For the past two weeks, I’ve been wracking my brain with ways to keep myself busy while in Texas. If I’m being completely honest, I’m definitely a “Type-A” kind of girl, prioritizing productivity and structure above flexibility and spontaneity. I like routine, I like planning, and I like knowing what’s going on. With so much free time on my hands, it’s been a challenge to schedule my days with enough structure to keep me sane.
About a week ago, I found myself in a mental slump: My mind was racing with negative, dark, ineffective thoughts. Peering through the tall glass doors of my bedroom patio, I sat atop my bed with my thoughts, hoping that allowing myself to experience the array of feelings bubbling up would lead to their eventual alleviation. Unfortunately, the feelings did not dissipate, and I felt even more stuck as time passed by. In an effort to create a change of scenery for myself, I decided to go on a walk. It was a warm, sunshine-y day in Texas, so why not take advantage of the opportunity to be outside? I thought to myself, maybe I just need some fresh air. I grabbed my backpack, fully equipped with my journal and my laptop, slipped on my cotton Mary Janes, and stepped into the bright sunlight.
I took a few deep breaths and let the warm sunshine permeate my being with each step I took. After walking a few blocks, I found myself on Rawlins Street, where I noticed an enticing, familiar green and white sign. As I neared the sign, the familiarity was confirmed: Starbucks. I opened the door to see a long line of eager, caffeine-deprived individuals. My eyes darted around the coffeeshop, where I was able to locate an empty high-top table. It was in that very moment I decided that I had found my new spot: My new sanctuary for when the weight of my reality felt insurmountable, inescapable, and impossibly heavy.
Believe it or not, it was in this Starbucks that I created and posted my first blog on The Expressive Articulate. I had been yearning for a fresh start, a way to use a passion of mine as a creative outlet for both myself and helping others. Since the very first day I found this Starbucks, I’ve visited every day thereafter to work on my blog from that same high-top table. It’s nice to have somewhere to go when everything feels like too much; somewhere to go to get my creative brain juices flowing freely in a productive, effective manner. Now that I have declared this Starbucks as my sanctuary, it’s somewhere I look forward to visiting each day. It has quickly become a part of my daily routine, regardless of how the day pans out–be it terrible or wonderful. Making time for myself to trek a few blocks to my sanctuary on Rawlins Street satisfies my innate desire to plan, organize, and be productive.
Despite how uncomfortable and distressing that mental slump felt, I look back on it with a heart full of gratitude. Had I not decided to venture outside that day–had I instead stayed inside, feeling the weight of my emotional state envelope me into a deeper, darker slump–I wouldn’t have discovered my Starbucks sanctuary on Rawlins Street. I also wouldn’t have began publicly writing again, sharing my words on my blog. It’s crazy how life works itself out sometimes, isn’t it? I’m a firm believer in the adage, “everything happens for a reason.” While we may not always know the reason in that particular moment, sometimes we have no other option other than to ride out that discomfort and uneasiness and see where it takes us. Because sometimes, it can lead us to something entirely new, in the place we least thought to expect it.