Wednesday, October 19, 2011

off the cuff

You may be surprised to find out that I (usually) put a lot of thought into what I write on this blog. Is it too long, or short? Does it sound too much like C.S. Lewis? Do I sound stupid or whiny? Among others, these are the things I consider. But tonight, for the post I was supposed to do on Monday, I'm just going to "riff" for a bit. I hope you'll indulge me and read on.

For the past three days I was working at PT's Coffee in Topeka, Kansas. Ask anyone in the coffee business and they'll probably agree that PT's is one of the finest coffee roasters around. They're mentioned in the same breath as Intelligentsia, Counter Culture, Stumptown, Terroir, and the like. One of the reasons why they are so good at what they do is a dedication to excellence throughout the supply chain. "From seed to cup," as people in the coffee industry are fond of saying. PT's has relationships with farms around the globe and spends good money ensuring that these farms meet their high standards. And I got to spend three days working with these people, learning from them. I was offered a job with PT's about a month ago, and at that time I didn't have anything else so I accepted.

Right now, I don't have anything else. And I intend to un-accept the position here very soon. The biggest reason you may already have figured out. If not, read the first sentance of the second paragraph of this post. That's right, one of the finest coffee roasters in the country is in Topeka, Kansas. And if I took a job with them that is where I would be located as well. After three days I'm positive that I don't want to be there. But why? Why don't I want to be there? I think it has more to do with me than Topeka, to be honest.

There's a desire within me to be on the move. A couple of posts ago I claimed that I was a ramblin' man. And I'm afraid that if I take a job in Topeka with a company that I respect so much I'll quit ramblin'. I'll sit down, I'll work too much (it's in my nature), and I will look back on my life disappointed that I sold my soul for a bean. I don't want to regret not being able to do anything, and what I want right now more than anything is to be back at camp next summer. I can't take a position that I see as a career move, just to leave it six months later. I respect those people far too much for that. And though it may be crazy to set this opportunity aside, it's not in me to take advantage of someone for the betterment of myself. At least I try not to do that.

So the big question: what am I gonna do with my life? I sure don't know. But I wrote this a little earlier this evening:

"I want to be ok with sitting still for more than five minutes. I want to work because I love the work, not with the hope that it will burn off eight hours so I don't have to think during that time. Not to pass the time when I'm not on vacation in order to get to the time when I am."

Whenever I talk to folks about what I'm doing right now I usually say something like: "just trying to figure out what I wanna be when I grow up." Or "I'm trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do with my life." And the typical response depresses me:

"join the club"

"me too"

"good luck with that, I've been trying to do it for years!"

What? You mean to tell me that there's a chance that in forty years I still wont know what I'm doing? That I won't enjoy work, will have too much time on my hand, and clueless about life? I sure hope not!

I suppose the answer to the question above is: I'm going to try to figure out what life is about. I'm going to do what I love, and pray that I'll be able to make enough money to live. I'm going to travel, visit new places, and keep doing what I enjoy doing. And if God decides at some point to show up and point the way, I'll head in that direction. But for now I'm going to continue to seek Him and hope that I don't screw up His plan for me too much.

As if I could if I tried.


P.S. A couple of friends have blogs, y'all should check them out:

Ian Meyers - The Trouble with Metaphors

Ryn Manby - Oh, the places you will go

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