Birthday Bartender

Hey coffee fiends. It has been forever since we talked! Rachel has been doing an excellent job of manning the ship while I’ve been away figuring out some life stuff. In case you’re behind, her last few posts are pretty incredible! Click any of these links to get caught up on the happenings here at Lipstick Stains and Coffee:

How to Move in Three Days

Today, My Favorite Holiday!

Today, however, I wanted to touch back to her previous article from this past Tuesday. Tuesday was my birthday!! I turned 27! (Have no fear, my students took care to remind me that I’m only a few years away from 30 years old.) My birthday has been being celebrated all week, starting this past Sunday.

Sunday, my boyfriend took me to my favorite Mexican street food place: Tijuana Flats. Mexican food is my favorite, which is a cruel twist of fate, considering I’m allergic to peppers (specifically, the capsaicin oil they produce) AND cilantro. Do you know what two ingredients are most common in all types of Mexican food??? Do you??? Yeah, you see my pain. Tijuana Flats gives me the ability to enjoy my favorite flavors without all of that. Plus, their queso is to die for.

Here me now, peeps: QUESO IS LIFE! End of story.

Monday night, I was gifted with the best gifts. I received the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase One-Phase Three, a gorgeous black and white tapestry (with a perfect red accent), and A TORTILLA BLANKET. Guys!!!!! I get to be an actual human burrito. My life is so cozy and wonderful. My boyfriend absolutely killed it.

Tuesday, my actual birthday, my boyfriend killed it again by bringing me Chick-Fil-A for lunch with lemonade. One of my students brought me chocolates while another brought me candy bars– a theme that has continued all week, with me receiving candy from students every day so far. To my absolute surprise, my parents, who had already given me wonderful gifts, sent me half a dozen long-stemmed red roses with 7 balloons to celebrate that I turned 27! This was accompanied by a box of Turtle chocolates (my favorite). The roses are blooming beautifully on my kitchen counter.

This week also marked the beginning of one journey and the end of another…

First, the ending. For the past three weeks, I’ve been waiting to hear back on a job. After an interesting series of phone calls and emails, I’ve accepted a position at a local public school here in Indianapolis. I will be teaching Earth-Space Science to Juniors and Seniors, with a hopeful return next year to teaching Biology. That said, I will not be returning to the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired next fall.

My time at ISBVI was a chapter in my life I will always cherish. My students and their quirks taught me so much about teaching and about myself– as an instructor, as a woman, and as a human being. While I am leaving my position as the high school science teacher, I am not severing ties with the school or the community surrounding it. The friendships I have made will persevere, I will still volunteer and be involved, and I will continue to go to graduation until all of the students I have had in class graduate.

My life, currently.

My newest journey began on Monday: BARTENDING SCHOOL! I’ve been attending night classes for bartending every day this week. It’s been a wild ride, with a quiz every night. The midterm would be tonight, but this is Race weekend and we are all too busy. Honestly, I’m having so much fun I don’t even care that I’m exhausted. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll be working the bar at the Indy 500. Fingers crossed!

I’m really excited about bartending. It’s going to be so much fun. I’ve been taking classes with a close friend, a fellow teacher that I did my student teaching alongside. She’s amazing and as of yesterday, plans to be my future occasional wine tasting partner! I’ll convert her yet!!

Birthday week is ending with a bang: the end of Game of Thrones is this Sunday. Tune in to see who survives.

Thank you for all of the birthday wishes I’ve received over the past week. You’re amazing.

On my lips: Cherry Chapstick

In my cup: Vanilla Coca-Cola

An Exercise in Building Sand Castles

Happy Friday Eve to all our coffee chuggers and tea sippers. Someday we will make an official poll and settle this tea vs. coffee debate permanently. Until that day we will continue to live by the “Why not both?” philosophy brought to us by that adorable girl in that commercial for that product I can’t remember right now.

This week I was discussing sand castles with a very dear friend, Mitch, after I felt like my life plan (my sand castle) was ruined in one message. I pointed out that we don’t build build sand castles thinking they will become houses we can live in. We know they are going to wash away, even if we didn’t believe our parents when they told us the first time. We build them just because. We take the moment to create art and have fun without worrying about the consequences.

Mitch poignantly said, “I have learned that sometimes you have to let go of what you once wanted to be able to get something better. Appreciate your sand castle for the joy it brings you today but don’t be afraid to let your castle of sand wash away when it’s time to build a house to live in.”

This meant more than he realized at the time, because ever since this verse has laid heavy on my heart. Matthew 7:24-7:27 ‘“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”’

I finally broke down two days ago and had myself a deep cry. My therapist called it guttural. Many people close to me have asked me what it was about, and honestly, it took me a while to figure it out. I felt completely out of control with my life. I felt like I was stuck in the same rut I’ve been in for a while.

Life is all about seasons. I am in a season of letting go. I feel like life is trying to teach me a hard lesson on not holding things too tightly. I am learning that letting go looks like losing things, making choices, ending relationships, and facing everything that makes you anxious in life all at once. I am a bit of a control freak and this month I have lost my job and a long term friendship (not Kristen, she’s forever).

I’ve been holding so tightly to so many things in my life, the good, the bad, and there has been bad aplenty. I take things people do very personally. Actually, I take most things personally. When life wants you to learn something, it gives you a ton of opportunities before it just hits you in the face over and over again till you get what’s going on.

I thought I was going to be stuck in this season indefinitely, not realizing that instead I am building my home brick by brick. Even as my seasons change, I am working on a foundation that can support me through them. I am starting to see these bricks in life. I went to an interview this week, and I got the job the very next day. Since then, things seem to be getting slowly better over time.

My mom gave me a piece of advice I have heard a million times over, “Things will work themselves out in time.” I want to modify that, because there is a core reason I don’t believe that. Things will work themselves out in time if you work too. Sometimes what you get is completely unexpected, better, or even just different. I am not in the same rut I was in a year ago. I haven’t been stuck in one rut for a while. I’ve been moving ever forward, and I hope you are too.

On my lips: treStique mini lip glaze

In my mug (pictured above): Sleepytime Extra