I live in a city where franchises are king. Uniformity is the rule of the day. Familiar branding is everyone’s happy place.
I get it.
Orlando is a destination vacation that attracts people from all over the world. We have huge numbers of Europeans (Brits and Germans in particular), as well as folks from south of the border (especially Brazilians) who come to experience central Florida. To say nothing of the number of Americans who make the trek to the Sunshine State in the summer. During the hottest, most humid weather of the year.
Theme Park, USA.
I don’t know that there’s anywhere that has more attractions per square mile than the Orlando area. Maybe Vegas, but that’s not all family friendly.
When people come to vacation and spend oodles of money on park fees and hotels, they want to know what they’re going to be eating is what they enjoy. No surprises. No unique yet quirky twists. Comfortable expectations.
Coming to Ft. Collins, Colorado, I’ve been amazed at the uniqueness of the eateries here. Especially the coffee shops.
Starbucks rules in Orlando. For many, this is a good thing. Tailor-made boutique cups of coffee that cost as much as a meal at the Golden Arches. They’re just not my cup of coffee. And typically, those places are busy and loud and not a place to just sit and think. Or have conversations with friends that don’t challenge the decibel level of the room.
I’ve discovered a variety of coffee places that don’t require me to sell my first born for a cup of joe. Places with fun names, like The Human Bean, Cool Beans and Alley Cat Cafe. They offer great coffee, charming atmosphere and friendly people who engage new faces in conversations.
We all need that chance to just be. I love fitting into someplace new. Even though I’m different. Reminds me of the old TV show, Cheers. Where everybody knew your name. Even though every character was quirky and original.
God celebrates that uniqueness.
“O Lord, You have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.” Psalm 139:1-3
To some, this may seem daunting. Being that well known. That seen. To me, it’s comforting.
God is never surprised by what I do.
He enjoys my distinctiveness. I’m never just another cup of coffee to Him. I’m a special blend, a unique roast. My story is flavored by what I’ve been through.
There are times when fitting in with the norm works. When comfortability with the same old is safe.
Being who I really am isn’t always comfortable.
I’m learning to appreciate the unique person that God created me to be. There is no one in this whole world that is just like me. Or you.
That’s worth celebrating. Over a cup of really good coffee.
Thanks, JB, for the idea.