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Admission: I am a coffee snob.

I never intended to become one, but for the past four years I’ve either worked or had friends in several coffee shops in town. For about two years, I could to Starbucks at any time of the day and virtually guarantee that a friend would be working.

I am soon leaving it all behind. I am on the verge of a major life change: getting married, quitting my job, moving, finding a new job. I’ll be leaving a quirky Midwest town that has been my home for the past six years. Our economy was decimated by the GM exodus. Our school system is on life support, but most of their vital organs are failing. The railroad tracks that run through town essential separate Anderson between the Thems and the Us-es.

This town, a barren desert of depression and economic death, has been a bit of a spiritual birthplace for me. It is here that my Christianity was destroyed. I can vividly remember the moments of looking at my shattered faith laying scattered on the ground. I remember the fear and helplessness I felt in those moments.

But death did not have the final word in this story. Death does not have the final word in this town. With help and love from those around me, I began the process of collecting the broken pieces of my faith. I began to reassemble myself, keeping the pieces which are still beautiful and disregarding others which I have no use for anymore. The result? Wrong question. To reduce the experience to a result would be to kill the life in the process. I am a growing, living creature.

So recently, I have been missing the free coffee that I won’t be able to get in a month. What is so sentimental and poignant about coffee? Nothing really. Except that it’s a symbol, an image, representative of a place in time.

It’s easy to get my head around missing free coffee. It’s not so easy to get my head around leaving Anderson.

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