a cup of coffee cures everything.

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yes. i had a mini-meltdown yesterday. and, as i suspected, today i feel much better. i suppose i just needed to get that all out. i needed to process. and i needed y’all to listen. which you did, as usual. thank you so much… for your comments, advice, pep talks, and support. i’m a lucky girl since i have all of you. and you help keep me sane.

so , now, i’ve moving on.

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yesterday’s view at high five coffee bar.

today, i did the same thing i did yesterday in the morning after i dropped off lina… i went to a new cafe in town. not new new, but new to me. and as i sipped my coffee out of my mug that i brought from home (here in asheville, businesses encourage green living by offering discounts when you BYOM – bring your own mug. sweet, huh?), i thought that i just might do a little 40 day cafe thing. a kind of cafe challenge.

what i am challenging myself to do is to go to a cafe every day (monday -friday) for the next 40 days. blog, journal, and/or photograph my experiences each day, and see what comes of spending that intentional time alone, and yet in the community. i mean, i love coffee. i love asheville. i need to meet people. and right now, i can work from my computer anywhere that has wifi, so it’s perfect. creative. an experiment. an adventure. i wonder what will happen… will i really just sit and read for 40 days? or will i end up talking with people? will i write any? how much? will i really try 40 different coffee shops/cafes?

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today’s view as i sipped a cup of joe and sat outside at world cafe.

i think i got inspired today when i sat down with my cup of coffee and saw a person coming toward me who i recognized. soon, i realized that it was the guy that i met with a few weeks ago at a cafe. the same one where i was today actually. he slowed down and chatted for a minute, as he was on his way to work. and then, something clicked in me. i very way may get to know more people, make more connections, run into people again & again as i make these cafe visits over the next 40 days. plus, i got stuck thinking about (and coveting) his job. he works for the paper and has an online blog. i just felt something inside me as he walked past… like taking this time over the next 40 days might produce something. and i have no idea what i mean by that, it’s just something.

also, yesterday, some of my IG (instagram) buddies poked fun at me for  “taking them on a tour” of different cafes in asheville with all of my photos. and, now, i’m thinking… why not build on that? why not make this a daily ritual for the next 40 days and see what happens?

so , i’m excited. motivated. and ready to see what transformations can occur over a simple cup of coffee.

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monday’s dirty chai. delish.

40 cups. 40 cafes. 40 days.

now, i only need a title. what do i call this little cafe experiment? any suggestions?! feel free to comment away!

peace & love over a cup of joe.

i’m ok… even though i got an email.

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you know what? i don’t want a job that might not be a place where i can be 100% me. i don’t want a job where i have to perhaps pretend that part of my life doesn’t exist. i don’t want a job where i am not seen as a whole and complete and perfectly ok person just as i am. i will not settle. i will not bow down. i will not give in.

instead, i will keep on being me. tattoos and all. same-sex marriage and all. liberal thinking and all. idealism and all. theology and all. and if this blog, or anything else in my life, is getting in the way of me getting a job… well, then, that job’s not for me.

as you can tell, i did not get the teaching job i interviewed for on monday. they told me that they would call the person they offered the job to and email the others on friday. well, i got an email. and, you know what? i’m totally ok with it. panicky about getting a job period. but, i know in my soul, and i knew it before the interview, that teaching in a public school was not for me. it’s just not me anymore. oh, i’m still a teacher. but, in a different way. you can’t move to another country for three years and come back in exactly the same place, ready to pick up where you left off. it doesn’t work like that. at least not with me.

a birthday card from my parents. circa mid-90s.
a birthday card from my parents. circa mid-90s. i found it yesterday. the perfect pick-me-up.

now, this job that i interviewed for, they did not turn me down based on anything except that there was a more qualified person, as far as i know. that’s all the email said. but, during my interview, they asked me this question:

“do you have Facebook?” and then, “what would i find if i was to type in your name on Facebook and see your page?”. during the interview i panicked. inside. on the outside i was as cool as a cucumber. i knew i was interviewing at an elementary school in small-town, southern usa. would they see my same-sex marriage? would they see links to my blog? would they see social issues that i support, like healthcare and welfare and voting rights and the right to choose? would there be something incriminating (to them) on there? i had no idea. they explained the question by saying that the school was in a small town where parents would google me or look me up & check me out, so hopefully i didn’t have any shots of me in a string bikini. which i didn’t. are bikini shots what they were really worried about? perhaps. but, i don’t know.

still, it’s a small town. so half of my life is incriminating and wrong, if you look at it through conservative christian, southern, rural, north carolina eyes. sigh.

so, did this play a factor in me not getting the job? i have no idea. perhaps not. but, you know, it actually doesn’t really matter to me. i learned something about myself because of this whole process.

i cannot live a divided life ever again. i simply must be able to be who i am, as i am, wherever i am. and, i mean, i’ll expect and offer the exact same thing to you. bottom line: i don’t think i’m a horrible person. i am not out to hurt anybody. and i am not a mistake, wrong, a threat, or anything else. i am simply me. and, to be honest with you, all i want is to live and work and play and be… in a world filled with harmony, peace, and equality. and i want the same thing for you. is that so wrong?

for the most part things felt really good after the interview on monday. there was a really good, loving vibe in the school. and i am certain that, personally, the two people who interviewed me would have seen me as an ok, educated, caring person.

but, that’s just how all the individuals felt in the united methodist church felt when my candidacy was rejected three years ago because i was married to a woman. all of the individual people didn’t have a problem with me. they were just following the rules. and perhaps the two at the school didn’t have a problem with me either, but were “concerned” about how parents and the community would react to me (still i have no idea if this was a factor, i remind you).

the problem is, it’s all well & good that people individually support me. but, how long are we going to just follow the rules? how many more people are we gonna sacrifice because we don’t want to rock the boat, upset the status quo, or break any rules? how long will these two institutions that i have loved continue to excommunicate me because of who i love? and, how long will people just sit back and support me, yet follow the rules anyway? nothing will ever change if we just accept & follow the rules. if we disagree, then let’s disagree and do something!

anyway, i did not like the feeling i had after my interview when i wondered if i should change anything on my facebook. there is actually nothing to change, there is nothing wrong with it, with me… but, i left the interview wondering if there actually was something a little wrong with me, that i had to change in order to fit into a mold. that feeling was uncomfortable, and i was mad that i even let those thoughts enter my mind… that i had to possibly change something about myself to make myself more acceptable. ewww. ridiculous thoughts.

a47a6872067511e3990322000a9f192c_7as for a job? i’ll keep looking. and i’ll turn over every, single stone to find something that suits my soul, that makes me feel free, that nurtures and challenges me to give back. i will not settle for anything less than my dreams.

i’ve learned that never again will i question myself, and my self worth. what i will do is keep looking for a job. something that is a perfect fit. and i will trust that it will come in just the right time. and, while i look, i will do a few other things as well this fall:

  • take a yoga class & sign up for training to be a yoga teacher.
  • take a writing class & get moving on my book… SERIOUSLY.
  • begin a photography course.
  • go camping and get back to my tree-hugging roots.
  • grow my pen pal relationships.
  • print and frame some of my photography.
  • volunteer with an eating disorder organization or an LGBT organization, or both.

my love, my brother, and my parents all said it at different times today… this was not meant to be. and there is something much better out there waiting for me. so, i’m gonna trust my family and the universe. i’m gonna listen to my soul better next time, and not panic. and i will not settle. it’s out there. and when i stumble upon it, i will know. and it will be beautiful. but, for now, i keep on walking. with my head held high. focused on who i am, the gifts i have, and alert to the signs and messages that are coming to me every day.

so, today, instead of being upset and terrified, i chose to move forward. i chose to listen to what my heart is really saying.

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there she goes! my love on her way!

i just dropped my love off at UNCA for her first day at the university! and i am so proud of her! she made her dream come true, fought her way back from near death (literally), overcame so much, pushed and created and dreamed her dream into reality. and now, today, she has begun her second bachelor’s degree, and i could not be any more excited for her.

as for me, i feel more and more that this is a time to dig deep into my dreams as well. even though, i have already made the dream of living in europe come true, it’s time for the next step. my love and i have helped each other realize our dreams, and now we move forward into the next part of our journey in life. and i could not be happier.

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so, after dropping lina off at school, i headed downtown, where i am now. i’ve found a little corner for myself at a table. got a chai latte (a big one!) in my hand, and my notebook and computer ready to fire up. this is how i work best. in this moment, right now, i am going to keep dreaming and make things happen, while i balance trusting the universe at the same time. it will all come.

my friends, believe in yourself today. chase your dreams and trust your soul. and you will find your bliss.

happy weekend! love and peace to you.

update/disclaimer: in no way am i saying that the job where i interviewed discriminated against me. i am not even accusing them of it. i am only saying that it is a possibility, given where it is located (a rural, small, conservaative town – not in the same city or county where i live), i have no proof of that. in some ways i don’t even care. what i am saying is that it was instrumental in helping me think about what type of job i want and what job i am meant to have. more importantly, it solidified my thoughts about how i am. once again. so, all in all, it was a huge blessing in disguise. the whole experience. 

thank you for reading! much love. ~liz

i can feel it in the air.

it’s unusually warm today. like 20/21 celsius or 72ish fahrenheit. and really weird out. sunny, stormy, damp, rainy, humid. like something’s coming. like a change is gonna come. but, i guess changes actually are coming, aren’t they?

it feels like today is the last day of warm weather. i can feel it in my bones. today’s warmth is the last hurrah, the last day to walk without a jacket. after this, fall is settling in. for good. here in sweden, we’ve been seeing & feeling the beginnings of the changes. the wind has turned chilly, and the nights have been down right cold sometimes. the skies have been deep blue, and the tips of the leaves are beginning their colorful changes. not much, but just a tiny bit – like they’ve been dipped into paint. and, of course, the days of light are fading into darkness.

and i am so ready for this change. i absolutely love this season. true, the days are noticeably shorter. gone is the season where there is never a need to turn on a light at home. gone are the sunsets at midnight. now, the lights come on about 6:30 or 7 pm. now, the afternoon sun casts its long shadows before dinnertime. still, i am ready.

ready to buy candles. ready to pull out my blankets & curl up every night under them. ready to make hot chocolate. ready to hunt for pumpkins. ready for gloves, scarves, & boots. and ready to begin to gather my thoughts and prepare for the long season of swedish hibernation. cozy, cozy nights of peace & quiet. a time where life speeds back up in some ways (back to work & all that), and yet slows down at the same time. at least for me. i may be busy, but i slow my pace. i relax in the light of warm candles glowing. i smile as i stroll through the crunchy leaves, counting how many different colors & shades of red, golden, orange, & brown i see. in september, i begin my season of nesting.

and today, although it was warm outside, my love & i have left our  little apartment on the 4th floor and walked the few blocks downtown, to celebrate this changing of the seasons in one of our favorite cafes. computers in our bags, creativity on our brains, and chai latte steaming on our table… we are ushering in the season of fall for 2012.

so, go ahead… grab a blanket, make some tea & coffee, and light a candle. it’s time to get cozy.

wishing you comfy fall days ahead. peace.