Back home.

We’ve been home for a month now. I find myself dreaming of open roads, nights with nothing to do, so you sit in silence next to your best friend that you just told you would do this forever with. I dream of mornings that are slow. I think of Kai chasing crickets through the fields that sway in the easy wind. I think of all of our laughs, our memories and the next trip.

I have this taste for this life on the road that won’t leave my mouth. I feel a month sleeping under the stars changed me. You see once, I spent a month in Europe alone and thought that changed me. Who knew that staying in your own backyard could have the same effect?

1. Money doesn’t own me. I realize as I watch friends buy homes, people have money to toss back and forth on things, this is not my goal. I have a great job and live a comfortable life, but for some reason, this time exploring showed me I don’t care about those monetary levels.¬†I would rather have a husband who comes home refreshed, full of passion for his job, and able to go out exploring whenever we please. I’d rather not have the fanciest car, but instead one day show our kids that we put our efforts into building up careers of passion,¬†memories, and a legacy that shared this with others. I want to not be owned by pressures to have fancy homes, clothing, but instead be owned by the waves while we play in the sea. Be silenced by the clouds at sunset while you’re in the lineup on your surfboard next to your best friends.

2. I see that we are never at the end of our journey. People told me now that you have a job start getting ready for retirement. This shocked me. Here I was, 21 signing my first teaching contract. How was I beginning getting ready for the end? As this trip opened doors, made me braver, and expanded my interests, I see that our stories are just beginning. That makes me feel wild and free. Don’t you love when you feel that?

3. I am braver than I think. If you know me, you know I love any chance to feel a little hard core. The funny thing is, I am afraid of heights and roller coasters. When fear comes around, I have this very powerful “FREEZE” that takes over me. Wanting to be hardcore and the freeze often cause a little dissonance in me. You see the beautiful thing is, when I am out exploring this world and away from the comforts of easy life, I see these things in me. I see the way that yes, I can freeze at the top of a hill on my quad because I am terrified to cruise down until Jeremy finally says, “You just have to trust me”. I can freeze in the line up when the waves feel like they will chew me up, spit me out, and leave me for the fish to eat until I finally catch one smooth easy spraying wave that makes me giggle the whole time. I can’t get enough.

I get hard and competitive on myself in these freezing moments of fear. But then, I see the world around me and the ways she pushes me to be a little more brave each time. She makes the jump off the cliff seem all worth it when sea turtles and jet black eels pop up to you when you finally make the jump. I see the way I sit in the line up with silence. There is a rainbow behind me and mesmerizing passing storm clouds that lit up in the sunset before me. I remember that two days ago, I did everything to not get in the water for this big swell coming through, but now I see this is what I would have missed. Throughout our trip, I found moments where I was braver, I took risks, I broke through the freeze.

You see our stories, our memories, our adventures our shaping us for wherever our story is headed down the road. Who knows what will come where I will have to make the right call with the right perspective of the importance of money. Who knows what risks we will have to take even though it seems scary, unknown, or potentially could fail. I keep exploring because I want to learn more of that. I want to be pushed beyond what I think are my limits. I want to look around me and see the wild and take it and be a little more wild and free.

I read this from Walt Disney’s biography the other day and I think this creative, innovative, whimsical man gets it:

“That’s what it is–a feeling of freedom with the animals and characters that live out there. That is what you experience when you go to the country. You escape the everyday world–the strife and struggle. You get out where everything is free and beautiful.”

I go exploring to get a little more of that, because who knows where it will lead me.

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