10/21/11

The Coffeehouse Post


{Coffee Photo Source}

You know how in the movies people often have this Aha! moment wherein they suddenly “find” themselves? And then, of course, they know exactly what they want to do in life.  Like in Sabrina, when she tells Linus that she found herself in Paris (and he says, “Why?  Were you lost?”).  

My moment of clarity occurred over the course of two or three years.  It was less of an “aha” as a “so this makes sense” kind of thing.  Which reminds me of a quote I read somewhere – something about how we don’t find ourselves (like so many missing Waldo’s); we create ourselves.  (Deep, huh?)



At age nineteen I had half a college degree and no idea what I wanted out of life, so I began trying different things to see how they fit.  I worked a string of odd jobs, took a series of creative classes, (bought a home, had a kid, finished my degree), and spent the weekends driving to small towns in the surrounding states, sitting in their coffeehouses watching other people.

I got really particular about my coffee … And I realized I wanted to do something that would involve all of my creative passions.

And so the coffeehouse dream was born.


(My apologies if this is repetitive.    
I’ve been talking about it for years like it already exists.)




It began as something small and, over the years, has morphed into this mammoth of a dream.  Basically, I want a space where I can host the work of fledgling artists – you know, original art and photography, bands that are still in their garage phase, literature readings, home-made items, creative classes, book clubs.   

I also want it to function as a ministry, a place where people can have bible studies and worship meetings, weekend soup kitchens, and a Thanksgiving dinner for all the college kids who can’t get home.  That kind of thing.

That being said, I don’t want a restaurant.  The menu will include all manner of drinks as well as home-baked or pre-packaged foods.  I would like to buy from local, organic venues, and preferably purchase fair-trade coffee connected with world relief programs.  Also, there is one particular coffee from Laos that I simply must include.




Everything hinges on the building.  In my head, it’s something that blends all of the following words into one magnificent structure: Loft, brick, open floor space, exposed rafters, creative vibe, bohemian style, lots of ancient character – basically, a space that will inspire the creative process.  It could include some of this:


{Sources}

 ... wouldn't that be something?



Ideally, the building would be large enough to include a few studio apartments we could live in/lease out, as well as an extra space I could rent out for group events.  I would also love to repurpose a couple walls into a used book-store (of sorts).  And, if I’m lucky, I might find a few volunteer baristas – people who share my dream and want to be a part of it.  At least until the business stabilizes and I can afford a regular employee or two.

… And since I’m going to be a millionaire by then, none of this should be a problem, right?



Admittedly, I’ll be getting in way over my head and am probably thinking far too big.  But, truth be told, I’ll be perfectly fine with downsizing the dream as long as it happens.  

Speaking of which … At church last week I was approached by a near-stranger, who told me God gave him an impression for me.  He said God was going to give me a house, and it was beyond anything I’d ever dreamed.

Interpret this how you will, but I think it is referring to the coffeehouse.  It is the only house I have ever dreamed about, one that I believe God inspired.  If you’ve ever envisioned something like this before, you know how difficult it is to keep believing it will happen, given time.  It is especially challenging if you are practical-minded – you spend a lot of time in the shower obsessing over how you can possibly pay for something of this scale.  

But at the same time, you can’t give it up.  After all, it is the thing you are supposed to do.

All that to say … I have no idea how this will happen or what it will look like when it does … but I can’t wait to see it.



There is no passion to be found 
in settling for a life that is less 
than the one you are capable of living.  
– Nelson Mandela -



11 comments:

  1. Okay if you name your coffeehouse the Literary Bean I will now you have been reading my journals!

    What a wonderful and fullfilling dream. When (not IF) it opens make sure to send me an invite.

    ctny

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  2. I most definitely will! Hopefully you can come do a reading/book signing for me!

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  3. what an inspiring post and what an incredible dream. i seriously hung onto every word of this post.

    i have heard so many different versions of people wanting to own their own coffeeshop, bookstore, etc., but not nearly one as visionary and complete as yours. i mean, a place for hosting/inspiring artists + a bookstore + ministry opportunities + coffee?! that is the exact place i want to be this very moment. :) i would gladly volunteer to be a barista to be a part of something like that.

    all that said, this dream is just incredible. not just because i think it's incredible, but because it's your dream and you can make it whatever you want it to be. thank you so much for sharing all this with us.

    and that last section of thoughts? hit me right square in the heart. i've had this dream of being a missionary for my entire life and i simply don't have the funds to pay for the magnitude of the things i want to do. but what you shared just inspired me--about how it is THAT THING you're supposed to do. and you just know it. that just brought me so much hope this morning.

    sorry for this novel of a comment, but all in all, i just love this post...in case you couldn't tell. :) and i can't wait to see what happens in the future for you and your coffeehouse.

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  4. Love , love, love this!! Your post reminded me so much of a coffee house I am dying to visit and they also have Bible Studies and worship there, which made me think of you. Here's their blog and I think the website is listed somewhere on there too. They have some cool pictures and really inspiring entries that I thought you might enjoy. Hope you get your coffeehouse someday! I will definitely be visiting if you do :)

    http://cityhen.blogspot.com/

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  5. I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one with these dreams! I would LOVE to own my own bookstore. And I love the idea of your coffeeshop being this "house" for artists! It could be also a part literary magazine too! I could just see it!

    Now you make me want to morph my bookstore dreams into something a bit more real. :)

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  6. hopefully you'll have this coffeehouse stateside? because then i'll move and join you in that, remember?

    no words for how much i love this post.

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  7. Thanks everybody! Yes, I'm hoping in two years, when we move back to the States, we can get a move on... probably east coast/DC area. We'll see. That's the tentative "plan" anyway!

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  8. Thanks so much for sharing your dream...it sounds like a spectacular place...go for it lovely lady, go for it:D

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