>I remember once, as a kid, asking my dad why he drank coffee every day since, obviously, it was “gross.”
May 19, 2010 by Blueberries For Me
He replied, “it takes a while to realize that not every beverage you drink has to be sweet.”
I thought about this for a bit. Milk isn’t really sweet. Water isn’t either. And juice…well, yeah, that is. And coke…yeah that definitely is. Okay, I guess Dad has a point. But why would you want to drink something bitter anyway?
In college I learned how to choke down the stuff, with plenty of milk, sugar, blending, whipped cream and caramel topping. By senior year, I had learned to take my coffee with only cream, but it wasn’t until last year that I joined the adult world with the routine of the daily cup of joe. Working with children at the day care brought me many joys, one of which being the joy of caffeine. Most Friday mornings, in the months that I biked, I would treat myself to getting up a little earlier and going out for some quiet time and a cup of drip at a nearby coffee shop.
I think of coffee when I think of my response to the question, “how has your JVC experience been?” For some reason, I think people often expect the answer to be along the lines of “wonderful, perfect, awesome, so glad I did it, enjoyed every minute, everyone should do it.” Usually I mutter something along the lines, “good, but tough. Worthwhile, but I’ll be ready for the next phase of my life.” Which leaves me wondering why I haven’t been more enthusiastic. Or why when I talk to former JVs they don’t go into the dreamy haze of reminiscing the “best days of their life” like people do remembering their college years. Here I am, doing a second year, marrying a former JV, convinced my time with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps has been exactly what I should do. Why aren’t my responses “wonderful-perfect-awesome?”
I think I have learned to enjoy these years in the same why I enjoy my coffee. It’s not sweet, and that’s okay. I can appreciate the fragrant yet earthy aroma as I sip my morning cup. I appreciate the bitter contrast that it provides to a donut or cinnamon roll.
In the same way, I am glad that my years have not been completely sweet, but have provided me with a chance to face the difficult. To confront the bitter. And not only to tolerate life’s less-than-sweet moments, but thoroughly be grateful for them.