Mornings and Afternoons and Evenings

I want a house on the outskirts of a little town, maybe near the ocean.  I want vintage furnishings in pastel colors like mint and lavender and grey.  I want natural light and fresh breezes.  I want wood floors and rugs and space to do yoga.  I want to walk into town on Saturdays and stroll and read and sip coffee.  I want mornings and afternoons and evenings with someone that I love.

I want to live not too far from the city.  Whether I work there or in town, either is exciting.  I want to be close enough to the places I like and the foods I love and find a new way to adventure as often as I can think of it.  I want love.  I want mornings and afternoons and evenings with someone that I love.

I want a porch with a swing and a yard with a lawn.  I want a garden with shade and a table for writing.  I want a hammock beneath the trees for napping and a chair for basking.  I want a dog to run in my yard and to play fetch from my porch.  I want mornings and afternoons and evenings with someone that I love.

I want travel.  I want trips to the zoo and museums and road trips to canyons I have yet to conquer.  I want music and color and poetry to fill my very being.  I want happiness.  I want to be overwhelmed with joy.  I want mornings and afternoons and evenings with someone that I love.

Be Kind to Each Other

I work at Starbucks.  No, I’m not an advocate for Starbucks and I don’t worship the siren, but I do think it’s the best company I’ve ever worked for.  They care about their employees and they care about their customers.  But they’re also a fairly liberal company, just like I’m a fairly liberal person.  And you know who likes to give Starbucks shit for no reason other than to have something to complain about or to have something be the enemy?  Overly conservative people.  And most people assume that all Christians are overly conservative.  I’m not.  I don’t.

Last year, people threw a fit saying Starbucks was trying to take Christ out of Christmas.  Because they did minimalist cups.  I never really understood how those correlated.  But, people have been blaming companies for taking Christ out of Christmas for as long as I remember.  And, as someone who works for the company, I’ve realized that Starbucks celebrates Christmas harder than most.  And I used to work in hospitality.

I had heard that people were coming into stores and giving a certain name to be written on their cup.  I wasn’t sure if it was real.  I didn’t care all that much.  I just feel the need to mention why Starbucks likes to have names on their cups.
First off, it makes the coffee experience more personal (their words, not mine).  It also helps to identify drinks, so if ten people order white mochas, you know which one is yours.  Trying to make it political or whatever is pointless.  It just causes problems.  And no one really cares if you want to put a fake name on your cup to be funny.  You’ll still know that it’s your drink.
Anyway, I had heard that people want Starbucks baristas to write “Trump” on their cups.  And they were going to complain if the barista didn’t call out the name.  Last week, I was on bar with another guy I work with, another Christian, and a woman came in and told her friends she was going to see if she could get a rise out of someone.  She said her name was Trump.  My shift, who took the order, came and told us, so we would be aware of the situation.  We weren’t supposed to make a big deal out of it.
So, I ended being the barista who got to make her drink.  And I made a decision.  Most of the people I work with don’t always call out the names on the cups, they just say the drink.  I decided to do that as well.  So, I called out her mocha as a mocha, and called out the next drink as a pumpkin spice latte, because that’s what they were.  Most of the other drinks we were making were for the drive thru.
When she came to pick up her drink, she loudly asked if it was hers.  Both of the baristas making drinks, myself and my coworker, were pretty busy with other drinks.  I told her if she ordered a grande mocha, it might be hers.  She turned to her friends and complained that we called out the drink, but not the name.  Then another of her friends came to ask me, while I was obviously trying to work, if it was her drink.  I politely told him that I wasn’t sure, but that it might be.  I was preoccupied.  Then he left, and when he came back, he asked for my name, then they all left the store.
See, this situation to me sounds like it would be a group of self-righteous teenagers acting up for no reason.  But no, these were adults, most likely in their forties.  I didn’t realize it was so hard to grow up.

It really bums me out that I’m grouped with these people.  Regardless of what you believe about Trump or Starbucks or Christianity, it matters to me that people are kind to each other.  Yes, Trump is our president.  No, he is not kind, so I find it hard to support him.  However, I do believe in praying for our leaders.  As a citizen of this country, Trump is my leader.  And this is a really hard time for people like me.  This is a hard time for feminist Christians.  It’s a time where it’s hard to voice and be okay with what you believe.  But causing division is not the way.
Be conservative, whatever.  But don’t try to make people angry purely because you can.  Purely because they believe more freely than you do.  Purely because they might have a more open mind.  Purely because you disagree.
I’m into loving and accepting people first.  Which means loving and accepting overly conservative people just as much as it means loving and accepting someone who might think I’m close minded simply because I’m a Christian.  All people are equal.  Be kind to each other.

One Year

It’s amazing how much can change in a year.  Think about where you were a year ago.  Last year at this time I was living in Eureka doing an internship.  I had a year left of college and I didn’t know what I would do after that.  I played with the idea of figuring out a spoken word tour, but I’m not ambitious enough to bring that idea to fruition.  I started formulating what eventually became the plan to move to Portland post graduation.  I made friends that I hoped to keep for the rest of my life.

A year ago a pair of my friends had recently gone through a breakup, making their relationship somewhat less than friendship.  There was so much anger in that situation, but looking at them now, one of them is about to get married and the other one is happily spinning toward engagement.  A year ago neither of them would have expected this.

A year ago I thought that at this point I might have my life somewhat figured out.  I thought I would have my book on its way to publishing.  I thought I would have a cool job or some other thing going for me, and that I would be living in a cool city like Portland, sipping coffee and hanging out at pubs with my hip friends.

The day I left the camp in Nevada City I had a conversation with one of the other employees.  He told me that Chicago is on his heart.  He said that he feels God is sending him there, just not yet.  He knows he’ll be there eventually and that he might invoke change, but he has some things to figure out first.  Portland is on my heart.  I feel like it’s where I belong, possibly where I am being sent, but maybe not yet.

I came home, because right now this is where I am supposed to be.  I’m hoping to take a job and move up to Mammoth, but I really don’t know what the future holds for me.  No, I don’t know how I’m going to pay off my student loans.  No, I don’t know when my book will be finished.  No, I don’t know when I’ll move to Portland, or England, or anywhere else.  But I think that’s all okay, because who really has their life all together, especially at 21?

So, I’m taking one year.  One year to make no plans, but to just see where life takes me, where God takes me.  Where will I be in a year?  I don’t know, and I’ve decided not to care.  I need to focus on what is in front of me.  A year of freedom, maybe.

Creepy… or Romantic?

I’ve been thinking about things that people do for one another that are considered romantic: guys giving girls flowers, girls making their boyfriends dinner, making an attractive person a mix tape, etc.  People are just so romantic.  Romantic means to suggest the excitement or mystery pertaining to love.  But what is romantic?

Imagine a scenario: a girl and guy meet randomly in a coffee shop.  He realizes that she goes there a lot, and so brings her flowers one day, and asks her out on a date.  Romantic, right?  Now imagine that she’s not into him, but he brings her flowers, even though he doesn’t really know her, and asks her out.  Creepy.

I was at the grocery store one time and a guy kept trying to make conversation with me while I was buying fruit for church.  His persistence annoyed me.  When I told the story later, one of my guy friends pointed out that I would have thought it was sweet if I thought he was cute.  Which is true.

A lot of people say that chivalry is dead, but I think we may have killed it.  If a guy tries to be cute and sweet and romantic, he comes off creepy simply because she’s not attracted to him.  Next time a guy talks to you, ignore the way he looks and pay attention to the words he says and the things he does.  He’s probably not creepy.  Or maybe he is…

Creepy = romantic and vice versa.

Texting God

I woke up late today.  I missed my alarm and I barely had time to make my lunch before I had to be out the door.
So I sent a text to God saying I’d hang out with Him when I got home.
Texting while driving, I promised I’d pray more and keep my eyes on the road.
I changed the radio station to “Christian” to show God how sorry I was for missing our morning meeting.

I got invited out for coffee after class by the cute boy who sits next to me.
I shot a text up to God, promising we’d hang out and debrief my date.
I knew He’d understand, because I talk to Him everyday, but it’s not everyday that a guy like this talks to me.

When I came home my roommate asked me to go to the gym with her.
I texted god, saying I’d be with Him in an hour
The Bible told me my body was a temple, so keeping it in shape is as important to Him as it is to me.
I jogged for half an hour, texting God about my day, but listening to my roommate and loud music, rather than reading His responses.

I came home and I was exhausted.
I sent a text, saying I needed a shower and to finish my homework
Hygiene and diligence are important to Him
I promised we’d hang out tomorrow, besides I’ve been texting Him all day.

It’s been three months and my grades are doing great.
I text God daily, thanking Him for my strong physique.
That cute boy who sat next to me in class moved across the room; he found a new girl to take to coffee
I angrily text God, saying I don’t want to talk to Him anymore.

I cry to my roommate, but she doesn’t want to hear it; she has problems of her own
I sit here lonely, then get a text from God saying, “It’s time you picked up the phone.”
I dial God’s number, afraid of what He’ll say
But I just need to hear a friendly voice, and to vent out my hectic day
I apologize for avoiding Him but He just says He loves me, that it’s okay
God invites me over to cry on His shoulder and promises He’ll always stay

My phone bill is nonexistent, because calls to God are free
And even if I miss a day with Him, He’s never made me feel guilty
It’s weird, because even thought sometimes I’m the worst, God’s always there for me
So I’m done texting God, we’ll spend time listening in silence, learning patience and intimacy.

Blogging in a Coffee Shop

Today I am spending my day in town.  I’m going to hang out with an old friend at 4, but I must find things to do until then.  So I once again find myself in my favorite local coffee shop.  It’s rather cool in here, and I wish I had brought in my cardigan, but alas, I did not.

Something that has been on my mind lately is the topic of best friends.  I always say that I don’t have a best friend.  Friends always leave, and there’s no one person who has stuck by my side.
However, I am realizing why I don’t have a best friend; it’s because I have several.  I have my local friends, Jena, Lauren, Karina, and Jenn, some older and some almost brand new, who love Jesus and love me.  I can talk to them and they can talk to me.  They make my visits home both fun and enjoyable, and my relationship with God grows when I am in their presence.  There are times in my life where I may not have survived if I didn’t know them.
I have my friends from my school, who have kept my strong in the last few years.  Jenny, Hannah, Michelle, Erika, Zachary, Jared, Aaron, all the lovely people who have proved time and time again that I matter to them.  Truthfully, they matter to me as well.  We’ve had adventures and shared interests with one another.  We do our best to know each other’s stories.  They’ve helped me to know what a family truly is.
And I of course have my far away bestie, Jackson.  He’s one of the few people who I can pick up with right where we left off.  We don’t get to talk often, and we rarely see each other because there is half a country between us, but I love him just the same.  I don’t think I’ll ever stop caring for him or our friendship, and I’m sure his feelings are mutual.

I don’t need to have just one best friend.  I’m different in many other ways, so why should I try to blend in in this format?  I’m so excited for how my friendships will develop as I grow older.  One of the most fun things in life is looking back to see how things have changed.

Saying Goodbye

We said goodbye today.  I think this time it’s for good though.  I took her home and I held her close to me.  I wonder if she could feel my heart breaking.  I wonder if she knew how badly I wanted to kiss her one last time.  But I knew this was the right thing to do.  I never told her I loved her.  I hope she knew that I did.

When I first met Ann, I thought she was beautiful and shy.  I could see the affection she carried for me in her eyes.  She’d come into the local coffee shop where I worked, but never order anything.  Luckily my boss never noticed, or else I would have had to ask her to leave.  She’d sit at the couch, or a table if the couch was taken, and pretend to read, while secretly watching my every move.  I knew she wasn’t reading, because one time I caught her with the book upside down.  One day I approached her and said, “Hi, I’m Jason.”  That was the start.

Our first date, I took her on a picnic.  I made turkey sandwiches and brought tupperware filled with chopped watermelon.  We sat on a blanket at the park under a huge oak tree.  That was the day I learned she didn’t eat meat.  She laughed playfully me, and offered a walk around the duck pond.

That night she asked me to go dancing.  I was never a dancer, but I went anyway.  I wanted to understand this girl who had pranced into my life on a whim.  My two left feet were quite obvious the entire night, but she invited me over afterward in spite of it. That was the only time we ever went dancing.

The next morning I returned home, overjoyed and unable to understand my feelings, or this door that I had opened.  I called her that afternoon.  She visited me at work, still never ordered anything, and we had dinner.  I wanted to make Ann my girlfriend.  I never managed to get the words out though.

Ann and I never spoke much.  Most of dating relationship was spent watching mindless tv, reading books together that the other had recommended, or making out in the backseat my Jeep.  Sometimes she’d stay at my place, but usually we stayed at hers.

I’ve known Ann for five months, but yet I don’t feel that I know her at all.  I tried, but every question was answered with a kiss, rather than information.  I craved her; I still crave her.  I never knew people could be this addicting.  I love her, and I might never stop.  All good things must end though, right?  She was hazardous to my health.  I rarely slept, rarely ate a balanced diet, and I lost everyone I knew.  I was as if my entire world crashed down around me without me ever noticing.  When I did, I knew it was time.

And so we said goodbye today; for the last time.