Coffee Cups on Instagram

Sneaky Beans Jackson MSI went through and added the #ppsips tag to all of my coffee photos. Not surprisingly, there were almost 200 photos involving a coffee cup or coffee. In my defense, I tagged a few icees and such too. I post quite a few pics of coffee and I’m cool with admitting that.

My name is Pamela and I post pics of coffee on Instagram.

Some people make jokes about people posting pics of their food and such and I do that too. You can’t blame me for that one though. Once you work in the tourism industry, it’s forever ingrained in you to take pics of your food. You might need them for an ad later! My apologies if you think that’s super lame.

So why go back through thousands of photos and hashtag them? Oddly enough, all of my different cups have a special, different meaning to me. They all remind me of some memory or retell a story, and I love seeing them cataloged together. As I went through photos back to 2013, I realized a larger connection though. Each of the coffee photos had a telling caption. I either used that coffee to wind down and relax or make up for a bad day. In essence, the coffee was symbolic. Therapy of sorts.

coffee cups on instagramWay back in the beginning, I only drank white mochas from Starbucks. They were my gateway drug, if you will. To some, it probably seemed wasteful that I made so many trips there, almost daily. If you total up what I spent on white mochas, we probably could have bought a small car. Or a new patio set. Something substantial, for sure. However, those mochas meant something more to me. Those mochas represented a turning point in my personal development where I finally realized that it was acceptable, and even necessary, to do something for myself. To buy something, just for me, without guilt. I’d never been so kind to myself before and I only turned this corner with the encouragement of my husband. Even though he saw how much money we were throwing at Starbucks, he insisted that I keep going.

These mochas were also my excuse to relax, to take deeper, slower breaths. There was just something about settling in with that cup that slowed down the world around me. Honestly, I was more addicted to that moment than I was the caffeine. When that warm liquid hit my mouth, it was like the entire world around me hit the brakes. My shoulders would relax. I’d breathe deeper and slower, and most importantly, my mind would slow down just a bit. It was with these cups in hand that I’d think and dream and rest. I’d also never given myself that luxury before and it was as if I finally got a glimpse into self-care and slower living and I never wanted to be without that again.

As I scroll through the rest of my old feed, I saw when I finally started making coffee at home. It was a learning process for sure, and it took a while for me to get that same satisfaction with a less tasty cup I’d made myself. Eventually though, I hit my stride. I started with a few gifted cups and then began collecting them from our travels, etc. This was another turning point for me because I allowed myself to purchase cups that I loved or meant something to me instead of continuing to use those logo cups you get from your insurance agent. (More about that journey here and here.) These cups are where I first started to practice surrounding myself with things I loved instead of only the cheapest version or things I already had. Still, when I pull one of these new cups from its cabinet, I’m reminded of how much joy this transition has brought.

In the Company of WomenAs I read through some of the captions, I realized that these photos of coffee cups represented either the highest of highs or the lowest of lows. My captions either celebrated finally taking a moment for myself or marked a moment of recovery from a bad day or hard time. Those early captions absolutely make me cringe for a variety of reasons and yet I feel joy over the progress I’ve made in the last few years, and I am proud to look back and see myself working to navigate that change. Those photos and those captions represent a time in my life where I was wrestling with a lot of new truths and working hard to learn more and grow out of some limitations and struggles I’d carried with me for years.

I sat there looking at those almost-200 pictures, knowing that some find them silly. Some snark at the idea of me continuing to share photos of my morning coffee, even more so at having a special hashtag for them. Who cares about a cup of coffee, right? We’ve seen plenty. I care though. I realized today that sharing those photos isn’t at all about the coffee and it’s only barely about the cups. Instead, they’re about my journey to self-care. The represent little windows of time in which I slow down and process life and the world around me. They’re the only thing I can photograph to celebrate my progress and growth into the person I ultimately want to be. Eventually, the captions won’t be littered with apologies for taking that time to myself and sharing a photo of it. I’m going to keep working on that.

Do you want to share #basic photos of your Starbucks, pretty donuts, or artisan muffins? Do it. Haters gonna hate either way. I’ll be sure to throw a heart your way. And I’ll keep sharing my basic pics so you don’t feel alone. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. For you.

By the way, here’s more on coffee. In case you thought this wasn’t a serious enough matter, there’s more.

My Audience. My Tribe.

In the Company of Women I attended a webinar held by Emily P. Freeman on writing to better serve your audience. I didn’t really know what to expect from the webinar. I had simply received an email and signed up, reserving some personal time for myself on Thursday night. Out of nowhere and completely unexpectedly, this webinar might have been life changing.

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Blow Up Your TV. Throw Away Your Paper.

Flowers at Kiroli ParkI sat there sipping my coffee, still reeling a bit from the hatred I saw the night before. I have a tinge of a headache and I’ve debated what might have caused this one. I’ve engaged in some intelligent dialog already this morning, which restores a bit of my faith in humanity. I’m listening to John Prine’s Spanish Pipedream (video below) for the first time and considering it as a political statement of sorts.

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2016 Book Report – Part One

I did a lot of reading this past year, much more than any of my previous adult years. I recently fell back into a habit of reading and I made it somewhat of a priority in 2016. I thought I’d do a quick review of what I read last year. I’ve broken the list down into two parts for your reading pleasure. Here’s some of what I read in 2016:

Big Magic. Read more at pamelapetrus.com

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No Goals

Goal setting and goal trackerI never thought I’d be the one saying this – I’m not setting any goals this year. I know. I’m just as shocked as you are. I usually do quite the opposite. I unintentionally set way too many goals to accomplish in one year. I simply can’t prioritize and save some things for later. Instead, I feel like I need to do all the things by yesterday. Not setting any firm goals for 2017 feels pretty foreign.

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Where to Stay & Eat in Jackson, MS

Airbnb Jackson, MSYesterday I turned 31. Last year I was soooo excited to be turning 30 and I even threw a big party to celebrate. This year I’m feeling a little more low key and choosing to soak up some R&R where I can. I asked Matthew for a shopping trip for my birthday because that ole closet of mine is needing a refresh these days. This past weekend, we went to Jackson, MS to hit up some of my favorite stores and check out the outlet mall. Here’s a fun recap of the weekend.

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One Little Word – 2017 Edition

Yoga at Home - One Little Word I’ve thought a lot about what my word for 2017 should be. Choosing one little word for the year can be an impactful exercise. I agree that it can also feel a little silly. Nonetheless, having a specific concept to meditate on for the year can certainly help to steer your mindset.

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2016 Year in Review

2016 Best Nine Year in Review2016 Best Nine Year in ReviewWhat a year. If you would have told me last December that this year would have included the many outrageous things that it did, I wouldn’t have believed you. I embarked upon 2016 with big dreams and big ideas as to what the year would look like. I was overjoyed about turning 30 and I even claimed that this would be my year. I think that naiveness goes to show just how unpredictable life can be and that we should always be careful what we ask for. While standing here at the end of 2016 does leave me in a happy, wonderful place, the journey to get here was less than ideal. I learned so much about life this year and I can honestly say the trajectory of my life and my perspective have been changed forever. Let’s look back at this year together. Continue reading

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