I think I am on my third week of working at Starbucks, if I am counting correctly. The fast-paced environment infused with the smell of fresh coffee has sent my head spinning in moments. Time seems to slow whenever a customer smiles, a child bubbles with giddiness at the sight of a cake pop, or the energetic high schoolers and their orders of caramel frappuccinos with extra extra caramel.
I told a little girl that she was a princess today, and she denied such a thing, telling me that she was a cute little baby. I liked her honesty.
The world, this life, these customer service jobs, can lead many people to lose hope in the anticipation of finding their purpose. Our lives are often filled with many seemingly unending tasks, and we are chugging along wondering, When will I get to enjoy this life? When do I get to do what I long to do? What is the point of all this waiting, working hard, and running into walls?
Do you ever pause, taking a moment in between the movement of the world and the buzzing of your thoughts?
Many times I have been discouraged at the reality of having to work so many minimum wage jobs that force me to clean the bathrooms and be the brunt of people’s life problems. I get stuck in my own little world, thinking, “I deserve better.” I have been thinking a lot lately (as usual) and just recently came to the conclusion that I do deserve better.
I deserve to have a better mindset on life. Life is not about me. Life is not about my dreams. Life is not about sacrificing years of my gifts in hopes of gaining fame or wealth. Life is about the pauses, the ability to pause. Life is about connecting, feeling, and living.
Many of us (including myself) get so consumed with gaining importance and purpose in this world. We miss opportunities to learn, love deeper, and grow in integrity. Yes, I could work minimum wage jobs for the next few years and tell myself it will be worth it because of glory days ahead. But what if these pursuits don’t work out like the fantasies that seem to get more detailed as I sweep floors? Fame, wealth, and success is empty without a zeal for life in it’s most raw form.
We were not created to be known for fame, followers, or our belongings. We were created to serve and love. You were designed to love and serve God and people. Yes, we can serve with our gifts and talents, but where is the depth if our minds are set on our ever-changing definition of success?
It is in the pauses that I am learning the life-giving truth: I am living the dream. I am loving and serving people. I can find comfort in the reality that these pauses offer me the opportunity to share my gifts with people in the midst of the daily habits of their lives. Making coffee, sweeping floors, and making sure I am counting change correctly is bestowing me with the opportunity to practice my gifts.
I want to give all of myself to all areas of my life, not just the ones I think deserve it. Every person should experience my love and service at its best, who am I to determine who is worthy of who I am at my best? Starbucks is the place for me in this season of life. Is it where I thought I would be at 21? No, but it is proudly where I am.
I am not sitting in this season of life telling myself I’ll be making coffee forever, but I will move forward in each day with peace that this is all part of the beautiful dream. If death were to meet me tomorrow, I would not view life as a failure just because I never published a book or was known by a certain number of people. Life can’t be about those things, because we aren’t in control.
Tomorrow, you could lose what seems like everything, or maybe you already have. You have not lost everything though, my friend. You will always have the ability to love and serve others. You were made for such beautiful things. You were made to live your dreams, everyday.
Embrace the pauses. I dare you to even initiate them.
Tell a little girl she is a princess, celebrate the extra caramel, or tell someone you like their name. But promise me something? When you do, watch their reaction.
PAUSE. You were made for this.
This, my friend, is the dream.