Some days are so much harder than others. I have yet to figure out why, but I’m looking for common denominators.

Try #12 | Time

As I’ve previously established, I am a deeply relational being. I need to be near people and I feel the best when I am surrounded by others. My endorphins race when I’m sitting in a booth, laughing with my friends, or relaxing on my parent’s deck in the sunshine, listening to my family talk. When I fall in love, there is literally nothing I want more than the electric rush of skin-to-skin contact. I am addicted to that closeness. I crave it. I feel empty without it.

But there are some times I want to be alone.

I struggle with the voices in my head. Some are positive, some negative, and sometimes they all talk over each other. The incoherent¬†debates mixed with the conversations I am listening to or participating in outside of my head become overwhelming. I can’t focus. I can’t prioritize. I start feeling frantic and skittish. I start looking for an escape.

What’s so interesting to me is that I often find sanctuary from this kind of anxiety in coffee shops. The atmosphere in a coffee shop is incredibly calming to me. Hushed conversations, people focused on their laptops or papers, the quiet typing of keyboards, the ambient noise of espresso grinders, tapping spoons and steaming milk. The smell of fresh roasted coffee.

This is my happy place. This is my zen. This is where I can focus, tune in to what I’m working on, tune out of other stressors.

And here’s the revelation: Maybe it’s not coffee I love so much, maybe it’s where the coffee comes from. Often times, the $5 latte I’ve purchased will go untouched and serve only to buy myself some alone time and wi-fi. Maybe this is why I fantasize about owning my own coffee shop. I’d be living in my own little zen garden, making americanos in a blissful meditation.

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