Monday, October 29, 2018

A Latte Truth For Your Cup

Imagine you are standing in line at Starbucks. In front of you, someone is ordering a latte. You get angry at this fact because you only like macchiatos. And even though you are not the one drinking it and their drink choice doesn't affect you directly, you can't help but let it get inside your head and drive you to the point of sheer annoyance and outrage. It doesn't matter that their choice makes them happy and feel good, you refuse to let them enjoy their $5 latte in peace because you absolutely cannot believe that someone would order something other than a macchiato. How dare they!

Sounds ridiculous, eh? Well, unfortunately this happens a lot more often than people like to realize or admit. Not necessarily in the realm of Starbucks lines, but in situational life happenings. Every time someone does something we don't agree with, we find ourselves so upset and overtaken with strong emotions. Whether it is who they love, what they choose to eat, what religion they are, what language they speak, what clothing they wear, what career they choose....get my point? Why do we care so much about other people in that aspect? If it makes them happy, if it is who they are meant to be, if they believe strongly in what they are doing, why does it matter to us? Literally, it doesn't affect us at all. Until we let it. And even so, we are usually making up ridiculous reasons in our head because we absolutely will not allow someone else to have a life we don't agree with. Yet that in itself is a cop out. It isn't that we don't agree with it, it is that we refuse to take the time to understand it. Nod your head yes, you know I am right. Just because it is something I myself do not decide to do for myself, doesn't mean other people are not allowed to. No one is asking your permission to be who they are. Hard to swallow pill, but your permission is not needed for someone else to order a latte, or marry someone of the same gender, or to worship God, or not worship God, eat meat, only eat vegetables, or wear all black, or wear a head covering, or speak English or Spanish or French or sign language or Klingon or whatever they want to speak. Just because it doesn't fit your palate doesn't mean it doesn't taste good to them.

So instead of worrying about about what is in the cup of other people, focus on what is in your own cup. If you stay concerned with all those ordering a latte, you will never enjoy your grande macchiato. The menu is vast. There is plenty to order. Hundreds of combinations. Each one tastes good to someone. Each choice is a favorite to someone else. Allow people to pick their personal preference in beverage and beyond. Them drinking a latte doesn't make your macchiato taste worse. I promise.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

A Place Among the Trees

Oh, hey there! Wow. It seems as though it has been 10 months since I last posted. This is probably because it in fact has been that long. Much has happened since we last caught up. The biggest change being that I decided to go back to school after 10 years and finish the degree I originally started when I was but a young lass. Starting over at the age of 35 has had its challenges, without a doubt. Being back in a classroom with all these young whipper snappers has made me feel ancient. I tell them I graduated in 2001 and they reply, "Seriously? I was just born at that time!" Thanks for that, kiddo. In addition to taking full class loads this summer and 19 hours this semester (who needs sleep or no stress?) I am still helping take care of my father with dementia. Life definitely led me down a path I wasn't expecting to be back on. Or on in general. But, I suppose the Universe lines things up for us and places us where we need to be right when we need to be there. The Universe had a plan, I just had to catch up to it. This being said, I graduate with my Associates in Journalism in December and then move onto ETSU where I will be getting my Bachelors in two years, with a minor in Creative Writing. I have never been more excited about the future. It feels like I finally have a purpose, a goal and hope. Right at this moment, however, I am also thankful to be back in the mountains of Tennessee for a full Fall season for the first time in 6 years. In Florida, we only knew the changing seasons by the different featured drinks at Starbucks. I definitely took the beauty of the scenery here for granted growing up. I find myself going on more drives and paying closer attention to the vibrant colors encompassing me. 360 degree explosions of reds, oranges and yellows produce a surround sound of color and brilliance. One fact I have found is that I relate to these trees this time of year. Especially now with where I am on my journey. The leaves turn from their original greens into something so splendid and beautiful. From small buds grow incredible displays of trees that look to have been set aflame against the clear October sky. They stand out boldly and proudly against their background, unashamed of how they have changed from what they once were. Don't get me wrong. When they were decked out in their greens they were just as worth looking at, because during that season of their life, they were exactly where they needed to be. However, as time went on, they began to slowly change and transform into what they needed to be for this particular season of their life. And the change was subtle. Over time, we began to see the greens fade into darker colors and begin to appear in a different light among the other leaves. This happened slowly until they were presented in their full glory of change. This is much like we change and grow over time. We start out as buds growing toward being something of significance and worth noticing. Over time, we turn into emerald colors as we reach the stage of new life in our story. Our roots grow stronger, we grow taller and we begin to enter new seasons where we continue to change and unfold into our splendor and splashes of cascading glory. People begin to pay attention to what we have become. "How beautiful! I love how the changes make them stand out more so than before!" they will exclaim as they stand in awe of the powerful colors no longer hidden by the greens that all appeared to be the same in color and hue. I like that. I like feeling like a beautiful leaf. A palette of burning embers placed within the contents of nature. Bursting forth with such intensity and determination, shouting, "Look at me! Look how far I have come! I have made it through another season and am still hanging on to the branches, though they sway and try to knock me off at times, I am holding steadfast in my brilliance!" Yes, there will be a time to let go and fulfill a different destiny. But Fall shows us how magnificent letting go can be. And when you do, you will once again become one with the Earth and yourself. You will let yourself go and give yourself the freedom to be so unbelievably fantastic. And from there you will grow and rise once again, on to new horizons and mountain tops. Letting yourself become. Leaving behind the old, while leaving behind new buds to take your place and learn from what you left before them. And they will thrust forth in newness and wonder, finding their place among the trees, because you first taught them how.

Settling is Sinking. You Were Born to Rise.

When someone thinks of something "settling", one of the first things that comes to mind is a house. I remember growing up, every t...