis, and nobody, you know, have any moans and groans about or complaints or whatever. It was just really liberating in that kind of way. You know, and I don't think having someone there with me wouldn't necessarily have made some of the planning easier. I think more more towards pre planning would have been better Honestly, if I would have just, you know, spoken with a few folks and picked somewhere prior to and then had a set time. But I really didn't want to sort of have to rush around in you know, pick like, four o'clock, and I've realized shit, I'm not going to be there six, like I just kind of wanted to play loose, I guess. And it worked out ultimately. But I do think perhaps if I would have planned a little better. There would have been more of a turnout. But But that's okay, I think I think I accomplished what I wanted. And that was to take a road trip to go see some things I've never seen. I didn't see a lot of that. But I did see some and to meet with some folks and record some things. And so my ultimate plan is to take all the footage and put out a sort of documentary, I guess, I don't know how long it'll be I don't know how good p but I'd like to sort of recap everything via video and pictures and voiceover and just make a little mini documentary. And again, it might be it might be five minutes long, it might be 20 minutes, I really have no idea. I don't know when I'm going to start. Because this whole process while it has been fun and enjoyable for the most part. It was it's been really draining. It was really draining. And I also stepped back into sort of normal life so to speak, because my oldest daughter has marching band camp. And so she has to be up early and at at school early and then picked up towards the end of the day with a little bit of a break and then taken back and then pick back up at like 930 in the evening. So it's I didn't have any time to decompress at all. Today is the first day where no one is in this house. And I'm able to sort of relax although there's so much shit to do. Because I was calling for a while. You know, the normal thing is laundry and dishes and all that kind of good shit. So I haven't had a chance to really decompress and process all of this stuff. You know, the conversations that I had the interactions the the the beginning of the trip with the sort of disappointment that that I was going to go solo and all the things that you know, I just faced on faces price, wrong word, but all the things that you know that occurred it. Bottom line, what I'm trying to say is I'm taking I'm taking a break from from everything for a week, at least I don't think it'll be longer, but it may be, I'm gonna put this out and then I am done. I am deleting and I've already deleted all the apps off my phone, Facebook, Instagram, all the fucking apps are gone. And and including messenger. So I'm just asking, I don't know this. This does this happens. And I'm not I'm just this is one of the things that Adam sort of busted my balls about a qualify or quantify everything, like I'm getting, what I'm trying to say is I just I need a break. And I'd appreciate it if if if you guys would allow me the space and the time to do that. So if you have any questions about my program, or if you want to just talk to Boris just just give me at least until next Wednesday, which So Today is August 9. And so I know I'm really bad at math, but I complete that makes the 16th of August, my sort of return date. And actually, let's just push that until the 17th. Just to be sure I'll probably come back on the 16th on Wednesday, but it may be I'll extend it and just to be safe, I will do this, this podcast episode say that. Let's just make it a 17th. And I will be back. I'm not quitting, I have a lot of things that I want to do a lot of ideas. More things that need to be done more episodes that need to be covered more more topics that need to be covered, some things that need to be covered again. There is unfortunately, a never ending well of things to talk about when it comes to divorce. And I'm going to continue to keep talking about him. I'm going to continue to hopefully find men to coach and help through them through it to to continue to build that tribe that I've always sought. And if you want to be a part of that, I would love to have you just give me about eight days. And we can have a conversation. I've updated my calendar. And so hopefully, no one will be able to book anything for the next week. So I think that's all that I have. I want to do sincerely want to thank not only the people that I met along the way, but the people that came to my house and spend some time here with me and with my family. I really truly do appreciate it. I love all of you for being here. I do think that there will be something more formal next year with with events and sort of, we did we did a take a few minutes at one point to burn some stuff. From X's letters and scrapbooks and things of that nature. And I think that we will do stuff like that more formal, more planned, I will strongly consider limiting this this thing to just guys that are either in the program or had been through the program. And that's not a you know, trying to exclude you or dangle a carrot. I just I think it would be really cool that if we took the people take the time to come here. And it's one thing to come here and just have a good time to party. But I think there could be I think there there would be or there will be a lot of value in furthering that brotherhood by doing things together. And that don't it's not just drinking and things of that nature. Again, that's that was super fucking fun. I've never smoked too many cigars and such such a short period of time in my life.
And we had a great time. And I'm fortunate and I'm thankful to everyone that came but I think next time it'll be a little bit more formal perhaps. I don't know formulas right word because I guarantee there's going to be cigar smoking and drinking. But I just think some little bit more formal events around growth, because I don't think there is enough of that for men in this world. So if you're interested, hit me up. Just wait until Thursday the 17th Alright, that's it. I'm out. Take care much love. Thank you so much for watching and or listening. Since my separation in July of 2019. I have done an incredible amount of work on myself. I've had many different therapists, life coaches and went through different programs. I've taken all that I've learned and put it into my own program called forged by fire. If you are interested in having me help navigate your divorce Please send my website Rising Phoenix divorce coach.com I look forward to working with you