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to drink or not to drink?

a mini heaven

i didn't know before coming here that no one drinks coffee.

i do drink coffee.

yes, i am a coffee drinker.

it was nearly a year ago that i really fell in love with the stuff.

at a little cafe across from a little house in the little area of sydney known as alexandria.
mochas and lattes. froth and foam. the warm cup in a chilled hand. there was none of the american nonsense of black coffee--it just didn't exist. and each coffee shop was its own. a unique adventure unto itself. nothing streamlined.

and so it was love. and so it went. and so i-was-in-love. with the morning trek across the street and the afternoon respite--sunning in the cool winter air, coffee in one hand, a book in the other.

and then i got here.

and no one drinks coffee.

and i spent a lot of time wondering if perhaps i shouldn't drink coffee. and as all catholics do i thought on the thing waiting for an appropriate amount of guilt to arise and lead me to an answer. too much guilt? let it go. not too much? carry on. and then i realized there was no guilt to be seen or felt or had. coffee is not my vice but my choice.

and so i found a lovely little coffee shop here, finagled a bike from a friend, and each morning i wend and wind through the neighborhoods just off of center street as i slowly and surely make my way to my iced-coffee haven.

it's me and a gang of bikers (motorbikes, that is) and a gypsy of a family (i think) and a whole host of assorted characters. the funny thing is, i'm probably the one who looks out of place.

i knew coming here would be hard. it would be a challenge. but that little voice inside was so sure and so calm and so i allowed it to lead--that voice that promised oh-so-good-things.

but at this moment in time i'm wondering where the heck that voice got the nerve because i can't see those oh-so-good-things. i just see the return of ned. of old habits and older fears. the return of a bloated face and a too-tight-pair-of-jeans.

for a month now i've tried to no avail to climb from this little hole that i've dug.

but today i'm gonna get myself a coffee maker. at wal-mart. or some such. because much as i like the morning bike ride to the coffee shop and much as i'll keep doing it, i wanna wake to the smell of coffee brewing. i want a hold a warm mug. and give thanks over it. and i want that to be the very first thing i do all day. before i mount a bike. before i marvel at all the eclectic houses. before i join the misfits of utah county, i wanna break a few rules in my own little room.

because there is so much instability here. so much uncertainty. and ned really loves those things. and if all it takes is one cup of my own renegade mocha to center me a little, then i'm gonna take it. and thank God for the little lifeboat that it is.

(it should be noted that i have
the utmost respect for people
who choose not to drink
coffee for whatever reason,
religious or not.)


Britanny said...

well, i think this is very good advice for anyone going through a big change. holding on to something constant i think is a great way to cope with change :) thanks for the "advice"

brown eyed girl said...

Hang in there, girl.

As much as it hurts, sometimes the hole has to get a little bit deeper before we find the steps to climb out.

But we're all pulling and praying and rooting for you, because we need you, too.


Bee Sarah Lee Bailey said...

i love you soo much. just saying. i have had 3 cups of joe today... just saying. happy monday!

Em & Gar said...

This was lovely. I can totally empathize with wanting something regular, familiar, comfortable, something to look forward to, hold on to and count on. Plus, I'm pretty sure I said you should just get one and sneak it in your room in the beginning. :) haha. Such a rebel. Also, when is your play? I've been SO dying to see it! And I want to come play! What are you doing Friday?

Maggie said...

I’ve always loved the aroma of coffee in the morning. Smells like souls burning in hell.

I'm only going to say this once (lie), but come spend an afternoon in Salt Lake City and watch your cares melt away.

I'm not a coffee-drinker, but I'd love to share a judgmental diet Coke with you. Good post.

Julia said...

I l-o-v-e your comment about waiting for the Catholic guilt... something I am all too familiar with! Keep on truckin'. It will all get better soon-- as someone older than you, I can promise you that(30- yikes!). I still get a funny, fluttery, holding-my-breath feeling in my chest when I think of my early to mid twenties. So many mistakes, so many dumb things said, so many tears, and so much doubt. Chin up, heart open, and when all else fails don't forget to laugh.

denise said...

coffee is much better than smoking cigarettes. that's how i calm my nerves in uncharted territories. and i'm so ashamed of it. so, if you ever start to question your coffee drinking ways, just think, there's way worse things. and if all it takes is a little sip of the mocha here & there to make ned cool his jets, sip, sip, away.

oh, and there's ice-coffee makers now, too. xo

molly YEH! said...

ahhh i just started drinking coffee since the summer began and now i worry that i'll get a headache if i wait too long in the mornings. i think once school begins, i'll have to quit because i just can't concentrate on practicing when i'm caffeinated :-(

laura marie said...

there's something so easy--and yes, centering, definitely--about a morning routine. love this post :)

Taylor K said...

I have also been having NED issues lately. I just hate it when they rear their ugly head. I hope you are doing well and find strength in your morning coffee routine. Wishing you the very best, Tay.

sarah nicole said...

I'm with Maggie - come up to SLC. We have some great coffee shops that may make you feel a little more at home. Let's throw back some shots of espresso over girl talk : ) Also, hang in there. What you are doing is great! It's hard to be outside of your comfort zone for so long, but we are all rooting for you! Go Meg! ; )

Sarah-lucy said...

I love you. And I support your coffee-drinking ways.

iheartkiwi said...

there is nothing like waking up to the smell of a pot of fresh coffee. it's invigorating. drink up lady :)

your bravery never ceases to amaze me miss meg! you can pull through, i know you can. it's quite an adventure you're on!

Cassie said...

I've been there and lived it...and got the funny looks of "you drink coffee..." I used to go to Barnes and Noble to steal a cup and tuck myself away in a book and try and travel back to my previous life back in Washington. But now I am back, and there is a coffee shop welcoming me in on every corner. It really couldn't have turned out any more delightful. ;)

Millar said...

I'm an underground iced coffee drinker. (: It kind of sprinkled today and I think it was for you! Hope things get better.

Brittan said...

ah meg, you're the coolest! i think accepting and loving the little things that make you who you are is the quickest way to overcome the darker parts of your life.

Miss Wendy said...

Utah County isn't known for it's coffee houses, but don't worry there are people here in Utah that like the stuff. Like me, for instance.

I have my own Ned, though I never thought to name it. It makes so much sense though to do so, because it is definitely something seperate from myself. I hope he doesn't gain control again, I know how hard all nonsense is to deal with. You are awesome and I don't like to see awesome people have anything but an awesome day :)

kara lynn said...

i believe familiarity is one of the best things to tame fears and anxieties especially in unfamiliar situations. i love reading your internal experiences, though minimal on the exterior, you live a transformation in those deep, but simple experiences incidents. love you girl!

Dia said...

As a child, I used to sip coffee from my father's cup, while my mom wasn't in the kitchen, because she didn't agree for children to drink coffee. But my father's coffee was weak and sweet. Then, when I grew up, I began criticizing the people that have the habit of drinking coffee. I used to see it as a weakness, this daily need of coffee, and even consider it a vice. Since I've been working early in the morning I've come to the conclusion that coffee is something necessary. I'm a religious person, but I've never thought drinking coffee is wrong, religiously speaking. It's not a drug, it's not disrespectful to one's own life to drink it because it doesn't affect one's health, in moderate quantities. It's a question of taste in the end. Just like tea. And, to be sure, it's tasty, especially with nutmeg and cinnamon :D It's actually nice to have such a habit. It gives one stability, a quiet moment with oneself.

Emily said...

Coffee is such a comfort in it's smell, warmth, and general creamy deliciousness! But many times I don't like how jittery I get - how it affects how I feel. So I usually get a single shot latte or Dunkin Donut's iced coffee, neither of which produce a real "buzz" as they say or change in personality. My heart goes out to you, dear, and you power through this time. You are so smart and talented, I know you can persevere!

Jo said...

I find comfort in routine and in coffee. I'm right there with you, lady! Xox

Monica said...

You're taking back your life one step at a time, and helping others to do the same. Keep it up, Meg!

I have a long email in the "draft" section, coming your way. I'm glad you liked your hike/climb!

Caitlin said...

I just moved from a small town in the rural South to Philadelphia. Change is a lonely business, but in the mornings, when the city is still and the heat has yet to make its way from the pavement to my apartment, I always make coffee. It is mine alone to savor and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top never hurts, either. So drink away, Meg! I think doing one (relatively) small thing, just for you, can really ground a person. I hope your morning coffee helps you as much as mine helps me.