I Love Myself A Latte

As I made my way towards Starbucks, a place I have rarely frequented in the past two years, I asked myself “do I really need a latte”? The answer was an emphatic no, but along with the no came another response” but you are worthy of one”. Knowing this to be true, I continued on with my trek, the thought of a quad venti nonfat latte causing my mouth to salivate. Oh how sweet it would be to put the cup to my lips and pull in my first sip. As I entered the parking lot to a place that at one point in time was a daily pitstop for me, I could not contain my excitement. I was getting me a $7 plus dollar coffee and I could not wait. 

After placing my order and moving out of the way so that others could order, it occurred to me that the atmosphere had changed since the days I frequented Starbucks daily. Gone were the smiling facing and friendly neighborhood chatter between baristas and customers. Instead, serious faces focused on the task at hand without a thought for the customers standing in front of them. Wow, I thought, this is not the experience I remember, nor would it be one I would have given when I worked for the company, oh so many years ago. Still, as I watched the baristas go about their jobs, it was not lost upon me the amount of work they were being tasked with and how well they were handling it. Kudos to them I thought and then, damn am I glad it’s not me.

My Fav! Quad Venti Nonfat Latte

After scooping my order and heading back to the car, I took a sip of my much anticipated latte, the warmth covering my tongue as the familiar flavors of espresso and milk exploded in my mouth. Ahhhhh I thought, at least this hasn’t changed. As I joyfully sipped my latte, grateful for having decided to treat myself, I asked myself, do I miss this daily experience? After all, not only did I work for Starbucks for nearly 13 years, I was also a frequent visitor long after I stopped giving the company my blood, sweat and tears. As quickly as I asked the question did a swift reply follow. No, I do not miss what once was a daily habit of going out of my way to ensure I had my latte fix. 

As I proceeded to make my way home, latte in hand, it occurred to me just how much I have evolved over the past few years and how what once seemed so vital to my daily routine, no longer served my needs. As I drove, I was once again reminded that for much of my life, I wrapped up my worth in how hard I worked, something I was reminded of as I watched the baristas slings latte after latte with little reprieve in between and how many material possessions I could acquire. I recalled memories of needing to have the most expensive clothes and how I rated myself as a mom based on how often I could treat my girls to unexpected treats and treasures. In all those years, never once considering that this way of thinking was sucking my soul and keeping me from truly knowing myself. As I took another pull on what was a much anticipated latte, I thought in wonder, while this tastes delightful, I no longer need it to make me feel good. 

With a few miles left to go before I landed back home, I relished in thoughts of what does in fact fill my cup and bring me a sense of joy and happiness these days. I thought about the moments I spend with my girls, walking in nature while they chat about whatever drama is going on in their teenage lives. I thought about the hours I spend in solitude, continuing to learn myself and fall even more in love with who I am becoming. As a smile sprang from the corners of my lips, I considered all the people I have been able to hold space for, whether it be a moment or a lifetime and how my presence has positively impacted them. And I thought about the future, and just how very different I know it will look from my past. 

And while I would be lying if I said I didn’t occasionally miss randomly spoiling my girls or myself the way I once did, I am content knowing that over the past couple years, I have discovered something so much more valuable than a daily trip for a latte.  I discovered my real worth and as a result, real self love. So on the days when I’m feeling a bit down on myself for not being able to get up and drive to my local Starbucks for a caffeine pick me up, I’ll remind myself, Kerri, you are where you are today, because you loved yourself a latte………

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