10 Things I Learned in August

Reflecting and regrouping the past few rainy days. Therefore I find it only fitting to link up to Emily Freeman’s blog and share my 10 things I learned in August.

Here’s to September! You came rather quickly. But Ill ride your wave of pumpkin everything and cooler mornings.

1. I enjoy my morning coffee more when I am coherent.
It helps me to take a shower as the coffee brews. Or do the lingering dishes in my sink from the night before as those succulent drops of brown-golden goodness make it to the pot. Doing something before sitting to have my coffee ensures i enjoy those sitting moments rather than hoping I don’t fall back asleep while sipping the miracle wake up drug. And subsequently I’ve had really nice morning moments of late.

2. I have a destiny and purpose.
I knew this, but I needed reminding. In the midst of finding my niche here, finding heartache, surviving, and working, I had forgotten that this isn’t my home. There is an eternal reality and this is the beginning. And I am an overcomer.

3. Shrimping is super easy and cleaning/cooking shrimp isn’t as hard as I thought.
I have learned the technique of throwing out a cast net without “pancaking”. And I have been pleasantly surprised as I have actually caught things in my net. I finally caught on that if I go out on my dock at low tide I can get a small but reasonable size catch of shrimp. So of course I had to learn that all it takes to clean and store my catch is to simply pop the heads off, wash, and freeze in a container with water in it. This girl is becoming more lowcountry by the minute.

4. Heartbreak is hard, and confession brings relief.
If heartbreak wasn’t hard maybe we would be trying on relationships like clothes in a store. But the reality is that loving someone is risky and vulnerable. And oh yes Tennyson was right “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” But sometimes in those relationships we find ourselves grieving, we made mistakes. Confessing to another person the good, the rough, and the things I’d do differently brought me some relief. But this lesson is continuing into September as I work through confessing to myself and possibly close friends the reasons things got messy.

5. Community is good, but being with like-minded individuals is even better.
I think these two things may just be the same. A friend moved down here about 20 minutes from me. The couple times we have spent together, I have walked away refreshed remembering who I truly am, the values that I hold to that somehow get drowned out in the midst of a 40hr work week. I need time with people who are on the same page or at least a couple pages over from me because it inspires me to keep moving forward in the convictions I have and to not let go of those things.

6. I thrive by focusing on people not data.
If I find myself ridiculously frustrated at work, I probably haven’t made time to have a conversation with my partners or my customers. One of my managers called me out on my lack of enthusiasm and kindly pointed out this observation. Hit the nail on the head. “Keep it personal”, she said. Her words reminded me to see the one in front of me.

7. I love singing!
I like finding music I can sing along to. I love badass women with deep soulful voices. Feel free to give recommendations! But even if I don’t have lyrics to sing to…I just make something up.

8. I’m much more of a dreamer than a detail person.
This tests me very much. I can get the vision but when it comes to executing Im having to come against many faulty or unnatural ways in me. However its only stretching me in the best of ways. On the flip side I give myself space to dream. I have a dream box on the shelf I slip little pieces of paper in for this purpose.

9. Beets are good to eat before working out.
Have yet to try out this theory, but yesterday I bought a bundle of beets to give it a go. Apparently they open up the cardiovascular systems to make oxygen travel in your body easier. And I’ll take all the help I can get!

10. Blueberry bushes like companionship.
Wish I would have known this a few years back when I was given one that I excitedly planted and it anticlimactically shriveled up. One bush needs another to pollinate each other so they can bare fruit. Huh…sounds like people needing one another so we can bare good fruit. I proudly bought a self-pollinating blueberry bush a week ago. Hopefully this babe will live.

Thanks for reading. Would love to hear what you are learning too. Leave a comment with a thing or two or ten :). Or even better, link up to Emily Freeman’s blog to share your 10 with an online network.

Pseudo or Semi-community

Beep, Beep, Beep. Woke late this morning after hitting snooze multiple times. Still I hopped out of bed and got dressed, had a quick cup of joe. I was looking good and feeling good. Got in the car driving to church while listening to the sermon via internet (yea i was late). And then….I turned around.

Why I turned around Im not completely sure. It wasn’t fear or shame or anxiety. I think I just didn’t want to go in late sit by some dude I don’t know and who will only say hi to me. Listen to the sermon, worship around other people who don’t know me, and leave among the masses. Really I can engage and listen to the sermon sitting on my porch and worship alone without other strangers around. Its not church to walk in unseen. I know all the church-goer arguments that would rebuttal everything I am saying right now…and frankly I don’t give a damn. “Turn to the person next to you and have a conversation…connect with people while you are there…get involved in serving”. There is a much bigger problem that those band-aids wont fix. And lets be honest…most likely that person sitting next to me will run out of the church so damn fast after service that they will have forgotten what I look like and my name. Unless that is I get lucky.

I am nearing my late 20s, not married, without kids. Im okay not having kids and on certain days Im okay being single. But the thing is at my age it is really hard to not feel left behind. But I think it is a good thing. Because you see we have an issue here in America. We make it a goal to be married settle in have a family without community. A family is community in itself, I know, but it is also a unified organism of sorts. The family still needs outside community. Id argue that couples without friends are dangerous. And families without community are either just surviving or toxic.

But we don’t get it in America. We think sitting at church on Sunday is community. Wake up! Isn’t your heart screaming for more? Or have you given up hope? We work incredibly long hours during the week. The weekend sizzles away as we maybe regroup. Its rare we find time to just be with one another. Plus we are believing lies. “There has to be an agenda if we are going to spend time with one another because really I have no time.” “Oh and the reason I have no time is I am trying to find purpose in my work and hide who I really am from everyone around me because Im scared to see me myself.”

Here’s what I long for: Community being an open door policy. When I was in Turkey, I was amazed by the sense of community that I saw there. Old men sitting outside their homes drinking tea and playing cards. Women helping each other in the kitchen. Neighbors taking walks together. Boys playing soccer together. Vendors conversing with one another. Meals shared together. A neighbor randomly showing up. Those things weren’t scheduled months in advance. Love flowed out of these people more naturally than I had ever seen in my life. Life shared.

Weary from trying to push to make it happen. Sick of the pseudo community that tastes like cotton candy but leaves you feeling empty. And praying we, myself included, get past the semi-community by putting both our feet in our neighbors kitchen. Too many people here are lonely, depressed, and searching for something to ease the pain. I want to see depression and addictions fall away because community exists.

Rant over.

A Starbuck Story

Stepping over the threshold under green awning
familiar rhythm and song, unique territory.
Experience and Knowledge back me,
Culture runs through these veins,
fresh atmosphere I breath in.

Just as those old ones,
these walls are pregnant with a story to tell.
A waft of bold aroma enlightens the senses,
carrying me back to day one.
Being welcomed into a community of artists and influencers.

That place of beginnings held many journeys.
An addict no longer held down,
a gang of grey haired men enjoying company,
a restaurant owner doing business and family,
an evening dweller in search of a friend.

Lite frothing sounds allure me back.
These unfamiliar walls encase story as well.
There’s a faint salt smell as the door swings shut.
Buzzing in the corner amidst students,
and a pure intent seen in the faith man scribbling away.

If these walls could speak,
I’m sure they’d tell a tale,
of lives impacted by artists and influencers.
Now joining those, faintly the walls whisper,
And Im sure I heard my name in the chatter.