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Coffee.

8:33a: “Actually, make it a grande white mocha frapp and sub the whole milk for almond. I don’t need a venti. It’ll throw off my calorie count for the day.”


I loathe weekday mornings where time is not mine to keep but instead - borrowed.


I yawned mid head nod as if my physical acknowledgment could be seen through text. I’d just started this job a week ago and could already sense the “I quit, respectfully” bubbling up inside.


The line at Starbucks always feels never ending. Moving just enough to nudge you before you make the mistake of dozing off. The city was loud on this chilly March Monday morning. The coffee beans could be smelled a mile away and the majority of license plates I’d passed in route to my position in line all read the same; a permanent smile now plastered on my face despite my exhaustion with this lengthy wait.


ILLINOIS.

I’ve missed you.


I’d spent the last 6 months in Texas, but almost immediately knew it would never be home for me. That warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you just know something is meant for you must have gotten lost elsewhere. I never felt it. The feelings I’d felt were much different in nature and therefore not nice enough for me to divulge. My grandmother always says, “if you have nothing nice to say – say it anyway.” I don't live by the same mantra. Interestingly enough, my biggest takeaway was the epiphany that isolation is essential to maintaining positivity. Where there is no separation, there is constant chaos and where there is constant chaos, there are also - cows. The chuckle escaped my lips before I’d had the chance to think about it.


Born and raised near Chicago, yet something in my mind thought a more country setting was a good idea. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t actually country, but it felt like it to me. For the longest time in those first few weeks, I’d thought someone was having issues starting their car every night. It wasn’t until the aggravating water saleswoman, at my door for the third time that week, informed me that the obnoxious noise I was hearing was no car; but instead, a field of cows just across from the complex parking lot. Imagine that. I’d went from the soothing city sounds of sirens and traffic each night to a field of screaming cows. The chuckle quickly evolved into a full-blown laugh pulled from deep down in the pits of my belly.


My anxiety returns to escort me back to my favorite past time - overthinking.


Sometimes I wonder if I’m too spontaneous. As calculated and well-planned as I try to be, there are times where I feel the universe is moving me to make rash decisions. The kind you feel compelled to do without proper thought prior to execution. Was it really the universe or was it the fearful parts of myself locked away in constant anguish surrounding thoughts of becoming old and gray and dying after having only lived the “safe” life? I tend to lean towards the latter.


After the loss of my big brother last year, I’d grown increasingly anxious about time or lack thereof. I’d become increasingly obsessed with thoughts of doom coupled with the reality that I’m doing only what is needed to get to the next moment rather than what is needed to create the life I want for myself. Survival mode in a nutshell. If nothing else, my relocation experience taught me to trust myself. When I had no choice but to be still and rest in the present moment, I found answers. In my hardest and most anxious moments there, it was revealed to me that I can, and I do. Always.


I tattooed "walk by faith " on my wrist when I was 19. I had no idea then of how that faith would carry me through life. Although I aspire to escape survival mode someday, I acknowledge where I am in my journey, and I express thanks to God and the universe for where I am going. I’ve learned to trust my process even when I fail to see the larger picture clearly.


Profanities and horns from the cars behind me disrupted my self reflection. After waving a hand out of my window and quietly mouthing an apology for spacing out, I pulled forward and placed my order.



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