Finding the New Normal (Coffee Shop Scribblings #1)

I ran away from home to cure my cabin fever, to think, and to have a mini adventure that extends beyond my bedroom, the kitchen, and the complicated lives of the Forsyte family (the period drama my mom and I have been sucked into for the past week and a half.) Since my beloved Red Tree Coffee closed last year, I’ve made it my goal to try other coffee shops around Nashville. The Well in Green Hills is the first on my list. I love the anonymity of a new coffeehouse where I can sit and watch people… and write about them. :)

 (side note: a friend and I have a habit of making occasional notes on what our soundtrack is while we write each other, and I’m feeling in the mood to do that today, so bear with me. I’m listening to the Saint-Saens Symphony #3 at the moment; its glorious, and sends shivers all up and down my spine every single time I hear it.)

There’s a lot of Suits here. I guess this shouldn’t surprise me, seeing as we’re in Green Hills. Mr. Leather-pants-both-ears-pierced-neon-yellow-pocket-square just walked in. You don’t just overlook an outfit like that. My guess is that he’s in either fashion, or fancy penthouse home décor. There’s a mentor/prayer meeting to my left, and pink-macbook-girl (with amazing purple socks!) just in front of me. I think I’m the only PC in the place. #countercultural or #poorstudent? you decide.
I came here with more purpose than just people watch(judge)ing… I was going to work on job applications and plotting my course for these next few months, but I forgot that my borrowed laptop (you’ve decided on #poorstudent now) has a prejudice against joining unfamiliar wi-fi networks, so I’m off line, writing pencil and paper today. It’s actually good, as I’ve been needing to think on paper recently. The spring semester started at Bryan today, but I’m done ( I’m done!) so I’m not there. (Musical interlude: Norah Jones. “Come Away With Me”. I love the swishing brush on the drums in this one. It sounds like a soft, misting rain. What is it about Norah that just fits coffee shops?) I’m trying not to keep wishing that I was back at school, trying not to post melancholy statuses, and trying not to drag my friends down with my mood, but the truth is this: I’m a little lost at the moment… just drifting. For 4 years, my “normal” has been college. For 2 ½ of that, its been Bryan. Those 2 ½ years have been some of the best of my life. I’m not gonna lie; this is hard. 

My favorite read-aloud of my elementary school days was Carry On Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham, the story of Nathaniel Bowditch, a mathematician who revolutionized celestial navigation. His work, published in the book The New American Practical Navigator is still being used today in the U.S. Navy. As a boy, he was indentured out to a ships chandlery because his family had fallen on hard times. Nat (as he is called in the book) was a brilliant boy and should have been furthering his education instead of learning a trade so young, and this was hard for him. To use the seafaring terminology of the book, the wind was taken out of his sails. An older man comes alongside him at this point and tells him that he has a choice to make. He can either bemoan his situation and just sit there, becalmed, going no-where, or he can put out his oars and “sail by ash breeze” (ash being the commonly used wood for making oars in that day) till the wind picks back up. It’ll be hard work, but at least he’ll be going somewhere and doing something. 

This is my choice… I can sit here pining for the old normal—what I was used to—or I can pick up my oars and begin to row till I figure out what I’m doing and where I’m going—till I find a new normal.
 So this is me: trying out new coffee shops (but still drinking old favorites), listening to good music, applying children’s literature to life and finding the new normal.

 I am, and shall remain, your faithful scribbler,


  1. I'm so proud of you, darling! School isn't the same without you by my side. I don't feel like I have a normal right now either, and that is probably a very good thing. It makes for some good adventures. :)

    1. "Adventure is out there!"
      We'll both adjust to our lives as they are now, have no fear. :)