Tears, Fears, and Coffee Connection

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Laura Paisley Beck

Freelance Content Creator

Did you make it out the door today? This time last week, almost to the minute of typing this, this usually fearlessly freelance writer finally dried tears, reapplied under eye concealer for the third time, and made it to the work event in Portland. What happened next was everything I needed.

Waking Up on the West Coast

First- let’s acknowledge that Thursday night I flew to Portland on an empty stomach and missed my opportunity to get dinner at the hotel restaurant.

The front desk guy asked, “Do you like shawarma?” and then gave me a cold can of locally brewed hazy IPA. Yes, I know. I could have put the beer away and slumbered sober. But no, I cracked open the beer and ate garlicky lamb kabobs while watching the first episodes of Grey’s Anatomy in bed at 11 PM PST. I wasn’t exactly fresh as a daisy Friday morning.

The Battle of the Inner Goblins

My friend, Jeremy Owens, always advises, “Punch those mean voices in the face!” Mine were particularly loud and powerful Friday morning. They were growling and hissing terrible messages like:

“You’re ridiculous! How do you expect anyone to take you seriously?”

“Look at you! You’re crazy! You’re nuts! You’re so embarrassing!”

“You should apologize for your very existence.”

“You don’t deserve to meet these executives. Look at their credentials!”

“Who do you think you are?”

“No one is going to be able to stand you.”

“You have no concept of how embarrassing you are.”

Normally I’m a bold strong extrovert, but that morning those menacing voices were so believable, I almost crawled right back into that fluffy comfy King bed.

The Kindness of Strangers

It took me an hour, but I finally walked out as Me as I could – in my red clogs, green skirt, and orange paisley shirt. As I passed homeless and staggering people the five blocks to the office building, I started to feel a tad better about myself. A group of people were taking up the entryway. After uttering a quiet, “I’m sorry. Excuse me,” they parted so I could walk in the middle of them and pumped their arms in the air cheering me on. 

Right?! I looked back at them and said, “Thank you! I actually need that today!”

Coffee Creates Connection

The office took up the entire 18th floor. Beautiful orange furniture against white walls welcomed me in a loud modern “Yay!” but otherwise the office was silent. Floor-to-ceiling frosted glass conference rooms revealed smudgy shadows of people in meetings. I took a deep breath. Where do I belong?

Two people were standing in cubicle land on the far end of the office, so I gave myself a tiny inside-voice pep talk and walked as confidently as I could down the hallway. I stuck out my hand and said, “Hi, I’m Laura. I’m a writer on the Enrollment Marketing Team. Is there a place I can work?

“Oh! It’s so nice to have you here! Sure! You can grab any cubicle that doesn’t have a bag on a chair. Or do you want an office? We have offices open if you want to grab one?”

I took the first cubicle I saw open and felt my knees weaken a little at their humble generosity.

“You want coffee?” the guy said.

“Always.”

He started speed walking back down the hall so I quickly followed him.

“How do you like your coffee?”

I saw espresso cups so I asked for a double espresso.

He poured in fresh beans and pressed some buttons while talking to me and then just as coffee started to dispense from the machine, “Oh shit! Fuck! This is the wrong kind of coffee. I’m sorry. I am so sorry. I’ll take this one. You’ll get your espresso. I’m so sorry.”

Somehow a conversation about people taking milk and sugar with their coffee led to intimate sharing about parents, which he admitted he never intended to share with me.

When he was about to serve me, I asked him, “So what is it you do here, Stuart?”

“I’m a founding member and Chief Executive Officer of this company.”

I’m pretty sure my face turns a million colors. “Oh,” I said. “You’re that Stuart. You are the CEO and you just made me coffee.

And then a meeting broke out and a colleague recognized me. “Laura! You’re here!” She rushed over and gave me a big hug. Then she looked over her shoulder back at the crowd and said, “This is Laura. She’s awesome! She’s amazing!”

Laura Paisley Beck stands on the 18th floor of an office building in Portland, OR.

My Own Worst Critic and Client

Some advice:

Never post a blog this long on your own website.

Believe in people who call you amazing on a regular basis.

I also suggest that you get proper sleep before a big day. 

Alcohol in any amount, especially with a belly full of Greek lamb, doesn’t help get Zzz’s.

Say yes to everything when surrounded by awesome coworkers.

  • Say Yes to the coffee
  • Say Yes to sushi lunch
  • Say Yes to the local sparkly to toast the lovely lady who is retiring
  • Say Yes to the chance to bond with more colleagues afterwards
  • Say Yes to the rollercoasters on Saturday
  • Say Yes to the offer to drive you to the airport

But most importantly,

  • Say Yes to yourself. Give yourself credit for being awesome. You probably are!

Do you love coffee too? Let’s connect!

About Laura Paisley Beck of Wa’am Writes, LLC

Laura Paisley Beck sharpened her copywriting skills as a serial entrepreneur and corporate trained salesperson for decades. Her sales and business experience + writing skills = copywriting super powers to help uplift businesses and organizations she believes in. She started Wa’am Writes, LLC to finally live out a happy, healthy, comfortable life as a writer. When she is not writing and networking, Laura enjoys long walks with Janis Pup, dancing, cooking, silent sports outdoors, seeking Wow (Woods or Water) and dreaming of digital nomad life in Portugal. Want a colorful, experienced, successful writer for your content? Schedule time with Laura Paisley Beck today!

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