For guys like me, the trick to ordering a pumpkin spice latte is to get in line behind a sorority girl. That way, when it’s your turn to order, all you have to do is smile and say, “I’ll have the same thing.”
Because let’s face it, there are few things in life more awkward than a 22 year-old dude ordering a pumpkin spice latte in the middle of a crowded coffee shop. But when it’s a cool Friday afternoon in October and the red and yellow leaves are blissfully fluttering about on the streets, it’s hard to resist.
Do you feel me?
A pumpkin spice latte is one of those staple beverages that perfectly fits the Fall season. Like a pina coloda or strawberry daiquiri in the summertime. Or a peppermint mocha in December. It just feels right.
Throw in Ugg boots, scarfs, and oversized sweaters and you’re livin’ the dream. Right, ladies? I wouldn’t know as I’m more of a button-down + vest guy when it comes to Fall. But as far as pumpkin spice is concerned, I’m with you all the way.
Besides college football, I can’t think of any phrase that is more pervasive in the Fall than pumpkin spice. And if I’m being honest, I’m not even mad about it. To me, anything pumpkin spice is awesome.
Candles. Lattes. Milkshakes. Oreos. Doughnuts. Car freshener. Cologne for your hamster. I could keep going.
Riding with your windows down on a Fall afternoon listening to Ben Rector with a pumpkin spice latte in hand is an awesome experience. I’m not ready to say it’s as awesome as SEC football in the Fall, but it’s still pretty great if you ask me.
If you can’t tell, I’m all about that pumpkin spice and I’m not ashamed. Heck, if I was a rapper, my stage name might be something like “Yung Spice.” I’ll let you know when I land my big record deal.
Embracing the Season You’re In
If you’ve managed to read this far, you either love me or hate me right now. Either you want to be my biffle 4 lyfe or I’ve been penciled in at the top of your “enemies list.” For most people, there is no middle ground on this divisive issue.
Honestly, I’m not cool with that. And it’s not just because I feel personally attacked when you diss pumpkin spice lattes. It’s because I think we need to do a better job of embracing the season we’re in. Not just seasons of weather, but the seasons of life.
One of the topics my friend Nick and I explore in our upcoming book (title still TBD) is the idea of embracing the season that you’re currently in. Here’s a quick excerpt from the book.
College isn’t so much one continuous experience as it is a group of semi-related seasons. And unlike the 5 stages we discussed above, seasons tend to be fairly short, they change often. Just like the hot and humid summer eventually turns into red and orange leaves blowing blissfully in the cool fall air while you drive with your windows down sipping a pumpkin spice latte listening to Ben Rector, the seasons of college (and life) change as well.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve experienced seasons of intense school pressure on top of an already busy schedule. 8am classes, three-hour Accounting tests, massive papers to write, and other things that make you want to crawl into a hole and hide. Yet other seasons have been light on academics and provide the space to invest in relationships. I can’t tell you how many times I hung out with people over coffee or breakfast during my senior year. It was all because I had the margin in my schedule. My school load was light and with so much free time outside of class, it would have been foolish of me not to invest in friendships.
I often felt guilty about it. I would think to myself, “All my friends have their nose to the grindstone and here I am taking naps and writing blogs and sippin’ lattes with friends all day.” I expressed this to my friend Caleb, who I mentioned at the beginning of chapter one. He was in medical school at this point which didn’t make me feel any better. But his response was encouraging. “Just enjoy this season. You’ll never get another year like it after you graduate. Enjoy the time you have an invest it in things that matter.”
What season of life are you in right now? Wherever you are, enjoy it—even if it’s a crazy busy one. Because it’s probably not going to last much longer. The seasons of school, work, and life in general change faster than you might expect.
I love these lyrics from one of the ancient Indelible Grace hymns.
Joy to find in every station,
Something still to do or bear.
And also what C.S. Lewis says in his autobiography, Surprised by Joy.
The very nature of Joy makes nonsense of our common distinction between having and wanting.
Embrace the season you’re in. Be where you are, wherever you are. As for me this particular Fall season, you can find me at the local coffee shop sipping a pumpkin spice latte.