BestThings: Late Sunday Edition

I'm writing this morning...well, really it's afternoon here...from Homedale, ID.  I'm off on my 10-day adventure around Idaho and Montana, coming back home probably on the 13th or 14th.  I slept in and so here we are.  I hope everyone had a good Independence Day, whatever you may have done.  I chose to celebrate my independence by driving to Idaho. 

Driving.  I love driving.  I do it for a job, and I do it for fun.  I never feel more free than when on a road trip because I am on my own schedule.  Even with planes or trains or buses, you are at the mercy of their schedule.  I like to make my own rules.  I had a pretty easy 7 hour drive over here.  I was proud of myself because I did not use AC for 5 hours.  But, once I hit Baker City and the temperature hit 100 degrees, I decided it was time to turn it on.

Family. I wasn't with my blood family on this holiday, but family comes in all different forms.  I spent it with my best friend, her daughter, boyfriend, mom, step-dad and various other assorted people.  These guys are like family to me.  Chris is the sister I never had biologically, and her mom, Linda, and Dave, her step-dad, are like second parents to me.  Linda put on an incredible spread, with hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, salads (including potato) and even made a watermelon/cool whip cake and gluten-free brownies for me.  It was delicious!  Chris and I played a lengthy game of pool downstairs and we made about one shot in for every 5 shots we took.  Eventually Chris won.

Home. Dave and Linda moved into a new house in the Boise area a few months ago, and from their upper deck we had a view of the entire Treasure Valley, from Boise all the way South.  We could see fireworks for miles!  It was awesome, and a beautiful night to watch.  Their home is beautiful, and perfectly suits them. I am so happy for them in their new place, and so happy that I got to visit and see it.  This is the first summer they have not worked in I don't know how many years. 

Last 4th of July I was working for Dave and Linda at their blackberry-packing plant, and I don't even remember the day.  I think I might have actually just gone home and gone to bed. All I craved was sleep.  It was hard work. 33 days straight last year.  I was a zombie.  I never want to experience that again.  But, it got me to where I am today, which is in a place to take off for a 10-day open-ended road trip with no one waiting on my return. And now here I was, celebrating Independence Day with Dave and Linda in Idaho when we were all eyeballs deep in blackberries last year.  Crazy how things can change so much in a year, but they always do.  I feel so blessed, every day.  Which is why I write these "best things", to reflect on the goodness in my life and the abundance I live in. 

Top 5 "BestThings" of last week:

1. I got asked out for a beer by a super-cute Lyft passenger.  

2. I took off on a road trip for Boise and Montana.

3. I received this awesome feedback from a Friday Lyft passenger: 

★★★★★ Top review

“Jennifer is amazing, and her infectious laugh is sublime. Thanks for the welcome to portland and ride to the airport!”

4. I spent the 4th with one of my best friends.

5. I had lunch with one of my friends in town from Denver that I have not seen in a year.


Home

I came back to Portland from a recent, lengthy road trip and realized I had no home to come back to.  Not in the traditional sense anyway.   I gave up my apartment a few months ago and started housesitting for my bosses so I could do more of the things I love.  Mostly, travel.  And write. I decided to throw aside the comforts of a "home" to learn how to be comfortable in a world outside my own.  

Since this decision, I have been on countless trips and traveled thousands  of miles.  I'm getting ready to expand my circle internationally and go spend a month in Ireland.  Solo.  And I figured something out.  So many of us allow ourselves to be defined by our home.  Whether we own one or not.  What's in it.  How much we pay for it.  Don't get me wrong, I have no issue with people having homes.  I just think sometimes we get too attached to them without placing enough value on developing our own self as our home.  

Someday I suppose I'll settle down.  Or maybe not.  I don't know.  Maybe I'll keep adventuring for my whole life.  But what I do know is this.  Giving up everything that represents conventional security is terrifying.  Initially.  Giving up the known for the unknown takes you to a whole different level of life and it is exhilarating, if you let it be.  I am no longer afraid of uncertainty, I have made it my friend.  And life has become ever so interesting.