Boy, who knew that writing a blog in your free time would be the first thing to go when you started a paying gig? Believe you me, it isn’t that I hate my blog, it’s just that when you start working 8 hours a day on your feet you kind of get kind of burned out and demotivated to do anything else. Other than sleep and read books/complain about crappy blogs with your girlfriend.
I think that getting a semi-real job has been an eye opening experience for me recently. Now I shouldn’t be saying a semi-real job. I have been doing a lot of hard work lately, getting espresso brew ratio’s right, drawing/doodling a lot of signage, helping to figure out the ethos for a coffee shop, setting up community organized events, I shouldn’t down play it at all. But one can’t help but question their hard work occasionally. Before I get all emotional maybe I should start from the beginning rather than dragging you into a mid-thought.
Two weeks ago I helped open Carbon Valley Coffee Roasters in Frederick, CO. Owned by Deborah and Dustin Flanagan I have helped to develop their new coffee program! The Flanagan’s, although wet behind the ears in the coffee world, the are really excited about their new venture have been great to me and have given me a great learning experience. Not only that, they have set up a shop that is really ahead of its community and serve great coffee and atmosphere. I met the couple at an event at the Barista Pro Shop. After I met them I was really excited about helping them learn about coffee and develop a really good coffee program. Partially for my own personal selfish-ness to be behind a coffee bar but also because I really wanted to be part of something bigger than myself and really try to help someone achieve their dreams rather than take over their dream. I did this at the Little Bird Bakeshop in Fort Collins and will forever feel bad about it.
Anyways, after two weeks of working in Frederick I have been trying to figure out how to write my experience into words. I really want to write a long article about my experience and how it relates to my service industry experience. Things about compromising your ethos with the customers needs and accepting that no matter how much training you do, people will enjoy dark roasted coffee and call it a “Caramel Machiatto.” But I think I will save that for another time.
I think right now over these last two weeks I have really started to understand my position currently in my life. I am lost. Plain and simple. Not necessarily in a bad way mind you. Just really lost. But, comparing it to the bedroom community people in the same age group as me (25-35) I can’t but help feel like that is an okay thing. Lately I have been getting frustrated with this hurry up and wait existence that I feel like I am stuck in. I feel like i have to hurry up and start throwing myself into these prefabricated molds of life. A job, a house, a career path, and than kind of go into autopilot waiting for my moment to get out of it and be able to do what I want to do. The juxtaposition of our lives is one where we are meant to be cogs in the vast machine of life occupying a space and than just holding that spot until we are done and the next person takes it over. It feels wrong, it feels insincere, it doesn’t feel like me.
I have been scared to get stuck into this kind of existence for a while now, as anyone I know can attest, but especially from seeing these people in bedroom communities. Some of the wives that come into the shop, and husbands to, seem to be like caged wild animals. When you look in their eyes, that spark of life and adventure is gone and glossed over with complacency always wondering how the rest of the world has it. There was this one conversation I saw one day where this woman emotionally was pleading to make some sort of contact with anyone to feel alive. On another occasion I saw two stay at home moms with their kids who were screaming in the shop and did absolutely nothing to calm them because it didn’t matter. They had given up.
It scared me because I can see how easy it is to get hooked into a life of non-existence. A life of complacency. You always are expecting the next big thing “just around the corner” or you decide that this is enough. But as I sat there watching these people I couldn’t help but feel it can’t be enough. But also as I sat there I thought about the traps and how easy it is to fall into that trap of “hurry up and wait” and feeling like you have to compromise now for the big pay off later. But when does that pay off come?
Not to be all negative nancy, but I have been reflecting a lot on my life, existence, purpose, mostly in regards to the future of my own personal relationship with the love of my life and how we will ever be grown up enough to be married. Being a grown up is hard! The more I think about my future, I don’t want to feel caged in and not have that sense of community. That semblance of a social family around me. At least I have that figured out.