But First, Conversation

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“If we could sit together a moment
and talk forever just to pass the time…”
-Owl City (Meet You There)

Pickwick Coffee Roasting Co. (Chicago,Illinois)

What makes the invitation to “meet for coffee” or “talk over coffee” so warm and alluring?  For me, it is knowing that during that encounter, something as strong as the coffee I am drinking is going to take place.  I never know what it is going to involve, or at what point of the conversation it will happen, but I know it’s a guarantee that I will leave that conversation somehow different than when it began.

…Maybe I will learn something new.  Maybe I will share something I wasn’t planning on sharing, but will be so happy that I opened up to someone.  Maybe I will laugh so hard that I will forget why I am laughing in the first place.  Maybe I will cry.  Maybe I will become inspired.  Maybe I will be pushed out of my comfort zone.  Maybe I will understand that person on a deeper level.  Maybe I will have a deeper understanding of myself.  Maybe I will simply be lucky enough to experience an amazing conversation that probably needed a map to follow, but was completely understood and savored from start to finish by both people.

“Only one thing is certain about coffee…Where it is grown, sold, brewed and consumed, there will be lively controversy, strong opinions, and good conversation.” -Mark Pendergrast

And this interaction is not only found at your local Starbucks or coffee shop.  In fact, nowadays most of my “talks over coffee” happen right in my own home.  For this, I must give credit to my parents who demonstrated communication at its finest as I was growing up over many cups of coffee along the way.

Although I no longer live with my parents, I am still excited during my visits to their home when I am awakened by my mom preforming  the simple ritual of turning on the coffee maker, which leads to the sound of brewing and the delicious warm smell filling house.  Most mornings, I will awaken to find my mom and dad sitting comfortably in the living room engrossed in conversation, a cup of coffee in each of their hands.  The house is completely quiet except for the sound of their voices.  I grew up noticing these daily morning meetings that still happen to this day, knowing that this was an essential component that I wanted in my future marriage.  Basically, I wanted to find my someone who I could solve the world’s problems with “over coffee” for the rest of my life, just like my mom and dad have done for so many years.

Promoting the activity of coffee drinking is not what this post is all about (although I obviously enjoy it quite a bit), but rather to promote conversation.  This could be with your spouse, a parent, a friend, or simply someone you are getting to know.  While asking someone to sit down and “have a cup of coffee” with you can quite literally mean sitting down and enjoying a comforting, warm drink, it can also be a code phrase for taking the time to have a meaningful conversation without distraction.


Photo by Studio Eiler @studioeiler

“One good conversation can shift the direction of change forever.”
-Linda Lambert

When you take the time to “have a cup of coffee” with someone, so much can change in both of your worlds.

Ideas come to life!

When you have the opportunity to sit and discuss ideas or thoughts with another person for an extensive period of time, there is no telling what that conversational map will look like!  I have had some of my best ideas and life epiphanies come to me when I am listening and discussing topics with a friend or family member.  I’ve had times when I’ve become inspired by something the other person said or what they were describing from their own lives, and I have had times when just talking about an idea out loud has driven my enthusiasm and motivation to start something new.  You never know when you could be doing the same for the other person, too!

Difficult conversations might seem less daunting

One thing I have learned through relationships is that it is best to sit down and discuss challenging topics in a relaxed state rather than let them build up to the point that they arise in a moment that doesn’t allow you time to actually have a conversation and find resolution.  My husband and I have had some of our best conversations on the weekends in the mornings when we are drinking our coffee and have time to just sit together and talk before the day begins.  Some of our more serious life conversations have been mixed with some of our most amusing conversations!  We will end up laughing hysterically about something literally five minutes after talking about what we need to do to get our taxes in order.  Life conversations need to happen, but they don’t need to be intimidating or rushed, but rather savored as you appreciate the fact that through them you are building an even stronger relationship with that person.

You actually have time to experience emotion

This may sound cheesy, and you might be thinking that there are some emotions that you don’t really want to experience or show when you are trying to talk with someone, but the truth is that releasing emotions – the good, the bad, and the ugly – is good for the soul.  I can’t tell you how many times I have been having a cup of coffee with someone and have laughed, cried, felt upset, and joyful all in the same conversation.  Engaging honestly in a discussion by both listening and responding can bring many feelings to the surface, and these feelings can also change in an instant with the flow of the conversation.  The point is, when you take the time to sit down and have a conversation with someone, you also are allowing yourself the time and the opportunity to experience and release these emotions; this is both refreshing and healthy for the mind and body!

You feel connected, despite what might be going on with the internet connection

Our definition of being “connected” has changed quite a bit over the last decade.  But I promise you, there is nothing more connected than sitting at a table or on the couch with someone, looking them in their eyes as they speak, listening to them laugh and feeling yourself begin to smile, hearing the emotion in their voice, and of course, feeling the warmth of your coffee cup between your hands.

If you could sit down and “have a cup of coffee” with anyone…
who would it be?

Live out loud,
Stephanie

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31 thoughts on “But First, Conversation

  1. This is a great post with lots of good points! I would love to have coffee with someone new and get to know them. If I got to have coffee with one person, it would be youtuber, Nikki Blackketter. She has always been a big inspiration to me! Thanks for sharing this post!

    1. Thank you for reading, Bailie! I love to think of inspirational people who I will probably never meet but would LOVE to sit down and have a conversation with someday =) And yes, coffee with someone new is always the best!!

  2. Great post! Being present with someone during a conversation can be so rewarding whether it be over coffee, dinner, drinks, what have you. There is something very special about it.

    1. Thanks, Rose! Yes, it can be anything to enjoy while you are sitting with someone and just talking. I am also a fan of talking over wine! =)=) Thanks for reading!

  3. Stephanie, what a sweet post! I am also a big fan of coffee, not only because it tastes amazing, but also because it’s comforting, it helps my ideas come to life, and usually when I’m having it, I am having a relaxing moment with someone I really like to be around.

    Brilliant. 🙂

    Dani x

    1. Thanks so much, Daniela! It is definitely comforting to be holding a warm cup of coffee and chatting it up with someone you connect with. I wish I could do it every day! Thanks so much for reading!

  4. I just finished reading your post and of course couldn’t agree more with what you had to say. What I noticed that your post did not mention is the feeling when you are alone and have your hands wrapped around a cup of fresh ground coffee, slightly sweetened with your favorite creamer and sitting down to read your daughter’s blog posts and experiencing the overwhelming feeling of a swelled heart full of love, pride and joy. Write on my beautiful daughter!

    1. I love this comment!! You are right, I forgot to mention the best kind of talking “over coffee” which is talking with my mom! Thank you for your love and encouragement always, and for this sweet image that makes up so many of my favorite memories with you! Love you, mom!

  5. Bravo! Great post! I am constantly inviting my friends for coffee, tea, froyo, lunch, etc, because I crave conversation and face to face connections! I love that fb keeps me connected and is such a great platform for inviting friends for conversation over coffee, or whatever the preferred beverage or food is!

  6. Dear Stephanie,

    I cant tell you how much I enjoyed reading this. As a friend of the family, I am so very proud of you and your spouse (great guy). While I no longer drink coffee (only Tea since quitting smoking in 2001) the thought of spending some private time with your best friends while holding a warm beverage is some of life’s best moments. You nailed it with this article. Thank you!

    Finally, I cannot even begin to tell you what this blog has meant to your Father. Suffice it to say that I do not think he could read this “standing up”.

    Love to you and your husband.

    Tom

    1. Tom,
      Thank you so much for reading my post and for your encouraging words. They truly mean so much! I am so happy that my dad is expressing his excitement for my blog. This makes me happier than you know!! I am really excited to talk with him about it the next time I see him. Thank you so much for this warm comment, Tom! It made my day!!

  7. I would love to sit down with so many people and have a meaningful conversation. The Dalai Lama is the first to pop into my mind! Imagine the things you could learn from having a conversation with him. But a coffee with my husband that isn’t interupted by our two kids would be nice too. 🙂

    1. I agree, Leah! That would be an amazing experience! Coffee with your husband and quiet children sounds pretty great too, though :):). Thanks so much for reading!

  8. I would love to have coffee with my soul mate. Whoever that may be. I think I will be in for some interesting conversation that will be truly filling of love.

  9. I wanted to comment on your Birthday. So Happy Birthday Stephanie.
    Great Thoughts, Great picture to accompany your words. As a parent we sometimes forget how are children watch and listen to the conversations of their parents. Your thoughts and expression in this Blog touched me in a way, that I wish every father, in fact I wish that every person could feel. It is a reminder of how great life is or can be and at the same time it reminded me how fragile life can be. A cup of coffee, tea or other beverage with sincere conversation is priceless. Keep the thoughts coming, you are now teaching your parents. How great is this.

    1. Thank you, dad! This post was definitely inspired by you and mom! Thank you for teaching me to appreciate and savor meaningful conversations and time spent with others. I’m so glad that you enjoyed this post =)

  10. I can’t tell you how much this resonates with me. I find this to be true with my husband and also a couple friends. Beautiful job putting it into words!!

    1. I agree, Jacquelyn! Rarely do I ever turn down the opportunity to have a good cup of coffee and a conversation! =) Thanks for reading!

  11. This is an amazing post, really well thought and written. I think that’s why I also love coffee- apart from just the taste- it conjures memories of spending quality time with my girlfriends or relaxing on weekend mornings with my fiance, and the joy of those moments makes me feel happy and energized.

    1. Silvia, I am with ya!! I also love the memories that come from these moments with a great cup of coffee. I have so many memories of having coffee with my mom on the couch, or with my girlfriends at little coffee shops. There is definitely a comfort there! Thank you for reading!

  12. Thanks for the post! I don’t personally drink coffee… but I too love to slow down and just… connect with other people! It is powerful!

    1. I agree, Kali. Slowing down and connecting over dinner or a drink is one of the simple pleasures of life in my opinion =) Thanks so much for reading!!!

  13. I never really thought about my cuppa this way. I love nothing better than a coffee and chat with friends. I think your spot on by what you said. A long coffee is a relaxing experience and complete strangers can be quite comfortable talking to one another. I’ve met some really fascinating people over a coffee. I don’t know if you’ll agree but, I feel that having a coffee makes us step back from our digital life for that 15 – 20 minutes and connect with the real world?

  14. Great article. While I don’t drink coffee, I do love a good cup of hot tea. A friend of mine, who lives on the other side of the US from me, and I, chat via zoom over a good cup of hot tea. Like you said, it’s not the coffee (or tea) it’s the good conversation that happens that I love the most. She lives the farthest from me, yet she’s the friend I’m closest to, because of these conversations.

    1. That is so cool, Charlsye! That is the type of shared experience that keeps long distance friendships special and alive. Isn’t it amazing how conversations can form lasting bonds and strong connections? I truly believe that a meaningful two-sided conversation is the creator of a deep friendship =) So glad that you have this special friendship in your life!

  15. Lovely post! Since I am a coffee lover, this post caught my attention immediately. Talking about how we feel is like therapy. It is good for the soul like you said. My boyfriend and I always have coffee after lunch and dinner, it is like our small ritual. P.S, Your pictures are great!!!! There is so much inspiration in them.

    1. Jessica, thank you so much for reading and for your kind words! I will be sure to pass your compliments to my husband; he does my photos with his amazing photoshop skills! =) I totally agree that talking is total therapy, and it can be so helpful especially with someone who we are close with and trust. I love how you and your boyfriend have coffee after lunch and dinner! That is such a cool ritual, and one that can last a lifetime! What a great way to stay connected. Thanks so much for sharing!

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