Of all the categories I keep on this blog–and there are many–the one that probably makes the least amount of sense to anyone who isn’t me is The Coffee Shop. Most of the others are fairly straightforward; “Travel,” for example, is used when I write about traveling, and “Note to Self” when I need to remind myself of something. “Books and other recommendations” is similarly self explanatory.
But The Coffee Shop is a bit of an odd invention, so I thought I’d take a moment to better describe what exactly it is as well as why I created it in the first place.
The Coffee Shop started as a New Year’s blog post: a way for me to address where I was at the end of 2013 after four months abroad that left me staggeringly in love with Europe and staggeringly frustrated with myself and my inability to figure out what I actually wanted out of everything: college, work, life. (I will be the first to admit that I am rather dramatic. This time of my life was no exception.) In an effort to explain my frustration with New Year’s resolutions and the ease with which I sometimes slip back into old routines, I created a space where I would be able to interact with all sorts of things that don’t exist the way you or I do: wisdom, for example, or melodrama, or humor, or patience, or grace.
In some ways, it’s exactly what it says on the tin: a coffee shop. In some ways, it’s nothing like that at all.
The door sits on the corner of Everywhere and Nowhere.
When you walk in, your eye is drawn immediately from the old, comfy looking booths on the left to the long wooden bar scattered with people and mugs and plates of scones that Wisdom bakes daily. Kindness smiles as you enter, and you let her wave you to one of the bar stools. You drop your bag to the floor and sit. Patience sets a mug in front of you and asks if you’d prefer coffee or tea before serving it just the way you like it best. The sun streams through the windows, and the steaming mug warms your hands.
What brings us here today? a familiar voice asks. She slips onto the stool next to you and whispers a thank you as Tranquility hands her a glass of water. You try not to stare, but when you do you find that you’re staring at your own eyes. She’s older, maybe, or younger–wherever she is, whenever she is, she’s there to help.
She grins at you, and it’s your grin: bright or knowing, calming or apologetic. Out with it, she tells you, nodding at Honesty as she sets a freshly baked scone in front of each of you. No time like the present, she says with a wink.
You start talking.