until

It was an ordinary morning. That’s always how the best stories start. With ordinary. Normal. Even mundane.

Until.

Until a giant crash from my closet intruded on my ordinary morning.

I should have gone running to look. I imagine that’s what most normal humans would do. But the thing is, it was a Monday morning. Which meant I was tired. And I’m a homeowner. Which means I’m used to things going crash and delaying discovering the reason. So it was about 5 minutes before I turned my attention to my closet. (And that was mostly because a towel isn’t considered work appropriate attire.)

Maybe the noise was hangers breaking, I told myself as I walked toward the closet. Like five of them. All at the same time.

It wasn’t. The clothes bar angled drastically downward as clothes slowly made their escape. Apparently holding up my clothes was just too much for the right side support and it decided to jump ship, dumping a handful of my clothes on the floor in the process. (Naturally it had to make that decision not over the weekend but early on a weekday morning when I was the only one awake.)

I stood, staring at it, debating my options. Was there a way to temporarily support it? My tool box was in the closet with me. Surely there was a way. The problem-solving side of my brain kicked in. If I strategically placed a couple nails…

And then I remembered two important details: it was a Monday morning and I was in a towel.

This was not the time for major home improvement.

So I whipped up a band-aid solution instead. I dumped all the “I wear these occasionally” clothes on the floor, shifted the most important clothes to the left end, which was still supported, and moved some clothes to my husband’s side of the closet.

Somehow I managed to pull myself together and get out of the house. The sky was drizzling as I backed out of the garage. Until I turned onto the highway. The moment I completed that right turn, rain poured down like a monsoon, rendering drivers nearly blind.

But I drive that road at least 4 times a week and I’ve got great rain-vision. So I cautiously wove around the “there’s something falling from the sky!!” drivers for several minutes until whoosh. It was gone. Hardly a raindrop left.

Strange, I thought. I wonder what that’s about. I had finally gotten over my curiosity ten minutes later when sploosh! The monsoon returned. And it continued playing its capricious game all the way to work.

As if a broken closet and multiple monsoons weren’t enough to make my day insanely strange, after work I had to hike half a mile in heels so I could buy some coffee from a local roaster.

Why the hike? Parking. The coffee shop’s tiny parking lot was full so, like a good little rule follower, I passed up the residential street parking in favor of a nearby parking deck. Except technically it was “county government business” parking. I had no government business.

“But I’m wearing work clothes,” I told myself. “How could they possibly know whether I have government business unless they follow me? And that’s just creepy. I’d notice that and then I could detour into a county government building to look legit.” (I may have been muttering to myself as I got out of the car. Someone may have walked by at that precise moment. I can neither confirm nor deny.)

You’re probably thinking this is the part where I tell you I came back from my heel-clad hike to find a ticket on my car.

Oddly, this was the one area where my day didn’t go insane. I actually got away with it! I felt far too much satisfaction about that. (I’ll psychoanalyze that later.)

It’s funny how the weirdest of days begin with ordinary mornings. They begin with average. Typical.

Until.

Don’t miss your until.

Don’t miss your weird moment, even if it comes in the form of something broken. Because it’s the weird scenarios, the “I can’t even comprehend this because it’s just so nuts” situations that shape you. You may not recognize it at the time, but your until moments show you who you are and what you can do. (For instance, I can hike in heels and drive in monsoons.) They yank you out of ordinary and spit in the face of mundane.

Plus, they make the best stories.

savor

I adore coffee.

Try to control your shock.

My husband thinks it’s gross. (Now you can be shocked.) He doesn’t even like the smell of it.

It’s funny to me, having grown up in a house of non-coffee-drinkers that I would be so delighted by it. The smell of the beans, the sound of it brewing. It makes me smile before I’ve even had a sip. What first drew me to the bold, potent concoction?

Maybe it reminds me of my grandparents, the first coffee-drinkers in my life.

Or maybe it was Calculus. (Didn’t see that coming, did ya?)

I tried my first fancy coffee drink when I was doing Precal homework my junior year in high school. Here’s a shocker: I never enjoyed math. Don’t get me wrong, there was something oddly comforting about algebra–follow these steps and everything will work out fine. But Precal and I were frenemies from day one. Oh, I pretended to be cordial. But the moment her back was turned, I was pleading with my friends to help me deal with her. Because that girl had issues. Dra.Ma.

But my real friends were there for me. Throughout Precal and Calculus (Precal’s snotty older sister), three of us met at a coffee shop to study for tests, and that was where I discovered fancy coffee drinks. A mocha was my gateway drug. And then came college when I got to experiment: white mocha, caramel macchiato, hazelnut latte. Oh the options! Coffeemakers were naturally forbidden in on-campus housing but that didn’t stop me or my roommate. Rebels, we were. (Plus, it had an auto-off function. We were cautious, responsible rebels.)

I never really had a type, though. No specific blend that was my regular. I liked variety.

But one day, I discovered Sumatra. A dark, rich, smooth roast. It’s everything I love about coffee in one incredible cup.

And appropriately, my discovery of my signature brew landed right around the same time I started to accept myself as a writer. It’s funny, isn’t it, how many things you realize about yourself when you take the time to listen.

I’m Sumatra. That doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally like a cup of hazelnut coffee or French roast. (And when I get in a Starbucks, who knows!) But at my core and in my home, I’ll always be Sumatra.

I’m purple chucks. That doesn’t mean I don’t wear (and adore) other shoes. But at my core, at my soul, I’m just a colorful pair of chucks trying to stand out from the crowd and dance my way through the world. Savoring my Sumatra as I go.