Marshall and I have seen so many places and experienced so many things in life for being so young. In the last year, we moved five times. I think our dog actually freaks out when we get in the car because he doesn’t know if we are driving across town or moving across the country. It was a huge change when we bought our first house and decided on one spot for the next five years.
Let me tell you guys, we are definitely the weird kids on the block. We have a zip-tied farm car, a loud diesel truck that’s parked in our front yard and a red BMW that leaves our neighbors confused about where we fall in the game of class. We’re barely home enough to get our lawn mowed on a regular basis – Sometimes, our lawn goes half mowed because the mower we borrowed broke down in the process. Our dogs have moved earth in the backyard like cattle and everything that remains green is due to God’s grace. In short, we are awful at this suburban living thing.
Although we are very blessed to own a house, the two of us often talk about how we miss the sunrise over an open field, a gravel road that tells you when someone is coming to visit, and the smell of a farm shed full of fresh hay and the tractor that is still leaking oil. I miss the feeling of freedom I had riding my horse bareback through cornfields as fast as he could run and the smiles around the dinner table, even with hands covered in dirt from doing chores.
I don’t mean to talk down on those who love living in town, having routine and perfectly manicured lawns. But, I have seen how quickly my appreciation for the little things has diminished as I fall into a daily routine. My senses have become dull and my heart feels less full of wonder and gratitude as I feel my actions are in vain – as if I’m passing by mountains in pursuit of mole hills.
I ask you, at what point do we decide the content of a person’s soul by how their grass is cut and how often they upgrade their car? When did we start ignoring our neighbors and giving up fellowship for the game of Keeping Up with the Jones’? When did we trade adventure for routine and when did it become unacceptable to be different?
As for me, I don’t want to see the beautiful landscaping and wreath on your front door. I want to see your mess, your dirt, your humanity. I want to embrace the wild part of my soul without worrying about my neighbors disliking me for our differences. I want to appreciate a sunrise, take a midnight road trip to somewhere I haven’t seen, ride a horse with no makeup and my hair unbrushed. I want to share a beer on my front porch on a Tuesday night with my husband, in sweatpants and a messy bun, sharing our day.
No matter where you come from, whether you breathe in the air of livestock or listen to rush hour traffic outside your window, be true to yourself. Don’t hide behind a mask to gain approval from your peers. Don’t hinder your thoughts to fit inside a domestic box. Live with courage, passion and conviction always, even when it is unorganized and messy. Even when you are alone in your authenticity, it holds more weight than a thousand masks of perfection.