In 1978 Starbucks was born and so was I.
I cannot remember the exact date of my first Starbucks coffee, but I do remember that somehow I managed to order a latte for the first time. Once finding out it was basically coffee and milk, I assumed it was a win win order and never looked back. The taste captivated me and I became a fan, long before any of my friends and family.
Growing up in a small town, this was quite a novelty to me and what I loved the most, was that I was the first one to discover it! My friends and family listened with intrigue as I described this new-found passion of mine. Little did I know it would last for many years to come.
The first location was in Leesburg, Virginia, over an hour drive for me and I loved that Starbucks. This cafe became a safe haven for me during some very tumultuous years. I was single. I had left Texas, a college graduate, recent broken engagement and was lost and confused, just trying to get through each day.
I believe this is why Starbucks and I have such an attachment. See, this coffee passion I have goes deeper than a $5 coffee, it is a safe place that I first ran to over 10 years ago. The long drive gave me a chance to think and talk to God.
I remember one specific trip when I had just been fired from Lens Crafters, to no fault of my own. Tears cascaded down my cheeks, shock took over my body and I don’t even remember the drive, but when I came to, there I was at the Leesburg Starbucks.
For the next 8 years, single and confused, this place became a haven for me. I went to Starbucks for my usual (grande almond latte), when I was sad, bored, hurting, happy, celebrating and just for a place to escape to.
Over a decade later, I still love Starbucks and the coffee. Although many think it is quite bitter, the bitterness is symbolic to me and the time in my life when I first discovered Starbucks. And just as the bitterness has faded from my life, so has the bitterness of the coffee.
Today, rarely do I flee to Starbucks because of hurt and confusion, but a place to get away and be swept up in a sea of memories. Moments where an almond latte, quiet thoughts with myself and my Heavenly Father became tattooed onto my soul and became a part of who I am.
This is why Starbucks and coffee is so much more to me than any person can or will ever understand.