Let’s sit down with a cup, shall we?
We’d exchange hellos, the “Oh, your hair is really red now!” and other such obvious comments. I’d nod, say that I was doing alright as a brunette, but being a redhead simply matched my personality more. You would nod, and agree. Speak softly, and have fun hair, that’s me.
You’d ask how school is, and I’d roll my eyes and give a long suffering sigh. “Crazy, yeah?” “Oh, the craziest.” I’d recount how I took three classes during the busiest time of the year for my work, and how it almost killed me. That my motivation and my self care absolutely dropped to nil. That it almost made me want to give up, even though I wouldn’t allow myself to fail. And giving up is failure.
Somewhere I’d end up on a tangent about programs I want to plan, things I want to do, changes I want to make in the world. You’d nod, and smile. I’d run out of steam, eventually, as I usually do. Daunted by the fact that I have so many dreams, so many ambitions, and am really limited in how much I can do at the moment. Eventually I’d shrug, sip my coffee, take a bite of my cookie and say “Well, some day.”
We’d talk about things like having fancy drinks with friends, or the times that we actually get to hang out together. The rare times, the moments where I’m usually procrastinating or stealing time between assignments, quarters, or work. I’d laugh about my fondness for whiskey, and joke about how I’m probably just a crotchety old Southern gent inside waiting for the day I get to holler at kids to get off my lawn.
I’d show you too many pictures of Moose, and the dogs that I dogsit for. The roulette of houses I visit to snuggle up to canines and attend class, working out of other people’s homes as if they’re libraries for my study zone. Sometimes I’m home, others I’m not. At least cats are solitary creatures, and Moose doesn’t seem to dislike me for my habit of wandering off and coming home smelling like dog.
It’s probably because I feed her.
We’d get a good laugh about the time that I dressed up and reenacted with the fort, being the town flirt who was possibly an accessory to murder. I’d tell you about the corset and the laugh that my friend Jill and I had getting me into it, and the bigger laugh that Amy and I had getting me out of it at the end of the night when I was Done-with-a-capital-D with it.
I’d confide that I haven’t felt very “healthy” lately. That I don’t follow my own advice and work out as much as I want. That my eating habits suck. I don’t sleep well most nights, and that I’m trying not to freak out about the fact that what used to come so easily.. doesn’t, now. You’d assure me it’s okay. That it’s just a phase of the moment, and it will get easier. As time passes and stress levels lower (Yeah, we’ll laugh at that) I’ll reestablish my routine again.
I’d confide that I have been secretly dating my running shoes again. In short spurts. Sometimes just walking, others in running. No coherent training plan, just a run. Or run/walk. Or dog walk. But something. It’s a start. It’s a beginning. The journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step, and all of that.
Quietly, I’d tell you of my insecurities. How they haunt me. That I’m afraid I’ll never be free of them. And you’d take my hand and tell me that no, I won’t. But I will be able to trust myself, in my own brilliance and passion, enough that I won’t fear them anymore.
I’d smile, and realize that I’d have talked the entire time about what I think are silly things about me. I’d promise to talk less next time, but you know I probably won’t have coffee with you again for a while, and that means a lot of catching up will happen next time, too. We smile, finish the cookie. A hug. A promise.
And that, my friends, is our coffee date.