Friday, March 8, 2013

Strangers no more

I had it in my head the past two weeks that my next blog entry would be my last for a while. I planned on taking a blog hiatus, or at least explaining the inevitable one that has already occurred. The truth is, I just don't have the time to dedicate to what I want this public outlet of my life to be and I don't like letting things just fizzle and fade out. An explanation was needed, at least some closure, if just for a while.

I can touch more on that in it's own entry but today something else struck a chord with me. Something less about scheduling and "being productive" and more about life when we're not paying attention to it.

Today I was truly touched by people who could be categorized as barely acquaintances, practically strangers. For the last year and a half I have worked at as a barista turned co-manager at a local chocolate shop, in addition to my design and studio work, and today I finally broke the news to my regular customers that next week would be my last. As an emotional person I knew saying goodbye to my co-workers and the store in general would be difficult; I'll miss the quiet mornings, the coffee, the look on people's faces when you helped them create the perfect gift for their friends or family. However, what I did not anticipate was how hard it would be to say goodbye to the people you've touched a long the way, the people you barely think about but that are there, day in and day out.

As someone who works primarily with "regulars" I feel there is a particular comfort between two people in the morning-time. I've listened to customers talk about their kids getting married, their new jobs, their divorces. I've had people get the same 16 oz latte for eight months before finally starting a conversation with me and I've heard some people's life story after only 30 seconds of casual chit-chat. Not only have I listened, I have talked as well. My customers have seen me at my best and my worst, from break-ups and long nights before show openings to wishing me well on my most recent race or asking how my vacation was. We talk about how stupid we think The Bachelor is, how kids these days don't listen, and how everyone is ready for Spring to finally be here. Today, between the daily chatter, I have received more compliments, heart-felt "We'll miss you's", and even a few hugs than I could have imagined from people I barely even know. We make connections with others all the time, both positive and negative, that we didn't plan to. Seeing the beauty in another person with no outside intent whatsoever is fascinating and I consider myself ridiculously lucky for the ability to tell stories for hours about the people I have encountered in my daily life. To me it is another example of how complex and beautiful the human soul is.

So I suppose this is a thank you to the people who have made my day today, for your kind words. Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of your day, I will miss you too.

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