I am a rarity amongst most of my family & friends.
I don’t need to do coffee or tea to wake up in the morning.
I like to think of myself as naturally caffeinated, which is another way of saying I am wide eyed & bushy tailed from the moment I get up. I don’t need coffee or caffeine to get me going in the morning.
I have struggled over the years with many social events and family gatherings, as caffeine and I don’t get along.
Caffeine seems to spur on the growth of ovarian cysts, and brings on headaches when I cheat, usually by giving in (mostly in my mind, but not always) to peer pressure.
Because some people get offended because I don’t like coffee.
I worked professionally as a barista for 2 different coffee shops, one chain and one independent, for a collective total of between 6-7 years. I underwent a great deal of training (just short of my coffee master, as well as being our store tea expert) to recognize blends and regions of coffees, similar to what a wine sommelier undergoes. I know the difference between a well brewed coffee, and an incorrectly balanced one. I can tell what kind of food will pair nicely with the coffees I taste.
But I don’t like it.
And likely never will.
I am a tea girl, through and through.
The thought of a chai latte sends happy shivers down my spine.
My collection of green, white, rooibos, honeybush and herbal teas , with a few must have favorite black teas for special occasions brings a smile to my face whenever I glimpse it.
I walk into my favorite tea store, and feel at home.
You could say with accuracy, I am a tea lover.
Those who know me best understand this. When some of them enjoy their coffees, I enjoy my tea when we get together to hang out.
So why am I bring that up?
Because no matter how much anyone else tells me I must like coffee, i know I don’t, and won’t.
I love the smell, I love grinding the beans, I like making and serving coffee, but unless I am paid to drink it for educational purposes, I don’t.
Whether straight up, sweetened or with any kind of milk, I prefer tea.
The same for many of you. You may love something that other people around you may not like at all, or vice versa.
You may like the team that never makes it to the play offs.
You may wear red when this season navy is the new black.
You may like hanging out with family or at church, when your coworkers are out at the pubs or dance clubs.
You may watch PG and General rated movies instead of the 18+ ones frequenting the big screen.
The only 50 shades of gray you may care about are the ones popping up on your head.
You may take good natured ribbing, be on the receiving end of some pointed criticisms or be accused of close mindedness for your likes and dislikes.
Here are the lessons I have learned about being in these situations:
1: Look them in the eye and smile. Don’t give them the power to make you feel less than.
2: You don’t need to apologize for your view point. If you believe marriage to be sacred and live your lifestyle accordingly, you don’t have to defend it, etc.
3: Your “no” is enough when someone challenges you or criticizes you. Respectfully say “I don’t agree”, or “I see it differently.” If the person is being unkind, or doesn’t respect your boundary, walk away. If the Spirit leads them to genuinely ask why, ask for His leading to answer in the way He will best speak to the seeking heart open to hear the truth.
4: Be yourself. If you like green, wear it with all the flair and enjoyment you want. If you love to sing in the shower, do it. Who cares if you sing in tune?! Love paisley or plaid, decorate whatever you want in it. Enjoy it.
5: If someone will be hurt, demeaned, put down or crushed by your actions, they aren’t healthy likes. Spend some time seeking God and figuring out His best for your life. Just coz everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean God wants you to.
6: God made us all unique, but with one common trait: we were all meant to be in community, and united to Him. We are all different, but all meant to be supportive of one another’s giftings, calls and uniqueness. If you are surrounded by people who aren’t, or who ridicule your choices, find a new circle of support. Life is too short to miss being yourself, fearful of not being liked because of what you love. Or Who you love.
So I have learned that it is okay to be myself. God doesn’t want us to try and be who we aren’t.
I am one of a kind.
No one else will ever like all the things I do in the same combo pack.
And I am okay with that now!
You should be too!