December 31, 2014

2015 sounds weird.

Somehow, 2015 is the year that my brain didn't really think ahead to. 2014...okay, sure. That'll be a thing. 2015 is just kinda weird. Like a "Oh yeah, by the way," sort of reminder that life goes on, and January comes around again every 365 days.

It's been a really good year. Mostly good, with new experiences, and also some introductions to my dark corners. We'll see how that goes.

I didn't think that by the end of this year, I would not be working for Starbucks. Nor did I think that I would have another job lined up. I was pretty sure that I'd still be unemployed by the time January was done. I didn't think that I would be in the middle of the journey to opening my first coffee shop (a journey that has been put on hold simply because even though I'm not really doing anything for the holidays, I'm broke and busy.)

This month alone has been sort of a whirlwind. It doesn't feel like tomorrow is January. It still feels like there's two weeks left of the month. Not so.

I wrote a list of goals for myself on Facebook. They are mostly inspired by the person that I was this year. I was consumed with work - literally consumed, and it drove me almost out of my mind. I hardly did anything to enrich my life, or the lives of others.

I want to be different in the new year. I want to love others. I love the people in my life a LOT. They mean the world to me, and I have expressed this generally, but not really personally. It feels good to hear someone tell you how much you mean to them sometimes...and specifically you. Not just that in this crowd of people someone knows, all of them mean something to them. That's nice, but ya know.

I need to give of myself more, for no gain. I used to volunteer a lot. I was raised to be a volunteer. My parents are in ministry - that's basically full-time volunteer work. Things need to get done, and people are needed to get stuff done. I want to be a part of that, and help more.

I need to be more creative. I had a conversation not too long ago with a friend from work, and I basically told him that I was afraid of being wrong when it came to being creative. Which, I said, is completely ridiculous because there aren't any wrong answers! I know this - but I don't act on it. I like to draw. I like to act. I like to write. Do I like writing stories? No..because I'm not good at it. So what? Who cares? I'm not trying to get published. I'm not trying to get on Broadway. I just want to enjoy my life.

I also want to read more - I have so many books. I am blessed with books, and yet I have barely read even a quarter of a fraction of them! There are classics sitting on my shelves, unread. It's a crime! And I keep buying books - what even am I doing?? I'm going to be drowned in books that I've never read. It's legitimately a crime. So, here's to hoping I can reed one book a week. It's not impossible, right?

-heavy sigh- A new year. I feel tired after this year. I'm usually pretty amped about fresh starts, and such, but this year...I just feel tired.  I hope next year is nice. I hope that long-held dreams come true. For me, and for others.

I hope that I grow closer to God this year. That I actively seek Him, and that it becomes second nature to me.

Happy New Year. Enjoy your celebrations. Be safe. Love one another. Look forward to the new year with hope and anticipation.

December 22, 2014

Stop being ridiculous.

Sometimes, I just want to walk up to men that I know and grab them by the shoulders, look them in the eye, and say "Stop it! I'm not trying to marry you! I'm not trying to be your girlfriend! I just want to laugh with you, and have a good time, and get to know you!"

I'm a flirtatious person. Sometimes I stop myself, but mostly, it just happens. My grandmother was flirtatious, and my mother understands my ways. And geez, flirting is fun. If you're a man, and we get along, I have probably flirted with you. Chances are good that you have flirted back, and guess what? That's called chemistry. You know what it's NOT called? Love. You know what it's not called? Life-long commitment. It's called chemistry. Flirting is a chemical reaction. It's science, to be honest.

And as far as I'm concerned, as long as no one is seducing the other into inappropriate behavior, then all is well. Don't misunderstand me, and give me the cold shoulder if you think I'm interested. I'm not going to ask you to be my significant other. I don't roll that way. I would prefer for a man to initiate a romantic relationship with me, not me to him.

Even if I was interested, would that be a problem? You were able to be my friend 24 hours ago - have I suddenly become repulsive? Give me the benefit of the doubt, and just live your life. I'm a cool person, and I know a lot of cool people. It's okay for men and women to get along, and talk, and joke, and flirt. It's human nature.

And you don't know what the future holds. Maybe that person your have fun flirting with IS you're soul mate, and you're missing out because you're being weird and not just reacting to the chemistry between you and the other person.

People take finding a mate so gosh-darn seriously that that's all they are looking for. "Oh, oops, flirted with that girl but I don't want to marry her, I can never look at her or talk to her again." STOP IT. You're missing out on what could be a good, stable relationship - FRIENDSHIP - with another human being.

Don't be stupid. We're all so busy being stupid that we miss out on being people together. We all have something to offer another person, and sometimes we won't realize that until we break the ice with them, and sometimes joking around or being flirtatious breaks the ice. Flirting doesn't equal sex.


December 14, 2014

I'm happy for me, too.

I was inspired to watch "Eat, Pray, Love," again today, after an online encounter that was a stabbing reminder of loss. It was with good intention, sure, but unfortunately, we don't always react to people's good intentions the way they want us to. Or the way we think that they want us to.

So I'm cleaning my room, drinking some coffee, and getting inspired again. This is my last week of work, I have very little money, some upcoming doctors bills, and a very big dream that is on it's way to coming true. Thankfully, I have a God who is bigger than my dreams, my bills, or my bank account.  It's sort of like I'm being thrust into trusting Him again, except it's a happy situation, so it's not as stressful? It's just intimidating.

I haven't heard from PI Coffee Roasters yet, but I don't think that it's wrong to follow up. I have a feeling the owner is the kind of person who would appreciate that. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow.

I'm partnering with Stumptown Coffee Roasters for my coffee shop. This is absolutely thrilling - I've admired them for a long time, and have only had their coffee once. However, their reputation precedes them, and is enough for me. I can buy any equipment that I need from them, they will provide training and maintenance. I'm going to go to New York to be professionally trained on how to PROPERLY brew coffee, manually. The representative that I spoke to said I could train on making pour overs for six hours if I wanted to. My reply: "THAT'S AMAZING!!"

Pottery is going well. I haven't been able to take advantage of the open studio hours, but the owner said that I can come in other days of the week to use up my clay. I want to make mugs.

My manager got fired this week. That's probably the biggest news, after me putting in my two weeks notice two days before it happened. This is big. I'm still pinching myself about it. And since she got fired, the atmosphere of our store is already beginning to change. People seem more relaxed, there has been more honesty, and I hope - chances for healing. My crew has been through a lot. They have been abused, and mistreated by their boss, and their company. I hope that this new year is sweet for them. That the new people learn quickly, and that everyone can be up to speed with each other, and support each other, and enjoy the job, despite the usual stresses. I hope that if anything happens again like what we have gone through this year, things will be handled differently.

I miss my girlfriends. I love my cat. I like simple black, and grey clothes, and the color yellow. I have had an amazing year, and I am an amazing person who has a lot to offer, but sometimes doesn't believe it. That makes me human, and thank goodness, because anything more or less would be too much of a burden. Humanity is hard enough.

A new year is approaching. If you have read my blog at all, you know that there is little I love more than blank slates, and new chapters. 2014 - I knew it was going to be big. And it was. It isn't even over yet - who knows what the rest of this year has in store? I can't even fathom what 2015 will hold.

November 27, 2014

Granted Gratitude.

2014 has been, honestly, a jam-packed year. So many things have happened that have been little dreams of mine that came true. I've been so abundantly blessed, that I have slipped into a rut of taking it all for granted. Being ungrateful makes us terrible people, inherently, and I repent.

I have established so many friendships, mostly from work. I'm surrounded daily by people that I love, and care about. I love to love and care about people, and I'm thankful that I can do that.

I got Vincent this year! The sweetest, most wonderful orange kitty that you can hear purring from across the room, who sleeps on my face.

I became a level one certified Barista with the Specialty Coffee Association of America - and I almost didn't pass, but it was a grading fluke!

I flew to Colorado and spent ten amazing days in the most beautiful place in America.

I went on my first date.

I had a positive, and romantically inclined relationship - it ended poorly, but that's because 24-year-old men are freaked out by women who have standards. Whatever, Ben. **Note to all single men reading this: Don't talk about deal breakers with a girl, and then just stop texting her, never to be heard from again. At least wish her a happy life, and say "this has been fun," or something. It's tacky to fall off the face of the earth because a girl doesn't drink alcohol.

I got to see two of my favorite books as plays, and they were beautiful, and I was weeping by the end of both of them, which is all I wanted.

I got to see my favorite band perform for the last time.

I got to spend a month and a half experiencing a life of independence, and it was fantastic.

I started taking pottery again, and it's amazing.

Thanks to my mother, I'm well into the process of going back to school.

I've learned a lot about who I am this year. I've accepted myself, and it's liberating.

I'm very thankful for everything that I have, and for the people that I have the privilege to know. I know some amazing people. They span all spectrums of life, religious beliefs, and interests. They're amazing. They've all added to my life in ways that I can't begin to express.

I need to live a more thankful life. There's so much.

November 14, 2014

Where Hannah stands in the world of feminism, and general equality.

I don't claim to know everything about the history of feminism. I claim to know very little. I don't know what kind of things have been done, good or bad, in the name of feminism, however, I have considered myself a feminist for a few years. Or rather, "a mild feminist."

Over the past few months, I've done a lot of really empowering things. Most of them concerned work, and standing up for what I believed what right. The day that I had a phone call with two male superiors is when I realized that there IS such a thing as the "patriarchy," and I am no fool. In this phone call, I was ganged up on, and cornered by two men in management with my company. I was spoken down to, questions that I asked were ignored, and I was treated like a child.

I don't like being patronized. I especially hate being patronized by men. I've never been okay with it, and yes - specifically men.

I've been doing a LOT of thinking, sometimes a little at a time, sometimes a lot at a time..about where I fit into this big concept of "equality."

I think that people - men, women, black, white, gay, and straight - should be treated equally. Working for Starbucks, I have seen inequality be a detriment to my team.

There came a point last last year, where I realized that I didn't just find men attractive. I objectified them. We rant and rail about women being objectified, but there is little being said about how men are treated. I was horrified, when I made this realization. Crushes, celebrity crushes, finding people attractive...not wrong. Objectification - wrong. It doesn't matter the severity of it, or how obvious it is. It's wrong.

Men and women are people. We each are living our lives, and trying to figure everything out. We make good decisions, bad decisions. We say the wrong thing sometimes, sometimes we say the right thing.

When I think of feminism, I think of respect. Men and women need to respect each other as human beings, who are capable of awesome things. Will we succeed? Not always. Is it because a person is a woman? No. It's because that's. We make it, or we don't. It has nothing to do with gender.

The Bible says for women to serve their husbands, and for men to love their wives the way Christ loves the Church. Respect. Service. Love. This is planet earth, and we're all in this together.

ALSO, you people freaking out about women serving their husbands - it says WIVES and HUSBANDS. Not men. Marriage is a working relationship, where the husband and wife have to support each other, and be real with one another.

The Bible doesn't say the women need to serve men. There are titles, and roles involved. Does it say what constitutes service? The Bible says to love one another, and to treat others the way we want to be treated. It doesn't mean that the wife is responsible for making her husband sandwiches. It means that, maybe, if the husband or wife is hungry - their spouse will think, oh, I could make them something to eat because I LOVE THEM, and THEY WOULD DO THE SAME FOR ME.

It's not a fight. We all have to work together.

In the workplace, men and women should have equal pay because they're working. If someone is doing a job that requires more work, they should get paid more. Women have the right to an opinion, and the right to speak their mind BECAUSE THEY HAVE A MIND. Men have the same right. Because each person within each gender has a brain, and if they use it to think about their opinion on things, then they also have a mouth that they are allowed to use to speak it. If you think it's dumb, then bully for you. It has nothing to do with gender. Maybe that person is just stupid. Because...shocker - men and women can both be idiots.

Feminism: Men and women need to respect each other as people.
Equality: We all have the right to think, speak, dance, sing, and yes, even do wrong. However - we all should be held responsible for our actions, or the results of our actions.

It doesn't matter what your gender, race, or sexual orientation is. We all need to be treated equally, AND:

This is a big and. AND we need to STOP calling is bigotry, or sexism, or whatever - when people call us out on our nonsense. On the facts of what we have done. If the facts are wrong, and people are making false accusations, etc - okay, yeah. Otherwise, knock it off. Not everything is a hate crime.

Maybe I'm not a real feminist. But isn't that my decision? Feminism has decided that women should be allowed to want to be housewives, for crying out loud. Talk about moving backwards and forwards at the same time.

As far as being a godly woman, these things still apply to me. However, I also must represent Christ. I have the responsibility of being a godly woman, who must love others the way that Christ has loved me. No matter their gender, race, or orientation. I must treat people the way that Christ would treat them.

Are we all learning? Yes. Are we all gonna do it wrong until it makes sense to us? Yes. And that's okay. Just try to think about it. Respect each other.

November 2, 2014

It's that time again.

When Hannah feels like writing, but isn't sure what she's going to write about.

I suppose what I SHOULD be doing is writing for NaNoWriMo, as it's already the second day of November, and I don't even have a working title.

I started pottery last week, and it was amazing. I honestly don't care if I make nothing but lopsided bowls - working the clay with my hands, and feeling it spin on the wheel is an incredible experience. Seeing it take shape, and get thinner, or thicker, by the slightest pressure. It's amazing, honestly. I love getting my hands dirty.

There's a lot going on this month. Dad is going back to Arizona in a couple days, which means I'll get to be on my own again for a couple weeks - yaaaassss :) I'm glad that both of my parents will be home for Thanksgiving, though. And that mom will get to maybe see the tail end of fall...that weird inbetween where maybe there will snow, and maybe there will still be some pretty colors. I'm seeing a screening of "Of Mice and Men" the Sunday after they get home, which, as far as family time goes, will be a bummer. However, super stoked about it. I'm going to the screening in Portsmouth, and basically, spending the day in Portsmouth, with theatre, is going to be awesome. I'm also seeing Anberlin this month! They're on their final tour.

Well...I had a long paragraph written out, but decided that it would incite too many questions, and am just going to journal instead.

Learning how to keep things to myself. That's something I'm doing these days. All I know is, some things have come up in my life, and I am facing them. I'm trying to face them respectfully, and maturely, and eventually I will face them spiritually. All I know, is that despite the lag in my walk with God these days, I want to live my life based on Him, and living in reverential fear of Him. Not fear of people's opinions of me.

October 9, 2014

The urge

I had the urge to write publicly. I am. I've been writing in a journal more often, mostly because there are too many random little things happening in my life that I can't share publicly...or, I could, and I just feel like it's none of y'all's business. That's a funny thing to say, especially for me to say, but hey - be proud of me! I'm learning boundaries, and I'm learning to to not be so vague (or not so vague.)

I just finished watching the move "Mona Lisa Smile," and I really loved it. I've seen a small collection of Julia Roberts' movies, and I've really enjoyed all of them. She is a really great actress. I feel that I've been able to relate to a lot of her characters, or at least the essence of them.

Her character in this movie, Katherine Watson, is wonderful, I think. I want to be that person to people. I want to challenge their norms, and inspire people.

I feel romantic. I'm in an air of romance, that isn't necessarily ROMANTIC, in the human love sense. It's my dimly lit room, me tapping away, listening to Corinne Bailey Rae, Vincent purring at the end of my bed.

You're jealous, now, aren't you? Well...I fell asleep in my work clothes, so don't be too jealous.

I was home alone for a couple of weeks. My dad is back for a little while, now, but I had a great time.

I cooked, I cleaned, I stayed up too late, I even went out on what I have determined was my first date. I also went apple picking for the first time! Twice! Both times were quite enjoyable, but I still have a ton of apples to utilize. :|

Pottery classes! I'm starting pottery classes this month, and I'm so excited about it! I took a pottery class a long time ago, and I've had fond memories of it ever since. I love getting my hands dirty, and pottery is awesome because you can create, and start over, and create, and change...all with one blob of clay.

So, I'm very much looking forward to that. It's a good life that I lead. Work seems to maybe be getting better, or I've reached a point of being so exhausted by it that I've just begun to not care anymore.

I just want to be happy, and I like my job. I like my coworkers, I like what I do, I like our regulars. That's something that I love about working in the mornings, now - Half the day is filled with regulars, and it's snap to just get their orders ready, and just have a nice time. Summer was so hard. I feel like we're almost kinda out of the woods, though...I dunno. I'm an eternal optimist who becomes easily negative when things are too hard...but I bounce back.

I have an email to write to my DM. I feel like a flake, but it's really just because I'm emotional and make decisions in the heat of the moment. Bleh. I just want things to be over, smoothed over, done...Let's be happy again. Stop the gossip, stop the judgments...I didn't want things to get ugly. I blame myself for everything, even if it's not my fault.

I'm gonna stop before this gets to rambly...But the fact is, I care about each of my coworkers, whether they believe it or not. I'm human just like everyone else, but I'm trying really hard to be Little Miss Sunshine. I like being Little Miss Sunshine to people.


September 27, 2014

I should be in bed.

I'm not. Well..technically, yes. I'm in bed. I'm not asleep. I should be asleep.

I cannot shut off my mind. Especially this week. There is so much in my head - processing, listing, considering, hoping, brushing off...

Work stresses me out these days.

A woman that I went to college with wrote me a couple years ago, after reading one of my blog posts. It was some sort of manic rant about the guy that I was so madly in love with (I need to come up with a good nickname for him, because obviously I'm never going to stop talking about him, AND I'm at the point of just using his name. Everyone knows who he is, anyway.)

She wrote me, suggesting that I see a counselor. That this was clearly something that was stressing me out, big time. I responded, basically saying that I was fine, thanks for the advice.

I know that counselors are good. Therapists, psychiatrists...I even want to be one. For some reason, though, maybe it's just simply the media, I feel like if I have to see a therapist, that means that everything has just gone too far, and I'm now completely incapable of having any sort of control. It somehow makes my weakness too much of a reality.

We're afraid of our weaknesses. It's the reality of ourselves that we really just can't face, but is our burden alone. We have other burdens, but they can be shouldered by other people. Losing a job, having a bad hair day...other people can help us fix these things. Our weaknesses, though? No. That's ours alone.

Is it? Between yesterday and today, I realized how bad this stuff at work was getting. That maybe I should see someone. Talk to someone. They couldn't give me answers, but at least I could talk it out. Right? That's how people end up getting answers, they talk it out, and the pieces connect in their head, right?

At first I was resigned to it. I didn't like it. It meant that I had reached my proverbial rock bottom. However, as the past twenty-four hours have unfolded, as I've considered seeing someone, something kept creeping into my mind.

"Wonderful counselor." Now, the verse separates those two words, Isaiah 9:6, but that phrase would come to mind, and then the verse would come to mind, and all I could think was, "Why, if Jesus Christ is the Counselor..if He can listen to me AND give me answers, why would I go to anyone else? It's like when the Bible says (I paraphrase), "Would a father give his son a stone when he asks for bread?" Me seeing someone is like me ASKING for a stone, when Christ is offering me bread, always. He is always there for me, and His wisdom, and peace are at my disposal, if only I would accept them. I don't even have to ask, because I'm a child of God, and those things are freely offered to me. I choose to take them or ignore them.

I hope that no one reads this, and thinks that I am saying counselors, and therapists are wrong. They aren't. They are people who listen, and are there for us when we feel like we can't trust anyone else. They do good, and I am in no way belittling their work.

For me, though...I have Christ. He knows my future, He sees what I'm doing, and He knows my heart and my mind. He loves me, and I wouldn't be where I am if there wasn't a purpose. There's purpose in all of this nonsense. There always is. I don't need to run off to get a cheap answer. I don't need to recount everything that's happened. He has seen it all. He knew of it before the beginning of time. I can trust Him. Starbucks might be big, and they might not be doing their job right, but God is greater than Starbucks, and He tells us in His word that His love does not fail us. He is perfect, and just. He brings justice where there is injustice. He moves us when it's time for us to be moved.

It's a battle to have peace, and have a good attitude, and to treat everyone with love, and respect. It's really hard right now. It won't be hard forever.

August 28, 2014

Partner, or Peon?

I work at Starbucks.

You probably know that I had wanted to work for Starbucks since the age of 15 or 16. I applied many times. I interviewed many times. I got rejected many times. Then one day, I decided to apply one last time. I had a few options in front of me - moving to Colorado, moving to Tennessee, and this job.

The day of my interview, there was a huge snowstorm, and when I called the manager to let her know that I might be a couple minutes late, she told me that it was okay if I wanted to reschedule. I said no. I had determined in my mind that I HAD to make it to this interview. If I decided to skip it because of bad weather, then what would that say about me? That I wasn't going to come to work if the weather was bad? That doesn't make me look like a good employee, right? No. I had to get there. My father drove me, like a mad man, through inches of slush on the 95. I walked in the door the minute that I was supposed to be there. I interviewed, I was myself, and I was offered a job before I walked out.

When I got into the car, and told my dad that I had been offered the job, we both started crying. My parents knew how much this meant to me. They had seen my disappointment, and they knew how much I wanted the job. They supported my unwillingness to just apply willy-nilly for any job because of how committed I was to getting a job at Starbucks. I was set. I was determined that this was it. I wanted to do coffee, and Starbucks was the best way for me to start. I knew it. My parents supported me, and my dream of making coffee for people, to give people a moment of happiness in their day.

That's what I believed Starbucks was. It's what Starbucks says they are. Sometimes, I still believe it. Unfortunately, oftentimes these days...I don't. Even in little things like not brewing decaf coffee first thing in the morning. We have early morning regulars who ALWAYS get half-caf, or decaf coffee, and they don't want to wait for a pour over, because waiting for a pour over stinks. No one should have to wait for a pour over in a place like Starbucks.

My job is always on my mind these days. A lot has been going on this year. I won't go into specifics, some of you know exactly what has been going on, but I won't go into it here. Very long story short, Starbucks has let me down. And I get it. This is The Man. This is Corporate. However, this is a corporation that has made a really big deal about being more than Corporate, or being more than just The Man. And maybe I'm just naive peon who wanted to believe in something better than what is showing to just be simple reality. Isn't that always the way? Even with Communism - it was a great idea at first. People supported it, believed in it til the end. Even when it was ruining lives. They didn't want to admit that this thing...wasn't all that it was made out to be.

That's what Starbucks is to me now. Not all it was cracked up to be. Sure, there's insurance. Sure, there's access to education. Sure, there's free coffee. Okay. But what are we really to Howard Schultz in the end? A machine. Cogs that when they start to squeak, get a little grease, but even when that little bit of grease doesn't fix the problem, and the cogs keep jamming...the mechanic begins to dig a little bit..okay. But he certainly likes to take his time. The cogs keep jamming. For months. And yet, just little drops of oil, little tweaks are made, instead of just taking apart the machine and finding out how to really fix whatever might be wrong.

This company really does just care about money. I love my coworkers. My partners. And unfortunately, the job keeps you stuck because honestly - insurance is a pain to deal with these days. It's nice to not have to worry about it.

I don't like being a cog. I wish that I was really a partner. They say that I am, but I'm not really. I'm a peon, and I'm having trouble accepting that. But I don't know what else to do. I've done everything. I've taken every flashlight and shone it into every crevice to try to get the mechanic to take me seriously.

They say they do. I just am really struggling to believe it. But I keep going to work. I keep coming back from my lunch breaks. I haven't walked out yet. Clearly, there's a microscopic bit of me that believes Them. Or is hoping that I do. Telling myself to try and think about trying to believe them.

I either need a husband with a solid income, or Jesus needs to come back, because being unemployed is not awesome.

I wish that I could somehow be convinced that I'm not a peon. I desperately want to be a partner instead. I wish that I knew what to expect when I go to work..well, I do. But I mean from myself. Sometimes it's a good day. And then the next day will be rock bottom. I'm getting motion sickness from this roller coaster.

I wasn't really ever expecting to write about this, while still working for the company. I figured that eventually I'd quit, and then blog it all out. But none of this is angry. It's mostly just sad. Sort of hopeless. Disillusioned. I guess that's the best word. Disillusioned.

Alas, it's all I can think about. But I've talked to so many people in Corporate about it, and ugly cried to them, on the phone or in person, and I've talked to my coworkers about it all so...I guess it's not much of a secret.

My heart is genuinely broken. That sounds silly, to most of you, probably. You think, "It's just a job. It's just Starbucks." Well, yes. But getting this job was a literal dream come true for me. I am heartbroken.

August 17, 2014

Since last time...

For obvious reasons (obvious to me, not you,) I can't share everything that's going on these days. To suffice, personal life is going well, professional life is a struggle. Obviously, life ebbs and flows, so I'm just trying to do my best and see what happens. See what God's purpose is in everything, and not shy away from just enjoying what is nice.

In recent news, I bought a laptop. It's a cute, little Chromebook, and when I bought it, Google stole my soul. I'm pleased that it will fit in my creative tote bag, the one I bought from the screening of "A Film About Coffee," which was a beautiful, and informative film that I absolutely loved.

I'm making progress in my Coffee Tasting Journal. I have four medium roasts, and three dark roasts left to document. I'm hoping to make tasting more accessible for my partners, alongside a partner who is also enthusiastic about coffee (only one of so many reasons why we are a type of soulmates.)

I hear guitar outside. It's really faint, but it's out there, somewhere. I wish I had more discipline to learn the guitar that I was so generously given, a million years ago.

I just made plans to go on a hike with my friend Sam. I have barely seen her this summer, if at all! Between her internship, and her job, and my job...I think we saw each other a couple times at church. Anyway - we're going to make our way around Kenoza Lake! I'm so excited!

What else..I'm growing my low-maintenance plant collection. A succulent, and bamboo. My dad bought me the bamboo for my birthday, and the succulent was an impulse purchase. It's in an adorable yellow pot, how could I say no? I also got myself some daisies this week. They're perfect, white, Gerbera Daisies. My cat wants to eat them.

Robin Williams passed away this week, which, sort of surprisingly to me, made a bigger impact on me than I thought it hindsight, obviously. Who would have expected him to kill himself? We, the distant fans knew him as an entertainer, a good man, someone who was funny, and kind. It goes to show that because we don't know everyone's stories..we don't know how our words, or actions can affect someone - for the better, or the worse. We are imperfect people, but we must try to do what we can to show kindness to everyone we meet. As believers, to show the love of Christ to those we encounter. We simply don't know the impact that we are having on people.

Sharayah moved back to Washington. I miss her like crazy. (Why are there fireworks outside?) However, our mutual friend Katy and I are hoping to traverse to Washington for the SCAA Coffee Event next year. Nothing but good times will be had.

Side note: There are some MASSIVE flies in our house right now. Like, killer flies. Like, gonna eat my brains while I sleep, flies. Like, so big that Hitchcock could have made a movie about them flies. BIG. I know that I killed one, I think I killed the biggest one...seriously, the size of a quarter. That's just not right, people. If I don't answer any texts tomorrow, you'll know that they've gotten revenge on me for killing their leader.

One of my supervisors from work in is Europe right now. She spent the weekend in Paris, and I am convinced that there is no place on Earth more perfect than that city. I'm convinced.

Let's see...what else should I touch on? Personal life: quite nice. Work life: quite challenging. Spiritual life: needs improvement. Since my rededication to the Lord, I feel like...Things are kind of just in a tizzy. I=MY heart isn't hard to God, or His Word, but it's challenging to keep my face towards Him, and to trust Him with every aspect of my life. There are things that are easy to keep in prayer, and others that I can pray about, but it's hard to live out the faith that I'm trying to have about the situation.

I just need more. I need to pursue the Lord more than I am. I know this. It's the only way that I'll have some semblance of peace about what makes me uneasy. I know that if I continually surrender my will to His, that things will fall into place the way that is best. I don't want to compromise, but I don't want to handle things the wrong way.

I have to seek Him. And trust Him. I'm thankful that He knows my future, but I am capable for making things harder than they need to be. And we all know how THAT goes.

Well, I have an early morning. My schedule this week is great. Here's hoping for a good, productive week, with as little tension, and stress as possible. And full of treating others the way the Christ wants me to treat them. Hashtag the struggle is real.

July 12, 2014


I was told by someone that I should write something honest. That I'm holding back something, and should be really open with people about my love journey. Or whatever you want to call it.

Some parents tell their kids when they're allowed to start dating. Some parents don't care, some parents have very defined rules about age, what kind of dates you can go on, etc. My parents however, didn't really have a chance to do either.

Whether it was a plant, or just happenstance, I read a book when I was about eleven years old about courtship. It was a thin, purple book with a picture of a knight and a princess on it. I remember one story in the book - what the specifics are, I don't remember - and basically, in the story, these two people who didn't date, came upon each other one day and both of them had that "feeling" and they courted, and got married. They met by chance, and they decided that now was the time stop not dating, and be in a relationship that had the intention of marriage. AKA courtship.

That sounded pretty good to me. Don't have to worry about finding a boy to like you, just live your life, and you'll meet someone, and you both will know, and then you can kind of date, but it's not dating because you both know that you're going to marry each other, and then get married. Awesome.

Well, honestly, not awesome. Because for the next 11 or so years, I would live every single day expecting to meet my future husband. It didn't matter where I was, how old I was, how old the guy was (unless he was younger than me, but even then - who am I to tell God how old he should be, right?) I could meet my husband any day and it was going to instant recognition, and we were going to be together forever because you can't get divorced or anything if you don't date anyone else except that one person you're supposed to marry.

So for the entirety of my pre-teen, teen, and young adult years, I anticipated the day that my future husband would walk into my life. I loved the idea of love. I could find a reason to have a crush on pretty much anyone - I mean, he could have been The One. Duh. If someone seemed particularly great I knew that he was definitely The One. And by great, at this point, I mean cute, funny, and he was a Christian. When I liked just one guy for long periods of time, I was positive that he was the one, because why would I like someone THAT MUCH for five years and not marry them? Duh, guys.

Some people encouraged me to express my feelings to boys that I liked. I did a couple of times, usually through a friend. But here's what I found to be common with time - guys liked my friends. Not me. I was nice and whatever, but they didn't want to date me. I wasn't skinny, I wasn't fashionable. I was weird, and chubby. Well, cool. I didn't want to date you either. I wanted to court you, and then marry you. So, you're obviously not the one because you don't want to court. Whatever. The guy that I'm gonna marry is going to believe in courtship, and he's gonna love me right away, and he's gonna love me for who I am.

So..pause. All of this is happening in high school. I'm between the ages of..I dunno. I guess 13 and 17. It feels like it was so much longer than just a few years.

And that was my life. I believed that I and my intended would know right away that we were meant to be, that I wouldn't have to explain courtship to him, it would just be a mutual understanding, and that he would like me for who I am, and I don't have to make myself anything I'm not for him.

Ultimately, this has the potential to be a really healthy attitude. But it wasn't. I was OBSESSED with getting married. OBSESSED with meeting The One. OBSESSED that he could be ANYONE, and WHAT IF I MISS IT? Then it started to evolve. What if I miss him because I'm fat? What if I miss it because I'm not funny enough? What if I miss it because I'm ugly? What if I miss it because I'm looking for a certain kind of person, and he ends up being someone weird that I don't like? What if I have to be with someone who is gross, and weird? And it kept evolving over the years.

Well, I'm weird, so I deserve someone weird. Well, I'm fat, so it's unrealistic that I should expect to be with someone who is "hot". Well, my standards are too high. But if I lower my standards, I might end up with the wrong person. I'm not very spiritual, so I don't deserve someone who has an actual walk with God.

When I really step back and think about it, it's been pretty much the most self-negative journey anyone could take.

I had promised myself to save things like sex, and my first kiss. People, friends, said that they really admired me for doing this. For not dating, for waiting. "True love waits," right? But then those things became a non-issue. Mostly because of insecurity. Who would want to be with me anyway? Good thing I decided to not date, that way I can avoid any kind of rejection of my body. My lack of experience.

I also became obsessed with wanting to know if boys liked me. My mom always told me that "you might not know, but boys DO like you." I wanted her to prove it. Who? Who in the world would like me? No one, duh. That's why this not dating this is a life saver because I'm already not going to be in relationships. Crisis averted.

And in college, when I entered a new world, a new scope of men. Adults, people who weren't like the guys I went to high school with. People who were here to seek God, so they were definitely of the spiritual caliber that I demanded. And there were some handsome men in college. I started liking people right away (it would be out of character for me to NOT like anyone right away.)

And mind you, because men were a group to select my future husband from ,not just people that share planet Earth with me, I never really got to become FRIENDS with any of them. I would see you in class, or at church, but I didn't hang out. If I did, in a group setting or at youth group, I was still just waiting for you to realize that we were soulmates.

So college..well, Bible college. The place where men and women can't be one on one, they can't date - perfect! I don't date anyway. Not an issue. I will be obeying that rule like it's second nature.

As a lot of you know, Bible college is where I first found out that a boy liked me back, and it was where I learned how to talk to guys as people, and it was where I first started finding my voice as a person, and speaking honestly with men because...well, that's what the boy taught me to do. I was there for him. I was his listening ear. We talked almost ever night the summer after my first year in college, and we became best friends. I was pretty shy when we first started talking - my main purpose was just to listen to him talk about how much he missed this other girl - but as time went one, I began to realize. He and I are meant to be. Not in a silly way like before but for real. And no, he may not get it yet, but that's okay. I'm willing to wait. That's what all these years have been about right? I knew he liked me back, even though I hadn't asked. I could just tell. It was too obvious. In fact, it was so obvious some second year that he liked me, that I would get frustrated and depressed because I couldn't tell him how I felt. I couldn't tell him this secret. But we didn't keep anything from each other. I remember the night that we expressed our feelings to each other like it happened last night. It still fills me with a weird, nervous, flushed sensation. And that was it. He told me that he could see a future with me. That it "made sense." Yeah. It made sense to me too.

This expression of feelings led to a couple of weeks of pure bliss for me. Now I knew what it was like to look at a guy, and know that when he looked back you and smiled, he meant it. It meant he liked me back. That when I was sitting in the foyer reading, and he happened to walk in, he would come over to me and talk to me, and it was nice. It was really nice. I decided that there was no one else after this. Hell eventually broke loose that year, but I remained committed in my heart. What's meant to be will be. I'm not going to write about the next two years because I've talked about them a lot, and if anything I'll just cry. The summarize: I admitted to myself that I loved this man. Boy. I was truly in love with him and I would deal with whatever I needed to deal with til he realized I was the one. The one who was always there for him, the one who truly care about him, who told him the hard truths, but kept reminding him that I was on his side.

I gave the kid everything. Whether he realizes how much he really had of me, I won't know until heaven, but he had it all. What then? After he broke my heart, or maybe I broke my heart...what of men then?

Well, men were dirty pigs who just wanted women to pay attention to them. They didn't care about how we felt. They just like knowing that they have a shoulder to cry on, and someone to have sex with. That makes me incredibly undesirable because I'm just not a premarital sex kind of girl. What's the point of men?

This is where it gets convoluted. But at some point, probably in May of 2013, I began to gain control of myself. Yes, the man who I loved still had charm, and wit, and he still was able to effortlessly drawn me in with everything about him. But no. I was done. I was able to move on from this. I'm a woman, and darned if I'm going to let this guy have any more control over me. It was hard. I experienced a severe emotional breakdown, in Walmart, in Canada about this guy. I could see that I was just unhealthy at this point. But let's be fair - I had been waiting for what felt like an eternity to meet the one man who was going to be my partner in life. I thought our paths had finally crossed. I believed it. I didn't want to be wrong.

But I was. And as time went on, I became okay with it. I had already begin becoming comfortable with my body, at whatever weight. I began figuring myself out. What I really liked, what I really didn't. I began coming out of my shell, and being outgoing, and fun, and just myself. The person that I was in the girls dorm, I was everywhere. So then my thinking began to change. It ebbed and flowed, but essentially, I came to a place where I could say, and honestly believe, and strived to live by the belief that I was happy being myself for real. I was happy working in a job doing what I loved, and I don't need a man right away. Do I need a man ever?

It's still a struggle. I'm in a place where I don't think I'm going to get married any time soon, if ever. My life looks pretty good as a single woman. And looking for a man is tiring. Waiting for a man is tiring. I'd rather do nothing about it and be truly taken by surprise. I still believe that he will love me for who I am, just the way that I am, but I'm actually trying to take care of myself now. Dress nicely, where a little make up. But for me. Not for him. Whoever he is. Wherever he is. It's hard to trust God with something that you really can't take too much action on. It may look like I'm complacent, but I'm still trusting God. I'm trusting for His will. I don't know what it is. If marriage and a man are His will, then that will show up.

At this point, I'm actually trying to just be friends with men. I don't know very many, but the few that I do know, I'm trying to just talk to them. And see them as human beings, not potential husbands. This in itself brings it's own frustrations because most of the men I know are not looking for a casual, off-limits-to-sex gal pal. It's hard for men and women to be friends. It's hard to ignore chemistry, because no matter what our thoughts on dating are, we feel chemistry and immediately think that if we pursue ANYTHING, romantic or otherwise with this person, it's gonna turn into something, and I don't know if I really want to be with this person like that.

WHATEVER. Ignore the chemistry! Accept it, and just live your life. Be friends. Talk, discuss, go get coffee, go to the movies, read books, whatever. Do it, and just enjoy the company of another human being. Not because you're going to get something from them, but because people need each other and it's okay to spend time with PEOPLE. I just don't care anymore. I'm not looking for a man to marry. If a man wants to marry me, then cool. Talk to my parents about it, because that's how courtship works. I'm busy living my life, and I'm done wasting time by making time to WAIT FOR YOU, WHOEVER YOU ARE. Don't be afraid to make yourself known. I'm a flexible person. But don't expect me to be sitting around for you anymore, whoever you are. I'll be up and about, reading, and sketching, and making coffee.

And that, friends, is where this quote is SPOT ON. Because you know what? I know that I'm a catch. I know that I'm interesting, and hilarious, and thoughtful, and hardworking, and I have issues, but I've accepted that I'm imperfect, and I've accepted that everyone else is too. I'm willing to love anyone, for whoever they are. I don't try and change people anymore. I don't try and make people do what I think is right. I listen, and I give advice if asked for it, and I encourage people to do the right thing because I believe in righteousness and justice. I try to love God, I try to be like Christ to the people around me, I try to be mature, and I try to grow any chance I get. I'm not afraid of myself anymore, and YES. Sometimes I fall back into insecurity, but it doesn't define me. Sometimes I do things that are just a little too weird, but it doesn't define me. What defines me is what comes out of me, and that's where I need to be continually surrendering to God and let Him make me more like Christ. I'm worth having. But I don't need a man to prove it. I don't need to prove it at all. To anyone. 

July 5, 2014


So, I don't believe that any relationship between men and women can be platonic. There is always some form of chemistry or sexual tension at some point. It usually doesn't develop, and it doesn't always last for a period of time. Because of this, and my tendency to be a romantic, I've pretty much barred off the idea that I could be in a one-on-one situation with a man and be able to not make it something that it isn't. This doesn't really make a lot of sense here, but I have a lot going on in my mind.

I like men. I enjoy their company, and I like listening to them talk. They're people. I had a mindset for a long time that if you liked the same thing that a guy liked, or went to the same places, it gave off the implication that you HAD to be interested in him, or have a crush on him. Talk to him for any length of time, and it meant something. But why? It's like an entire decade of my life was spoiled by the constant wondering, and cautioning of my self and others. Don't be a certain way, he'll think you like him, and obviously he wouldn't be interested in you, so stop it. Or, don't go there because he probably goes there and you don't want him to know that you have feelings for him because existing in the same city as a man means that you want to marry him.

I'm probably just late to the game. Men and women hang out all the time, right? Depending on who they are, they have casual sex, but that doesn't have to be a requirement on hanging out, right? Or am I just that naive? Possible.

Anyway. I'm thinking about friendship with men. Hanging out with men is nice. Like I said, I enjoy their company. I wish I had more of it. I wish I had the confidence to request it. But I don't. And I probably won't. But we're all people, right? People needs relationships with other people, and they don't have to end up being romantic.

I know that there have been people who have tried to tell me this for a long time, and I've shut them down with an adamant, "Men and women cannot be friends! And I will not have a casual friendship with a man like that because what if someday I get married?"

Okay...? Maybe this is changing because I partially doubt that marriage is in my future, and I figure that if a man doesn't want to spend the rest of his life with me, couldn't we at least go to the movies or something? Whether you think I have a crush on your or not. I'm not the same that I used to be. I'm way better at not NEEDING a man. I don't need one. But having them around isn't bad, right?

This makes it sound like I want some kind of man-friendship-brothel.

But if you know me at all you must be able to understand what I'm saying about myself. Anyway.Whatever.

The point is, I don't want of be that kid of person who is obsessed with the romantic aspect of things. It's dumb. I want to be a little less "no, I can\t talk to this male person because i'll convince myself that I'm going to have feelings for him because that's all men and women can do."


May 19, 2014

The spiritual struggle.

Sherlock, the current BBC rendition of him, has a mind palace. The original character may as well, but I've only read a handful of short stories. It's where he goes in his head to figure stuff out. He organizes, calculates, and solves problems there.

My problem is that I have mind space. It just gets cluttered with thoughts, and feelings. Nothing gets solved there, it just gets turned over and looked at a different way, and then put back down.

I struggle. I'm struggling from anything ranging from my walk with the Lord, to wishing I could exact justice where I feel there has been nothing done, to unintentionally belittling manhoods.

If you're a man, and you think you've been personally belittled by me, it's not because I don't think you're manly enough to fix your own problems. I just see you as a person, because I'm kind of a feminist. A human being with problems that need to fixed, should have someone do what they can to fix them. That's all. I want people to be happy, and I want people to do the right thing, and I want people to be respected as human beings, because that's how it should be.

But it doesn't happen, and it's incredibly frustrating.

The issues with my walk with God are a tangled web of things that I'm only now beginning to understand. Some lyrics from dc Talk's "What If I Stumble" may shine a light on where I'm at:

This opening quotation made a big impact on me, and how I saw Christianity. It wouldn't be an understatement to say that these words are the standard that I've held over for myself as a Christian, and it has always been my heart's desire to NOT be a part of "the greatest single cause of atheism."

"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today
Is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips
Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle.
That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable."

This opening quotation made a big impact on me, and how I saw Christianity. It wouldn't be an understatement to say that these words are the standard that I've held over for myself as a Christian, and it has always been my heart's desire to NOT be a part of "the greatest single cause of atheism."

Father please forgive me for I can not compose
The fear that lives within me
Or the rate at which it grows
If struggle has a purpose on the narrow road you've carved
Why do I dread my trespasses will leave a deadly scar
Do they see the fear in my eyes? Are they so revealing?
This time I cannot disguise all the doubt I'm feeling

These words are where I'm at right now."If struggle has a purpose on this narrow road you've carved, why do I dread my trespasses will leave a deadly scar?" Though I know that blessing and peace come with having a strong, and healthy walk with the Lord, I'm afraid of the affiliated pain. I haven't even gone through as much as other people, but all of our individual challenges are not belittled because someone else has had it worse. "This time I cannot disguise all the doubt I'm feeling." The truth is in there, but I'm walking through doubt right now.

What if I stumble, what if I fall?
What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble, and what if I fall?

"What if I lose my step and make fools of us all?" It's pride to think that the image of the church is resting on my shoulders, but I still play my part. I still represent Christ to other people. If I fail, what then? What good is what people previously saw of me when what I represent NOW is what matters?

These are my thoughts. I'm working through this. It's hard. Things are changing, little by little, but this is just the facts of where I'm at. I know that the word on the street is you can change in an instant, but it simply isn't always true.

April 26, 2014

"So faithfully and dutifully I award you with betrayal."

I'm a hot mess these days. (SPOILER ALERT: I'm actually on the 'road to recovery,' as it were, but the hot mess status still applies.)

The past few weeks have been especially challenging, and telling. I don't really know how to describe it all. The moral of the story? Ended up with my back completely turned away from God, and living completely apathetic to spirituality. Went to church, sometimes. Understood truth. Still capable of being judgmental about other people's spirituality.

There's a balance between being loving and non-judgmental, and still standing by your actual beliefs, but I don't know how to find it anymore. It's that kind of mindset that leads to compromise and apathy, as I am a living example of. I haven't been running around like a crazy person, but that isn't definitive of turning your back on God. I will say that all personal filters were off. Language, media, rationality, etc. Ended up being exceptionally paranoid about everything, getting quickly defensive, and feeling like a hypocrite always.

Thankfully, I have a godly mother who is able and willing to confront me about these things.

 I don't really know what else to say about it all, except that I apologize for being a hypocrite. Me not having a relationship with God affects those around me, and I'm sorry for inadvertently hurting those that I care about.

On a lighter note, I bought tickets to Anberlin's final show in Boston. I'm sad that they're disbanding, but it's better to disband than to just become awful. Like the Newsboys, or Audio Adrenaline (you know I'll love Kevin Max until I die, but come on.)

I'm starting a second job at the Wicked Big Cafe this week. Officially on Thursdays, but that will probably extend into Fridays. Moe asked me if I wanted to work a couple days there, emphasizing his need for a Sunday person, but I figured that if I wanted to at least try and keep being a form of a Christian, I should still not work on Sundays. But I said I could do Thursdays and Fridays, with an adjustment to my availability. He said he would call me, but didn't, and I decided to call him back about it. And he gave me Thursdays. I hope that I'll do well. I feel much more comfortable and confident in the environment than I did when I was first there.

My trip to Colorado is coming up soon. I can't wait to see Anna!

I'm really hoping to get up the nerve to cut my hair off. It will be a surprise.

That's all. Work is interesting these days.

March 9, 2014

It's daunting, but I'm not afraid anymore.

I'm human.

I am full of good intentions, and I know the right way to do things, but my actions - they are far too often separate from my knowledge. I can't get away with doing wrong in the name of "I know what the right thing was."

I did wrong by someone. Someone I do not like, who I don't think deserves the time of day. They don't deserve anything, except a lonely cave, far away from humanity. When you get down to it, I treated them that way. I know better. At the time, I knew better, and even said so. I said all kinds of things that somehow put of this wall of faux-righteousness and justification about my actions...yet what I did..shut them out, and turn them away - THOUGH THIS WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO PRACTICALLY - because unhealthy relationships with people are just that: unhealthy. It's okay to cut off unhealthy relationships, but it has to be done the right way. As a Christian, it has to be done in a godly way. I did neither.

What makes this worse? Maybe the fact that this person already sees Christians in a bad light. They already see Christians as ignorant, hypocritical people...and I, the person who tries so hard to prove I'm not like "them"...acted just like "them."

It pains me. I regret putting my emotions before this person's eternity. I failed. I was wrong. I fulfilled a stereotype. When I had the chance to be Christ-like to a person who so desperately needed it, I was nothing but a familiar enemy. Maybe I failed because it was hard. Because it was a challenge that I faced with my mind, rather than my spirit, and that's why I failed.

The good news is this: I can begin again. Whether I'll have the opportunity to apologize to this person is unknown, but I do have the opportunity to pray for them. As Christians, our job is to love, and be kind to everyone - not just people who deserve it, or people who are having a rough go of it. Anyone. Even the people who run us the wrong way, the people who are disliked by everyone, the people who put up walls in the name of intelligence and independence. Everyone is hurting, and everyone has a reason to hurt. That's why everyone needs someone to love them. Not be an emotional garbage can, or a mat to rub their dirty feet on, but someone to say, "I see you, and I want you to know peace. I want you to know that you don't have to do this alone. You think you do, but you're wrong. Whatever it is you think is true about God is false, and He is not like me. He loves you in a perfect way that you can't even fathom.Just try one more time to trust..but this time, trust the perfect God, not His imperfect earthly vessel."

I'm supposed to represent who God is, but I fall, and thankfully God's character and reputation still stands despite my inability to "walk the walk."

My title stems from a reminder from God today about who He has called me to be. I've known for a long time, the desire has been in my heart. Since Bible college even, I've known what He has called me to be. It used to scare me. I wanted it, but then I didn't, because the idea petrified me.

I'm not scared anymore. It's still kind of looming, but God has brought me past that initial barrier of fear. If anything, it's just laziness now that's keeping me from moving forward. But that's on me.

Happy Sunday.

February 24, 2014

I don't mean to intrude...

I don't like talking about my faith.

Rather, I don't like feeling like I'm pushing my faith onto other people. The problem, is that despite the fact that I respect people's choices, and beliefs, and decisions, God, and His timeless promises have brought me through too much for me to not know beyond the shadow of a doubt that He is true, and His promises are true forever, and that He is the one person that we can constantly trust, and rely on, and cling to. In good times, bad times, stressful times.

It's like, I don't want you to think that I'm trying to choke you with what I believe, but I'm so overwhelmed by the reality of who God has proven Himself to be in my life that I can't NOT say anything.

I mean, I think back to 2011-2012, the worst year of my life, when things were literally crumbling around me. I had nothing to stand on. My life was nothing but torment and stress and depression, and yet the promises...I don't know how many times I had to tell myself that God doesn't give us more than we can handle. And how many times I held God to that, letting Him know very clearly that it was too much, and yet this inexplicable peace would be able to creep into my heart, and I'd be able to go on for another hour. Another day. I could walk through my house one more time.

The promise that if we have faith the size of a grain of a mustard seed - which, I'm convinced is not just a mustard seed, which is extremely small, but the grain of one...the singular part of the many parts that make up that one tiny seed...that much faith is enough for God. And for a long time, through a lot of situations, that's all I had. Almost no faith. Just a speck of it.

And now I'm on the other side of it saying without any doubt (for now, amiright?) that God is trustworthy, and faithful. I can't give any other answer anymore. My life has been a witness to ME of God proving to be true of His character.

So whenever someone has issues, or struggles, all I can think to say is, "BUT GOD HAS THE ANSWER." If you could only bring yourself to trust Him, just this once, you would see that He is faithful, and that He loves you more than you could ever fathom!

I'm not always in a position to share this with people, when I see their pain. God doesn't always make an opportunity for me to say anything. But it's there. It's there overflowing from the top of my heart, wishing that people could only just see.

That if people could only just stop where they are for one moment, and let go of themselves, and hold on to the truth that God gives...

But it's hard. It's hard to trust God when you don't first give yourself the chance to know Him.

I wish I could do it all. But I can't. Free will, man. It's a killer.

February 16, 2014


I am literally blown away.

Let's recap my life a little bit, okay? I had wanted to work for Starbucks for about 5-7 years before I finally got hired. About a month or so before I had the interview that sealed my fate with the company, I discovered the Barista Guild of America.

"Baristas have a guild?" Yeah, we do, so take that anyone who thinks that barista isn't even an official title.

So, I freaked out that this was a thing. There's certification classes you can take to be a CERTIFIED barista, and if I became certified, then Starbucks or any other coffee place would have no reason NOT to hire me, and how awesome would it be to know everything to know about this stuff?

Then I saw the prices. Cha. Ching.

Well...I'm sure that if I don't spend any money ever again, I could have enough for a plane ticket to Portland in five years...

So, that exciting dream and venture got set aside. And then, March comes around and I get offered a job on the spot at my store. Dream come true. Amazing, thrilling, and I have almost been there for a year. I love my job, and I'm still so thankful, and blessed, and honored to work there.

Then today came. I was watching a documentary about young kids becoming professional dancers. These kids and their families do whatever it takes for them to reach their goals and have their dreams come true. And I thought to myself about my barista aspirations...and I said to myself, I want to learn more. I want to do more. I am learning a lot at work, but there's more to learn that I can't really learn at work because of what I'm job. There isn't a lot of opportunity to stop and have the chance to learn the way that I want to. Not at the fault of the company, but it is a job. I have to work, I can't just sit around learning and practicing.

So I think to myself: There must be a place that has classes in Boston. I look, and I find one. It's fairly affordable, and mom encourages me to sign up. Then the question gets brought up about who is teaching the class, does it have any other benefits, etc...

So I come back, full circle, to the SCAA and the BGA. I find that there is a place in MA that is offering the ENTIRE level one certification program in April. There's a discount for members of the BArista Guild of America.

So I did it. I joined. I'm going to talk to my boss about finagling that weekend in April together, and Lord willing, I'm actually on my way to reaching levels of "barista life" that I only dreamed about.

I'm so excited. I'm shocked, amazed, and thrilled. I had a feeling that this year was going to be exciting - I can't wait to see what else the Lord has in store!

And now, please understand me. I'm not trying to say that God only has exciting, happy things in store for us. But I know that stuff like this doesn't just happen. I don't deserve this, but God knows the desires of out hearts, and He DOES get pleasure in blessing us. IT's important to still be thankful when things aren't going the way we want. But it's not wrong to get excitement out of the good that happens, either! :)

February 10, 2014


I received a turquoise ring in the mail today. I don't know how long I've had the desire, but for as long as I can remember I've wanted a turquoise ring. I recently determined that the reason I wanted a turquoise ring was because of "Little Women." In the book, scarlet fever comes into the March home and Amy, having not had the illness yet, is sent to her Aunt March's until it's safe for her to come home. While there, when asked what she would like to have of her Aunt's when her Aunt passes away, Amy says a turquoise ring and determines to be good enough to earn it.

(Sounds like all of my school reports, amiright?)

I think that's where the inspiration is from, which is appropriate because "Little Women" is probably my favorite book of all time. When I really think about it, no book has influenced and inspired me about love, independence, femininity, and passion more than that book. In fact, a friend and I are supposed to be reading it for our resurrected two-man book club, but I have yet to begin.

I had the chance to talk with a friend from college today. He wrote me on Facebook, and we wrote on and off throughout the afternoon. I love talking to him, and he's one of the few people (that aren't my really close girlfriends,) that I've actually reconnected to and caught up with periodically. Talking to him is always encouraging, so that was a nice way to start my week. So, shout out to Igor, because he might read this. :) *waves*

The past couple weeks have been really neat, when it comes to socializing. That sounds weird, but for someone who doesn't do much, it's been really nice. A group of people from work (and a couple spouses) went to see "The Monuments Men" last night. (Spoiler Alert: not worth watching in theatres. Wait until it's on Netflix.) It's just fun - between going out to dinner with people, hanging around after work,'s a good time.

Work is going well. Sometimes, I get hit with waves of major insecurity that I'm not doing well enough to excel in the company. (Ugh, I sound like a such a boring business man!) After I've been stuck in the funk for a little while, I talk myself out of it by reminding myself that I'm there because I love what I'm doing, and that I'm happy where I am, and that I'm not AWFUL at my job. I also remind myself that it's good to push myself, and I just analyze where I am. I try to see where I can do better. I try to think, "If I had to run the store on my own, would I be able to do A, B, or C?" (Assuming that there are no customers, and disregarding shift supervisor duties.) It's pretty basic for the first half of the day, but once I hit late afternoon into the evening (until right before closing) I get mixed up on what to do, and when. This has been my issue for a while, but I'm trying really hard to pay attention when I close or pre-close to what those who are more versed in it all are doing.

So...I'm good, and I'm okay with being good, but I am trying to be better.

This past month, I've been doing the famous "30-day Shred." Tomorrow is my last day, (Shhhh, I missed ONE day. After so long of getting it done EVERY DAY, I did miss a day.) I don't feel very shredded, but I do know that physically I have reaped some rewards. I shot myself in the foot somewhere during level two when it came to eating, and neglecting my morning smoothies, which is why it wasn't more effective for me. But I own that, and I'm going to do it again, soon. I also pre-registered for a 5K in Haverhill this summer. That's pretty exciting. I did it on a whim (I mean, Haverhill is five seconds'd be dumb to not try). I now have a goal for the Couch to 5K program that I didn't get to finish last Fall., overall doing well.

Love life...nothing going on there in the physical realm, but I'm believing God for some pretty crazy stuff.

I have gifts to mail people. Things that were going to be Christmas gifts, and then were going to be birthday gifts, and are now going to be "Just because you're awesome and deserve a gift" gifts. This goes out to Anna and Joanna. I'm sorry that I'm a terrible person.

Oh! So, my birthday is this Friday. I have the day off, and no plans. HOWEVER, the celebration has already begun because my friend Samantha made me gluten-free sugar cookies with a sugar silhouette of Benedict Cumberbatch. THEY ARE AMAZING AND DELICIOUS. I have one left. I saved the most perfect silhouette for last so that I could take a proper picture. She is literally so creative, it's ridiculous.

Lastly, everyone is getting married and/or pregnant. This is not a cry for pity from a single person, it's just a crazy fact! Both of my friends, Allix and Alex, are pregnant. I was in each of their weddings, as well. It's pretty much delightful and exciting.

That's all. Nothing special, just life.

January 25, 2014

I always have the same line...

Whenever I haven't written in a while, I always have Count Olaf's welcoming line to the kids in my head.

"Hello, hello, hello..." Creepy voice and all.

This is my first post of 2014. So far, it's been an interesting year. Granted, it's only been 25 days, but still, interesting.

For one thing, my hands are chapped like whoa. It's ridiculous and painful. There's a girl at work who is worse off than myself, but I feel her pain. Being surrounded by rinsing and sanitizing all day doesn't help at all. Uhg, winter can end any time.

There's some stuff going on that I can't talk about here. It's not a personal situation for me, but I'm involved, and the Lord is definitely using it to teach me a lot. What I know about faith is really being challenged, and the Lord is helping me see more quickly the difference between His voice, and Satan's. Just being faced with so much doubt concerning the situation, and then it quickly turning around into: "Wait, Hannah, doubt isn't from God, and for the sake of this situation, you can't dwell on doubt." It's weird. And great. And weird. And in general, God is drawing me back to Himself, shining the light in my darkness, and I want to honor Him. I still fail, because I'm not as strong as I need to be, but I know that He is patient, and is alongside me for the journey.

There's a lot going on, I guess. There is then, a situation that very much does concern me, and if anything, I feel like week by week, I'm more and more confident that God is doing something. It sounds crazy, and bizarre, but at the same time makes perfect sense. I'm looking forward to the future..the summer.

I've been exercising. I bought Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred, and have so far done it every day. I've been really tempted to skip a couple times, but so far so good. I've also been drinking a lot of green smoothies, and am just trying to make better choices for myself. I'm not necessarily looking for tons of physical change, I just want to feel good. And feel like I've accomplished something. Anything else is a bonus.

I still love my job. I've been reading a lot lately, which has been awesome. You know how if you don't read consistently for a long time, it just is kind of hard TO read? Like, stay awake long enough to care, etc? That's changed, and now I'm a person who really like reading again. Which I love. I love buying books, and challenging myself to finish them.

God is good. Life is interesting.