Often, I wander to a local coffee shop to do my writing. I have come to associate the scents and tastes of overly priced coffee with ease and creativity. It helps that my particular brand of coffee is laden with chocolate and peppermint. There is a particular store of a particular chain that I frequent the most due to its proximity to my home. And the fact that they have this lovely little table in the corner, right next to the door, with an outlet. I enjoy wedging myself in the corner, my back safely protected by the wall behind me, and my eyes on the door, ready for trouble should it arise.
Sidenote: My spouse says I’m paranoid.
Secondary sidenote: I am not paranoid.
I’m just very cautious.
After a very long day yesterday, a day spent hanging out with my spouse’s family– who are lovely– and walking around a mall, and just generally being surrounded by people and noise, I retreated, spouse in tow, to this very store. I had coffee, I had my laptop. And I had no concentration.
My focus was scattered, I was emotionally and physically exhausted, and I simply couldn’t muster the brain power to write anything. It was a frustrating experience. Atop all of that, this store was playing only country music.
I do not associate good things with country music. In my misspent youth, the time I spent listening to it was also a time filled with drama, pain, and great emotional turmoil. After the long, incredibly anxious day, after being surrounded by people constantly, after having my plans change time and time again, now there was the insult of country music and, specifically, a song strongly associated with an ex.
I wanted to run away. I wanted to hide. I wanted this with a deep, primal longing. And, I didn’t give in. My spouse helped by setting a time minimum for us to remain. That gave me time to tolerate my distress and, eventually, pass through it into a calmer state.
The human mind is an amazing thing, and the spirit is quite resilient.
Safe journey today, dear travellers. Difficult strides are proof of your growth.