Bean & Leaf Cafe: a rainy day, coffee shop Sunday afternoon

Today is a rainy day Sunday.

Despite my long laundry list of things to accomplish, I find myself at the Bean & Leaf Cafe in downtown Rochester, sitting at a window seat table, looking over the corner intersection. The leaf design artfully displayed in the foam of my dirty chai latte is expanding into an unrecognizable spattering of browns and creams and there’s a cool wave of air coming from the window that washes over my hands, reminding me to take hold of my drink from time to time for a warm up and a sip.

Days like these remind me to take deep breaths, to stop, to just be. There’s something about rainy days that inspire me, make me stretch out my fingers and attempt to come up with something new – be it blog, perspective, or adventure. Good thing too because I’m already one blog short of my weekend quota. I’m going to go ahead and make the executive call that one long, insightful entry is the equivalent of two quick commentary-styled entries. So buckle up; this might take a while.

I had the privilege of going out for a chat over some drinks with a friend this weekend. It was one of those good chats that come around only every so often but leaves you feeling like you know a little more about yourself as well as the other person. I got the opportunity to delve into what I’m doing in the moment – just opening up to possibilities and listening for direction – with him. I think him agreeing to meet up with me last minute and asking innocent questions which led into the conversation fulfilled a purpose unplanned by me. It was a talk that lasted a few hours but managed to reconvict me; that’s powerful.

I’m looking forward to moving to Grand Rapids. People ask me why and I don’t have a definite reason. I love the city and I feel like there is much more to discover there. I left prematurely for this internship and although I don’t have a purpose in returning – job/relationship/home – my decision to return is purposeful. It’s a  sensation; I feel pulled to Grand Rapids. I decided today that my first step will be hooking into Mars Hill. I think the closer you work with God, the closer you come to living the life you are called to live. So there you have it: Step 1. Why am I moving back to Grand Rapids? To get involved.

The conversation also gave me some insight into career decisions. I wish that I could sit here and proclaim my career calling definitively, but I can’t. I still don’t know where I’m headed, but I do know that I cannot allow myself to take the easy road. And I have renewed conviction. Some people can follow the path of least resistance but that’s not me. Struggle defines all of us – and how great to struggle for what I want or the chance to discover what I want? I know that life is a series of decisions and that happiness isn’t some end result but rather the journey through those decisions – so I know that I could be happy taking the path that’s stretching out ahead of me, but it will take me in a direction that I’m not willing to go. I might fall into my career, but not this way. Not yet.

Side note: Chai lattes are perhaps the best drinks; even when you let them sit and they become cold, they’re delicious.

I just discovered that I can throw my camera memory card right into my computer. In celebration of that, let me share the latest image from the card:

Although it was probably inappropriate to get my camera out mid church service to take this picture, I had to. This couple stands in each other’s arms every service. They sway in perfect rhythm with one another as they sing and every so often, one of them pats their hand on the other’s side – as if to say, “I’m here for you.” I think this is what love looks like.

At this point, my thoughts are apt to wander. My long laundry list of things has begun to creep back into my mind. The cool breeze washing over my hands can no longer be warmed by the cup beside me. And I’m faced with a decision: Do I cut this short (short because it needs to be the equivalent of two) or do I order a hot tea and travel in a new direction with my thoughts? Or I could order a hot tea and open up the book beside me which I have not had the time to open in a while. Hmm…decisions.

I think spending time with myself is delightfully addicting. Not in an anti-social way; it recharges me for the social atmospheres that I love (and those I don’t). I told my aunt as I was leaving that it feels a little ridiculous to set aside everything I need to do in order to sit in a coffee shop with a book, computer, set of headphones, journal, and my thoughts – but she assures me that it’s necessary to take some time off. I think she’s right. I have a smart aunt.

I think it’s also part of accepting who I am and what I enjoy. Silly that you have to learn to accept those things about yourself. I don’t know what else I could be doing on a rainy Sunday, but I’m sure many people would scoff at my ideal. So be it. To steal a page from Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project (the book beside me), I’m just being Meg.

Being Meg. What does that entail? Well, coffee shops and blogging on rainy days, obviously. It’s interesting to get other’s perspectives when asking that question. At work, it seems to be popular consensus that I’m happy-go-lucky. Always in a good mood. While that might be far from the truth on a lot of days, it’s nice to hear. I never thought of myself that way – but perhaps that’s my new approach being exhibited in my life. That, or I’m a great pretender 😉 haha. I’ve heard that I’m difficult to read – not like “most girls.” I don’t really know what that means. Whenever I hear that, I want to argue on behalf of those women. They can’t really all be so similar. We’ve all got things that make us unique. I’d also like to believe that everyone gets the opportunity to hear that at some point in his/her life. It’s important to feel like you have something that sets you apart – and you do!

I like seeing those things in other people and letting them know. I sat through a presentation the other day that was well delivered. I sent the speaker an e-mail thanking him for his time and sincerity (I hope it’s true sincerity – but even if not – kudos for delivering in such a way that I’m led to believe that it is!). I didn’t get any response and I suppose I thought I would, so this isn’t a very good story or illustration of the point I’m trying to prove… but I think it’s important. And I think a lot of times those kind words are lost on people but sometimes they’re conveyed at just the right time and that makes up for those previous pearls cast among the swine. Haha, I couldn’t help throwing that in. I by no means mean to say that this man is a swine for not recognizing my kind words. Ha. No, I’m not saying that.

Alright, I’ve gotta stop putting off responsibility. I’ve crossed over the necessary “recharge” time and am now just avoiding the inevitable. Shameful. I gotta bust my own butt sometimes so I can get my act right. Back to the grind…after just a few more songs from the James Morrison channel on first…Haha.

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