Saturday, December 26, 2015

Patient not Complacent

This past year has been a year of tremendous growth for me. I've pruned off pieces of myself and I've watched pieces fall away of their own accord. I have grown more patient and I have grown less complacent. I have felt peaceful in this growth and content to know that pain is just a part of it but so too is joy. That there are some days when the sun is shining but it seems as though the warmth of it never reaches past the clouds. And there are some days when it becomes pleasantly warm unexpectedly. But I do not think that at any other point in my life have I ever felt so content with all the changes and all of the circumstances that bring that change about. 

I've tried to live in a," patient not complacent" way for a few years now. But I don't think I've ever understood what that feels like more clearly than I have lately. I'm not sure if it is because I'm just a bit more tired lately or if I've just decided to dive in rather than wade about in the shallow end trying to stay dry. Maybe I've developed more trust in my ability to stay afloat while at the same time calmly accepting the possibility that the hidden current might drag at me until I'm too tired to fight it. Whatever the case, I feel relieved.

I don't feel this way all the time. I still have many moments when I feel alone, awkward, sad, unsure, under-understood (If that makes sense), misinterpreted, disregarded etc. But overall I have felt more able to calm these emotions and let things go once I've realized that they have taken hold of me. I've also felt more comfortable asking for help and advice from those close to me when I can't seem to let things go on my own.

I think I've been better at the "not complacent" part most of my life. Always looking for ways to improve and better myself and seeking out ways to be helpful and kind and discover how to be kindest to individuals and not just the collective mass. But the "be patient" part of it has always been a struggle for me. It still is and I still think I am far harder on myself than I should be. But I think I am getting better at breathing through it.  And I have found intense happiness in realizing that it is my responsibility and my freedom to let go or hold on.

Maybe finding peace has become easier as I've slowly come around to the idea of being more confident of my intentions. I have tried to become more comfortable being more freely kind and giving and less afraid of how my actions will be perceived. I've come to the conclusion that as long as my intentions are pure, that acts of kindness are okay and observing and serving people in my life with less anxiety can lead to deeper connections with them and create a feeling of peace during our interactions.  I still try very hard to be sensitive to other's boundaries and try my best not to impose on them. But I still hope that even if I just stand next to them we will feel comfortable and content in the quiet. Because sometimes that is all that is needed.

There are still times when I feel like my interactions with others is like Skyping with a slow Internet connection. A bunch of freeze frames, delayed audio reception and a fuzzy view of the person on the other end. It isn't bad necessarily. I'm still connecting with the person on the other line. But I wish we didn't have to travel through an intricate and expansive collection of wires and signals to reach each other. That there weren't so many social conventions and prerequisites clogging up the way to simple, friendly and fulfilling conversations. 

But I have felt more comfortable with who I am and where I am and who I am with and who I am without. I wish there were more one on one conversations in my life. More giving conversations where it is safe to discuss anything with understanding and purity of intent on both sides. More opportunities to develop relationships based on more than common interests and physical proximity. More laughter and less fear of sharing our pain and grief with those who would love nothing more than to sit by us through it and help us where they can. But I also know that those type of connections can be hard to come by. Not for lack of desire but because life is demanding and time is short. That this world and all of us in it are flawed and inconsistent. But I also remembered, as I was standing in my kitchen making tea this morning, that there are probably plenty of people in this world who feel like I do. Just standing in their kitchens, offices, family rooms, dance halls, classrooms and everywhere in between, wishing to connect more easily with this world but also understanding that it is okay if it takes more effort and discomfort to get there than one wishes it did. 

That it is okay. And that is okay.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Leave Some Room

 I work at a local coffee shop and it's awesome. It's the best job I've ever had and I get to work with my friends and I make pretty good money and get to be creative and be a part of a really great community. To be honest, every one's life is a little (or a lot a bit) crazy at times and none of us are perfect.

But that doesn't mean I can't write a blog post that pokes fun of a few of the less glamorous aspects of my job.

1)Waking up at an ungodly hour is just part of the job. There are absolutely no adverse side-effects as a result of waking up so early.

2) I mean, I work at a coffee shop. If I'm tired I'll just drink more coffee. Yeah, coffee.

3) There is a line out the door and around the corner and the next person in line walks up with their cell phone out and says, " okay, so I'm going to need 8 drinks. For 8 different people. Are you ready?" But they forgot to ask everyone what size, what temperature and with what milk substitute they wanted their coffee to be made. So they text everyone and wait for their replies. 

On the inside I'm all like:

But on the outside I'm a total bad ass: 

We cool, breh.

4) My co-workers and I got that entire confusingly dictated order done perfectly for you. 

5) Getting text messages like this one:

Is totally normal.

6) Shift change during a rush.

7) How I feel/look when I go on lunch break.

8) Mid-Shift.

9) When someone orders a macchiato and you hand them a traditional macchiato when what they really wanted was a large upside down caramel frappuccino with whipped cream on top and it's all your fault that you A) don't even have a blender to do frappuccinos and B) that you can't do your job because you didn't know that a large upside down caramel macchiato frappuccino with whipped cream is what they were asking for when they said "I want a macchiato." At the register. And C) that we aren't Starbucks. 

10)When someone looks at me with this face:

Then proceeds to either asks me out or begins to aggressively flirt with me while I'm working. 

11) When one of the tasks is to clean all the trash cans:

12) When someone who just ordered an iced sugar free hazelnut latte then walks over and picks up and starts drinking the small hot americano that I just prepared for someone else.

13) When someone tells me all the things we are doing wrong as a business and that they don't like our coffee as much as this other one so we need to change to be like that other place etc. while I make them their large soy single shot iced caramel latte with extra vanilla lite ice. 

14) How I feel at the end of a busy shift.

In the end though, it's all good :) 
So hey, come grab a cup of coffee :) 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

I'd Like to Buy a Foul.

I've participated in sports my entire life. One sport I played for over 13 years was basketball. My mom and dad used to tell me, "If you don't have 2 or 3 fouls you aren't playing the game. And if you foul out you aren't playing the game. Obviously."

The following blog is just my reflections on this quote and not a preachy "be happy" sort of post.



Fouls happen, in my mind, not because of an intention to hurt anyone, but when I would try to do something to help my team but it didn't work out like I thought it would and things would get messy.

Same goes for life.

I also think there is a difference between being naive and simply just not being afraid.

I know about the dangerous and dark things in this world. I know they exist. I've been through rough, dark-side-of-the-moon kind of times. Who hasn't?

I take the risks I do knowing full well of the dark places in the world because I made up my mind a long time ago that no matter what happens I know I can get through hard times. Because I have done it before. Who hasn't? I know I can do hard things. And I know that it is easier said than done. So I plan accordingly. Because they wouldn't be risks if I didn't know, at least in part, what was/is at stake.

But I also know that being strong isn't about carrying the world on my own. Being strong also means knowing when to ask for help. I didn't get to where I am by myself. I had help. And most of the time I didn't even have to ask for it. I have and am bolstered by the small and large acts of kindness on the selfless part of others. Conditioned by the hard-times and the not-so-nice people. And I'm alive because of small, quiet, beautiful moments and tender mercies.

And I am grateful for both the good and the bad.

Because I am determined to be who I want to be regardless and because of the things I've seen, I've done, I didn't do, I want to do, I should have done and so on.

Because it's my choice. I can't control others. I don't want to. But I can choose who I am and who I become. That is my freedom.

And I wouldn't have learned that without having experienced the good and the bad.

So I took my parent's advice and started taking risks.

Not the drunk-driving, sort of risks.

But the: I'm-going-to-drop-school-for-a-bit-and-travel kind of risks. The I'm-going-to-fight-for-the-people-and-things-I-love-most- in-the-best-way-I-know-how kind of risks. The I'm-going-to-apply-for-my-dream-job-because-what-the-hell-why-not kind of risks. The I'm-going-to-adopt-this-skinny-little-dog-because-I-love-her-and-I'll-find-a-way-to-make-it-work kind of risks. The I'm-going-to-talk-to-this-person-because-I-want-to-know-thier-story kind of risks. The I-stopped-caring-so-much-about-what-other-people-wanted-me-to-do-and-started-doing-what-I-want-to-do kind of risks.

I'm not the most focused person you will ever meet, I don't have it all together, my car isn't always clean, my bed isn't always made, I play my music too loudly, I don't wear my hearing-aids nearly as often as I should, I don't have amazing study habits, I talk too much, I sometimes binge-watch TV shows, I sometimes binge-read books, I have more than one Lord of the Rings Marathon a year. Just me. Cassolass of the Woodland Realm. No one else. I speak in weird accents to my dog. I would perish without Spellcheck. I randomly try to go vegan and then totally suck at it. I try to drink a gallon of water a day but somedays I don't because coffee.

But I do: Spend all the time I can with my family and closest friends. I make time to do the things I value. I make time to reflect and recharge and be alone. More than half of me believes there is still magic and Hogwarts and that maybe someday that thing on my dresser that is too far for me to reach  will float to me on my command if I just look hard enough at it. The other, more skeptical 49% of me is still clapping to keep tinker bell alive. I nerd out a lot. I go a lot of places by myself, because I don't think that it's weird. And when I go places alone I have a greater chance of learning about random people's lives and making new friends. And I do. I have an amazing dog, the world's greatest friends and family, an awesome job, and I was able to spend time with my family in a foreign country and make friends and learn about a different culture. I can enjoy a quiet cup of coffee in the morning on my front porch. I can go hiking and I can read books, and laugh and learn.

And life is good :)

So thanks for being a part of it :)

You rock  :)