In May, after finishing school and moving to the north side, I sold my car. For many reasons. I knew I could do a year of CTA, it was better for me financially, I would be getting rid of my car in a year’s time anyway with Croatia and JV in the near future, and parking in Chicago sucks. When I sold my car though, I also said goodbye to a lot of convenience, simplicity and freedom. Not only did it make my commuting time longer (which honestly, most of the time I enjoy. It makes me slow down) but it also makes it a bit difficult to visit my parents in northern Wisconsin.
I hadn’t visited my parents magical, peaceful, and other-worldly cabin home since March (when, believe it or not, there was still a ton of snow on the ground). They moved up here three years ago and it is totally other-worldly compared to the hustle and bustle of my Chicago life. There’s actually grass and trees and a real lake and it’s the most peaceful place. A few weeks ago my mom had a wedding to attend in Springfield and on her way back up north she picked me up and I got to spend a few days at my parent’s home.
Growing up has not only cause me to ask questions like “Who am I and what do I want to be about?” “What is home?” etc. but it has made me appreciate my family and parents so much more. I’ve truly found so much freedom and beauty in letting go, choosing to love and serve, and just being present. Reality is, I know I won’t have many more visits up to the cabin and holidays with my family won’t be the norm in a year or so when I make the move to Croatia. There’s a lot of bittersweet in life lately but it’s so very good. So, being home and doing normal things with my parents like four mile walks, meeting their neighbors, going grocery shopping, having dad teach me how to drive stick in his new red jeep, watching a movie and laughing hard with dad, laughing at dad falling asleep on the couch, getting a Christmas tree at J.J. Acres and stopping inside for some hot chocolate, drinking wine with mom, and waking up to just one cup of coffee left in the coffee pot.
It’s just been like finding freedom in thankfulness. There’s freedom in thankfulness. Freedom in letting go of unfair expectations and rules. Freedom in enjoying, serving and loving. SO much thankfulness in unconventional thanksgiving (due to working on thanksgiving but driving up anyway and having a feast on Saturday.) Being present over perfect lets us live in thankfulness and not constant disappointment.