I sat down inside a coffee shop with the intent of writing about how I seek out coffee shops to find solace from confrontation and people and problems and pains…but was interrupted with a phone call from my mom in which I desperately tried to keep myself from crying while I agonized over the growing pains involved in graduating, moving, and entering the semi-real world as a pseudo adult. I hung up the phone and realized: my life happens inside coffee shops.
My latte sits in front of me, surrounded by a pile of notebooks and unedited cover letters, my planner splayed open and half-organized with the long list of things I have to do this week. To my left is the table where I first met up with the Modern Recollections team to talk about what would end up being the most bizarre performance in my career.
To the right and behind me is the table where a love and I held hands and tried to put off saying goodbye for as long as possible. It’s the same table where months later I had a terrible first date with a man who monumentally frustrated me and made me wonder how two compatible people ever find each other in this world.
The bar that faces the window is where an old friend and I spent hours catching up on our too many months apart and spoke eagerly of what was to come. At the same bar, a newly found kindred spirit introduced me to the shop special and offered me a place to live. Across the way is the table where I escaped during the move-in to said apartment and tried to keep myself from breaking under the extreme stress of it all.
I’ve cried in probably three out of five coffee shops I’ve entered in Seattle, laughed in many more and spent hours of my time planning, writing, connecting and sharing inside these places. Maybe it’s the big changes in my life that make me cling to the coffee ritual these days. Within the space of a month I closed three shows, graduated from college and moved. I’ve been hurled into this new chapter of my life and have no idea how to navigate it. Everyone guarantees me that this is perfectly normal. They say that a post-grad slump/panic is a frequent and perhaps even healthy rite of passage.
But with all my other routines taken away from me, the ritual of the coffee shop is something I can fall back on.
So returns the Coffee Shop Chronicles — I’m coming back to the writing and the audience that I feel so connected to. I hope you’ll join me for a cup as I attempt to navigate the adult world.