Tuesday, September 12, 2017

If You and I Had Coffee | vol 16

A conversation over coffee #coffeedates



If you and I had coffee...

We'd meet up for a paint night. You know, one of those places that outfits you with an apron, canvas, brushes, pigments and a big glass of wine? I've been all about expressing my creativity lately, so a night painting would be so much fun. I'd grab a glass of white zinfandel and we'd choose two easels near the back of the gallery so we could still chat without disrupting the class. I'd tell you that the smell of paint and the feeling of wearing a smock reminds me of being in primary school when we'd all wear an old button-up shirt (donated by the dads) to paint in and how that has always been a very nostalgic feeling for me.


If you and I had coffee...

I'd tell you that I've been struggling with rejection lately - in both my professional and personal life - and it stinks. I'd tell you how tough it is becoming for me to put my heart out there, knowing it might get stomped on if the endeavor doesn't end up like I hoped. I'd ask how you deal with rejection and how you are able to keep pushing forward even when the fear of being turned away seems to be lurking around every corner. It is so difficult to keep a smile on my face when I feel like I'm not wanted, either in a relationship or a job opportunity or a group of friends and I find myself pulling away from everyone and everything.

If you and I had coffee...

I'd confess to you that my obsessive compulsivity has reappeared with a vengeance. It seems to emerge when I'm anxious or stressed about things, which I have been, and I am beginning to think I might need professional help. I'd give you an example of my vacuuming habit. Usually, I vacuum twice a week to cut down on cat dander and other allergens, but for the last few weeks, I've been vacuuming every day... Sometimes, twice a day. And in case you were going to ask, yes, I am the girl who needs to have clean-cut vacuum lines in the carpet before I can sleep at night. So, if I disappear for a few weeks, you will know that I've been committed.

If you and I had coffee...

I'd tell you that I was recently listening to an episode of my favorite podcast, The West Wing Weekly, and Josh and Hrishi were talking to the show's writer, Aaron Sorkin, who, might I add, is a creative genius. One of the questions they asked him was how he decided when to write an important episode (i.e., an assassination attempt, etc.) as opposed to your everyday "day-in-the-life" episode and his answer was such an aha moment for me. He said he never sat down and decided this episode was going to be important, that it was always important if that was how the audience reacted to it. He put the same effort into every one and if it turned out to be a hit, then so be it. He went on to say, "If it turned out to be important, I wanted that to be an accident. I can't remember not ever taking a chance." When I think about applying this to my writing life, it flips my routine upside down. Never again will I put more effort into one post than another.

If you and I had coffee...

I'd tell you that I'm thinking about opening up a guest post series on the blog. I'd like to feature the creativity of fellow bloggers, whether that be artwork or some other creative piece they want to share or words in the form of poetry or an essay. I'd tell you that right now, I'm putting some feelers out to see if there is any interest, but I think it might be a real thing soon and I'm excited to bring more creativity back to the blog.

If you and I had coffee...

I'd tell you that I've been geeking out lately and brushing up on my world geography. I'd laugh and tell you my reason for this is because, during the last Olympic games, when the Parade of Nations was on, I couldn't tell you what continent many of those countries were a part of. Now, after nearly six months of studying and constant testing (every single day), I know every country, republic and independent island in the world and many of their capital cities as well as all physical features including mountain ranges, rivers, and seas. This has been quite a feat because when I was in school and learning all this the first time around, many of these countries didn't exist or were part of other nations. I'd tell you that I feel pretty proud of my thirty-eight-year-old brain for remembering all those details and I feel confident that I'd ace the geography section on Jeopardy.

If you and I had coffee...

We'd polish off the last drop of wine and admire our new creations before going to clean our brushes. Once our workstations were in pristine condition, we'd head out of the gallery, canvases in hand. I'd give you a great big hug and tell you I'll see you same time, next month and maybe I'll bring some of my favorite Halloween candy with me!

What would you like to chat about over coffee?

Today, I'm joining Erin for a monthly coffee date linkup. Every second week of the month, we gather together with our favorite hot beverages and catch up. Care to join us?

The post If You and I Had Coffee | vol 16 first appeared on A Simpler Grace. If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your friends!

31 comments:

  1. Paint night! Geography! We share so many interests.

    I'm sorry to hear about your struggle with rejection. I know that pain. Growing up I learned that if I was myself (gender non-conforming), people rejected me. It happened so often and so brutally that I had to find a way to adapt. I came to the conclusion that their rejection is their problem, not mine. I'm good despite their opinion which is usually based on stupid stuff anyway (like insecurity over conformity). I wish we were actually having coffee so I could reassure you that the future will be alright. You'll learn to detach yourself from caring too much about other people's opinions.

    Compulsive activity is a natural reaction to stress and anxiety. By itself it's not necessarily bad, particularly if you can channel it into something productive like housecleaning. It only becomes a problem when we become compulsive with a bad habit (like drugs).

    Guest-posts are good: they inject new life into our blogs and introduce our readers to new bloggers. I've hosted several on my blog and the results were always positive. Give it a go!

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  2. I would love to chat over one of those paint your own places! I love being creative like that. I agree that the smell of paint and the thought of wearing my dad's shirt as a smock is nostalgic to me too. Such great insight from the West Wing Weekly. I love the idea of not putting more effort into one post over another. <3

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  3. Wow, that's awesome you've learned so much Geography. I really should study that more. I LOVE paint nights - they are so much fun! :) I think your idea of having people guest post is great! I hope you get a lot of interest. I think my OCD tendencies come out more when I'm anxious too, but I'm sorry to hear you're having a tough time with that - and the feeling of rejection.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  4. If you and I had coffee er wine, I would be sure to make you laugh and tell you that you are not alone in your struggles. Plus you could have my wine too! I get the feeling of rejection and pull away too! I Had to LOL on the Geography because you will probably be the only one who knows where the Marshall Islands are. My home, but sometimes even the announcers are like "where the heck is that?" I love having coffee with you girl! Sending lots of love and hugs from TX!

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  5. Do you have obsessive compulsive disorder? Because my son has severe obsessive compulsive disorder and it is atrocious. He cannot function in school right now and I just spent an entire day coordinate a sit down between the new dip shit principal and his new teacher and therapist and blah blah blah. He thinks the kids at school poisoned his lunch and now he won't eat. He does a lot of repetitive counting, tracing, body movements, repeats phrases, etc. It's god awful. If you're struggling, please get help now. Don't wait. Do it now. Fall is such a horrendous time with the shift in light to dark - let alone the things going on in life. Take it from me, you really need to reach out to someone. Please xoxoxo

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  6. I can imagine the rejection you felt was awful. When people can't put everything in a container with a label, it bothers them and I've often found it's easier for them to lash out instead of dealing with their feelings about that particular subject. It is definitely not your problem but their own. You can only be true to yourself.

    You are spot on. I care too much, even when the people I care about don't return the feelings. I keep telling myself that one day I will learn to be more selective when it comes to how I dole out my heart.

    Thanks for coming by for our date today. :)

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  7. Wouldn't a paint night be so much fun? It's too bad all of us TPP friends live in different parts of the country/world because I would love to get everyone together for a night of creative fun! <3

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  8. Rejection, for me, is the worst thing in the world so I can totally relate to you. And now, after reading this, I want to get some paints out and just paint, not worrying about a thing. Sounds like a good way to spend a day!

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  9. I always enjoyed geography in school and it's been a goal of mine for quite a while to learn all the countries. I recently read a news article that stated over half of Americans couldn't pick out North Korea on a map and this really propelled my action. I like knowing where things are around me. :)

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  10. I think we would laugh a lot if we met up for coffee! I know EXACTLY where the Marshall Islands are. Haha! I would love to visit some of the islands out there if I ever take a trip out to do the Australia/New Zealand thing. It's so pretty out there! Thanks for the hugs and I'm sending them back, friend! <3

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  11. I do have OCD and spent a lot of time in therapy working through coping methods. It used to be very bad when I was younger but I've learned to manage it fairly well. That's so hard what your son is going through. It's tough when they experience symptoms in school because many educators don't know how to help without singling them out or making them feel "bad" for the behavior. I hope things get better for him. <3

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  12. Rejection is truly one of the worst feelings in the world, especially when you experience it from a loved one. Painting is so therapeutic and I try to do it as often as possible. You should pull out some paints and have fun!

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  13. Paint night sounds like so much fun!

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  14. You know, as a kid (and teenager) I could spend HOURS with my atlas looking at maps and learning countries and capitals and what not. I think this is why I got a degree in geography :)

    I am sorry about the rejections... it's really hard to be rejected and not feel hurt by it. Often, it's not meant personally, but it stings nonetheless.

    My friend has told me about those wine-paint-nights... it's sounds wonderful!

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  15. Sorry the OCD has come back with a vengeance and you have been dealing with rejection. So much going on. I would love to go to a paint party. Those are so fun!

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  16. A degree in geography sounds like a lot of fun! I've always enjoyed looking at maps and figuring out where I am without using modern technology. :)

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  17. Thank you, Jessica. The paint parties would be a lot of fun!

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  18. well this sounds like it would've been a damned fine night, and i'm sorry it can't be a reality (texas is so far away...). BUT i am with you on so many of these. my father has obsessive compulsive disorder and blessed me with that shit, so i understand how frightening and debilitating (i've used that word in two comments today... and i hardly ever use that word, but it's so perfect in this case... and the other... anyway...). i know how it can be when that beast takes hold. and i know the need for the perfect lines.

    i've dealt with rejection since birth, and it's been a persistent thing in my life. and then i chose to become a writer, which was a death sentence, basically, of the dream i had of limiting that experience in my life. i'm sorry you're experience such a prevalence of it now. i know how demoralizing it can be. how hurtful. but i also know that without experiencing it, i would not be as tenacious and persistent and resilient as i am, and those are three qualities i love in myself. i know it's hard to do, but try to focus on what you gain from this, not what you lose.

    i would love to share some of my fiction with your readers, if you'd be so willing. shoot me an email (criticalcrass at me dot com), and i'll send you a sample. let me know what you think.

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  19. If you and I were at paint night I'd tell you that your blog idea is lovely and that doing something creative is an awesome way to de-stress. I'd let you talk about your OCD if you wanted - it must be so frustrating and I'm sorry you are going through that. Rejection is never pleasant - it is not fun for anyone and I'd hope that you don't take it personally (easier said than done I know).
    I'd be impressed with your geography knowledge and while I get paint everywhere we'd have a laugh and more wine.

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  20. The wine and paint nights sound like fun! I've never been a great painter but creativity is such a beautiful thing.



    Rejection is such a horrible thing to deal with, I'm sorry you've been going through that. I think the answer is to press into God who never rejects us and loves us unconditionally. And surround yourself with supportive, uplifting people :)

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  21. Paint night sounds like a lot of fun. I have always wanted to go one of those places. That guest post series sounds amazing!

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  22. Yes... You get me!

    Can I just tell you what hearing those three descriptive words about yourself made me feel about myself? If this tells you anything about how I feel about myself, I've never sat down and made a list of my good qualities. That's always been something I was not comfortable doing, for whatever reason, and after reading that part of your comment, you changed my mind. I just realized that activity shouldn't be so scary. So, thank you!

    I would love to feature some of your writing! That's exactly what I'm looking for - a sample of each guest's own creativity, in whatever form that takes. I will be in touch soon! :)

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  23. Thank you so much for your sweet encouragement, Anthea. We would have a lovely time painting together! :)

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  24. You are so right about God not rejecting us. Thank you for that reminder, Bella! :)

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  25. I think it would be a blast to paint with some of my blogging friends. :)

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  26. Oh man, I am SOOOO bad at geography that it's super embarrassing. Did you use any particular app or program or website to help you? I'd love some ideas! It's something I need to work on too :)

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  27. Yes! There is a website I used for the testing: lizardpoint.com
    It's the best one I've found. :)

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  28. Awesome! Thank you for sharing! I'm going to check it out now :)

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  29. Yes to a paint & night! I've been wanting one of those so bad! I wish we lived closer. That'd be a ton of fun. Totally to a guest post series! It's great for your audience.

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  30. We would have so much fun at a paint night! It's too bad all my blogging friends are spread out all over the country and the world or I'd make it happen. :)

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