Monday, September 5, 2016

In the new land of 87 Coffees - 1 year in Phoenix

Almost exactly a year ago, I remember looking down at the ground and the soil beneath my feet in North Carolina and realizing that I was getting ready for a big change. I asked my friend who I was walking with if she thought everything would be really different in Arizona. The desert. The ground there. Me.

Not sure why the ground was so fascinating to me but there was something about the physical act of being in one place and then moving and being in a different land, on different ground, soil, dirt. Being planted somewhere different. Putting roots down again.

It's been a year here already!! Woohoo! 

I am enjoying life and I don't think too much lately about the ground, or if I'm really different here or not. Every change changes a person and I think that's a good thing. I believe I am who I am supposed to be at this point in my life here, doing what I supposed to be doing. That brings my heart joy to be able to relax in that.

87 Coffees is all a part of the journey. I am excited that the stories have continued as I have lived here. I have found people to be so open and there are many experiences to be had with people in this new city.

Vanessa and Cornell, I have not forgotten about you guys. Thank you for helping me get to the top of the mountain when I was tired and entertaining my breaks every ten minutes. It was quite an adventure meeting you and you should know from now on I properly hydrate when I hike in the summer. More on your story to come.

I am so grateful for all the coffees and new friends I have met this year. In year two in Phoenix, my goal is to evolve this story so everyone can actually read about their encounters! I know, amazing, right?!

You are faithful friends.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Rough draft

Tonight my phone went dead at Harris Teeter, which isn't too unusual.

One of my cashier friends told me she was excited to be part of my book, you know because that's what I talk about when I see people.

I almost ran her over tonight. We were talking as I was driving away and she kind of walked right in front of my moving car. She said "if you run me over, how are you going to have anything to write about?"

The good news is that there is a book in the making. Teresa was drawing pictures of dresses on receipts when I saw her tonight because she designs clothes. I asked her if she could design something for me and she said 'anything but those jeans! You're always wearing jeans.'


What a short synopsis of many, many encounters with Teresa. This one from my drafts, never published. I was going back through to check out what I had still in there.

More on Teresa later. I'm going back to North Carolina this week so that might encourage some tales to be further documented.

It's amazing how much of our stories -- and us -- are still in rough draft form.

That's okay! Write it down, girl! (Me speaking to me, and you too, if this applies to you).

Saturday, February 6, 2016

In defense of coffee and purple hair streaks

There are 75 things I could be doing right now, but on purpose I decided not to do any of them because what I needed to do was write for a few minutes.

I have interesting experiences with new friends (some people call them strangers) everyday and in this, I try and record the humanity and the connection behind the encounter. Sometimes this happens over actual coffee, sometimes we plan to have coffee to learn more, sometimes, what I call a 'coffee' is just the experience of meeting and knowing a new, unique person.

When I moved to Phoenix in September, I had a completely blank slate calendar. This was a whole bunch of things: freeing, terrifying, exhilarating, confusing, exciting, and so utterly new and strange. Where do you go with a blank slate life? As a free spirited dreamer who seems to live with a realist deep inside her, I knew eventually and little by little all the things that actually make up a well rounded life would start to creep in again, and that's what started to happen, how dare those well rounded things! But that's what is needed for a person to feel grounded and connected. We need to start building routines and stability.

87 Coffees often feels like what I do when I'm living the soulful, free-spirited, non-routine life, as I'm going in-between one season or as I'm traveling from one place to the next. A lot of my 'adventures' for this book took place during last year when I was doing a lot of traveling. Now, I'm more planted, and starting to feel like it would be easy to get back to the day-to-day (which is needed), where I forget to see the adventure and beauty in simple moments all around me.

I know God has wired me to be a little bit of an adventurous spirit. And to see the possibilities of getting to know people. There's so much wisdom if you let people and their lives teach you.

Today I saw Tamera who cuts my hair. It is worth noting that today she not only cut my hair she helped me live out my new inspiration to put color in my hair by putting purple chalk streaks in my hair. So. Much. Fun.

Tamera is a creative, too. She told me that she her interests change all the time so she can have something new to tell her customers.

It seemed curious. Like she has a dual job, to tell stories to the customers. At least that's what she likes to do, I think. We think we'll try to get actual coffee sometime and she can tell me more.

I'm glad I'm back to my focus with this book. I'm glad I'm back to meeting all the people with all the stories.

Everyone can be a storyteller, if they want to be. Perhaps the world's best storytellers are disguised as cool hair dressers.