I often say, “Let your freak flag fly,” but spending the weekend in Portland during The Undeniable Tour made me think that being different doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a freak. Maybe it only means that you’re brave enough to deviate from the norm. Hopefully it’s a sign that you’re brave enough to be yourself.
The city of Portland is filled with quirk. This is a city that is filled with unique people, charming places, and independently owned businesses. I loved that I could walk for blocks without seeing a chain store or restaurant. I’m pretty sure no two houses are the same. I loved seeing the bright colors and architectural touches. My friend who lives here says some people have little free libraries in their front yards (bookshelves where you can take any book you want) and one guy hangs dog treats on the tree in front of his house for anyone to take.
I loved walking around this city snapping pictures of the odd, delightful, and beautiful things I saw. It’s so much fun to see all the people in Oregon. I feel like I saw every shape, size, style of dress, hair color, and body piercing imaginable. I saw all types of plain and fancy people, including plenty who were gleefully clashing with themselves.
It seems like people are more free to be themselves here. I listened to people singing because they felt like it (and not always on key but you could tell they were happy). I saw a woman dancing to the live music at the outdoor market because the spirit moved her (she may have had some mind-altering chemicals in her system too).
I felt a sense of joy as I wandered through the city. People appeared to be doing their own thing – not to boost their ego or to get attention, but simply because it was what made them comfortable and happy. And if that makes them freaks, then rock on!
I’m excited to speak at Lewis and Clark Law School tomorrow before heading north to Seattle for the last stop and appearance of The Undeniable Tour. This has been a whirlwind trip and I’m grateful I’ve been able to share part of it with you.