Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Return to the Bucks

I have been back at Starbucks for about a week and a half now.

Today on facebook, there was a little blurb informing me that on August 17th, 2009, exactly two years ago, my facebook status said something about going back to work at Starbucks.  Upon realizing this, I wailed something to Sam about my life just being on repeat, that I'm not actually advancing and that I'm stuck doing the same thing over and over.  (It's really easy for me to throw myself a pity party.  I throw one heck of a party, people.)  But God gave me this husband that doesn't come when I invite him to my pity parties.  He always mumbles some nonsense in opposition to my feeling sorry for myself.  Silly husband.  Needless to say, my party didn't last long.

Then I went to work.  I'm still in training right now since it's been a year and a half since I've worn the green apron, and yet it's all coming back to me very quickly.  Without thought my muscles remember how to create frothy foam, swirl espresso shots into white mocha, and quickly multitask to create drinks while still chatting with customers.  While I worked today, I realized that I'm really good at making lattes.  Really good.  I couldn't decide if that made me happy or depressed.  Do I really want to be really good at making lattes?  Aren't there a lot of other things in life that I would rather be really good at?  Writing books, being a wife, someday a mother?  Yes, I'd rather be a rock star at those things than at steaming milk.

But right now I'm at Starbucks.  I'm twenty-six, still without a college degree, and I'm at Starbucks.  I don't make a lot of money.  My work doesn't have a lot of prestige.  The level of intelligence required for this job is not high, and it's humbling to know that my brains aren't being stretched or challenged at work, and that this job certainly doesn't highlight all that I feel I'm capable of.  I want to scream out, I'm better than this!  (I realize I'm probably the only person who has ever had a thought as prideful as that, but there it is, the reality of how arrogant I can be.  Sorry to burst your bubble - I know you were all probably convinced that I am the model of humility.)

So this is where I am.  How do I accept that?  My pride wants to make lots of excuses, to tell people that I'm still pursuing my degree and that what I want to do someday is so much cooler than what I do right now.  But yes, I'm a barista, a job which only requires you to be sixteen and not a complete idiot.  As much as I'd like to just be depressed about that (which sounds like a lot of fun), I figure I should probably try to make the best of it.  How do I do that?  This is what I came up with:

Well first of all...I am good at my job.  I can be thankful for that.  Secondly, the people I work with are very friendly, and it is in fact the friendliest store I've ever worked at.  I am very thankful for that, seeing as how I don't have many Salem friends yet.  Third, I have a job.  I am thankful for that.  And finally, most importantly, I can interact with people all day and possibly be a blessing in their day (if I choose to by being kind), and I'm thankful for that opportunity.

I had a good day today, and I wanted to fight it.  I don't want to like working at Starbucks, but I do.  I don't want to work here forever, but I'm thankful that for the time being, I really like what I'm doing.  Not everyone can say that they enjoy going to work and I can.  I know there will be plenty of times I won't like it, and I know after a time I'll probably get really sick of it.  But for now, I want to make the most of it, to make friends, to do my best, and to take the opportunity to keep reading and writing as much as I can (since my mind isn't tired after work - just my body).

I really have nothing to complain about.  Just a lot to be thankful for.

(I wrote myself this post so that I can decline the invitation the next time I want to feel sorry for myself.  Hold me to it, people!)


  1. Love this. I think you would be surprised at how many people feel this exact same way...I sure do quite often.

    Even being in school and in my program and feeling like I'm finally doing what I want to do, I hear the 21 year old next to me saying how they've been to 5 different countries and citing books they've read I've never even heard of, and the person in my writing class who is going to teach science always seems to have the best poems and I'm like..."shoot, how am I going to teach English if I can't even write a good copy change poem!!" and then I come home and have the same party for myself and Robert adds a tally to the whiteboard on our fridge every time I say I'm not smart...because he will have none of it either!! Life is funny...too many comparisons. I want to just be thankful too and know that I have value and can add to a conversation as well.

    Even if I haven't studied abroad...

    Good things to think about...thanks for sharing!

  2. I feel ya on this one too. And even though this time seems to be going by sooooo slowly, someday you'll be further along toward your's and/or God's goals for your life, looking back at this time while thinking to yourself, "Wow, remember when I thought I would never move past this?" Don't you just wish you could fast forward to that point? I totally do. But then again, we would miss the journey if we just skipped to the good parts..... like the movie Click. ;)


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