Putting down roots makes me uncomfortable. The thought of settling somewhere and calling it home sends me into a tizzy, which I know is contrary to what most people want from life. It probably doesn’t need to be said, but home isn’t the roof over your head (though with today’s pouring rain I’m grateful for that), the zip code you recite at Crate & Barrel EVERY SINGLE TIME, or the state on your license plate or your driver’s license (of which I have two right now).
As the days march on and we head from spring, a time which makes me joyous for life’s possibilities, to summer, a time which makes me wish I lived on the beach, I’m trying to come to grips with the fact that home isn’t what I thought it would be. Home certainly isn’t the town where I supposedly grew up. That particular town, with its quaint New England “charm” and its bland obsession with gossip and track (yes, the running kind), holds too many memories of things that weren’t and people who aren’t. Although my family no longer lives in that town, it was long before they sold my house that I began to feel the pull to live somewhere else.
Now that I’m an “adult” - which society seems to define solely by the fact that I’m married and 28 – everyone is focused on the next step. As is the nature with “next steps,” each one takes friends/acquaintances/facebook “friends” closer to a more settled, more adult life. Pictures of new houses, with their new kitchens and shiny windows and plans for future renovations, document the permanence of the step, like a long-awaited diploma for adulthood. And just like the nursery rhyme somewhat predicts, baby carriages begin to fill the porches and driveways of the homes.
I think that’s more proof that we don’t simply buy a home. We fill it with pictures of favorite trips, weddings, and friends, and we prepare it for new arrivals, and eventually that house becomes a home.
Unfortunately for me, I feel more at home without a home, more comfortable in an uncomfortable driver’s seat, more settled when I’m unsettled. That’s not to knock people who want a physical home. In fact, I admire people who want that. Millions of people have forged that path before, and the government acknowledges a settled life with a tax break. There’s no tax break for six apartments in six years.
One of life’s biggest adult lessons is learning that what you want may not be what other people want. And even harder than that is learning how to deal with the difference. Though I want the possibility of this:
I know that it’s not always possible.
Although I’d prefer to prepare my coffee on the top of a car in the freezing morning of a New Mexico October, I know there’s something to be said for sitting with a cup of coffee in the comfort of your own home.
The beauty of life, and especially in our lovely country, is the freedom to do what you want. If you want to drive 1,000 miles, do it.
If you want to be an animal lover, bear hugger, no one is stopping you.
Follow the sun from east to west? No problem.
Find yourself in hills of Texas after you air conditioner breaks and you get soaked in a massive rainstorm? A pink sky and lake is probably all you need.
Hate guns, tattoo yourself with “peace” and “let it be,” and search for meaning in bathroom stalls scribbled with anti-Obama hate sermons? Try to understand that we’re all coming from different places, different homes, different experiences.
And if you have a middle of nowhere Texas mechanic tell you he wishes he could “give it all up and move west,” know that a little courage to go for what you want is all you need.
Although my recent adventures out west turned out to be less permanent than originally thought (a full explanation to come soon, but let’s just say “adulthood” got in the way), I’m trying to embrace the permanence of impermanence as I plan for another journey.
Some say I’m a free spirit, and free spirits make granola, right? Incidentally, granola would make a great road trip snack. Perfectly crunchy with a sweet bite. Perfect for eating with a spoon you wash in motel sinks. Delicious when paired with the cashew milk you make in your massive Vitamix schlepped from the car to the room and back again every morning. That, my friends, is love.
Home on the Road Granola
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup almonds, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 t sea salt
- 2 t cinnamon
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 T coconut oil
- 1 T agave
- 3 T brown rice syrup
1. Preheat oven to 300.
2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
3. Combine the wet ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat until everything is well incorporated.
4. Pour wet ingredients over dry and mix like crazy.
5. Pour granola mixture onto a large baking sheet covered with a silpat or parchment paper.
6. Bake for 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes or so open the oven and mix to ensure even baking.
7. Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Once cooled, break into pieces and store in a sealed container.