I was very early for work today. The original plan was to meet at 8.20am at a supermarket to purchase some prawns for a method validation experiment.
(My friend and I were carrying out our final year project at the research laboratory in one of the local hospitals.)
I however arrived slightly before 7am. It wasn’t a miscalculation of ETA but it most definitely wasn’t intentional either. I walked into the nearby Macs and found an extremely secluded spot. After much contemplation, I got up to get myself a cappuccino. Now, I’m not much of a “coffee-in-the-morning” person. While I love coffee for what it is, it doesn’t exactly make me feel like an energizer bunny. Coffee makes me feel relaxed and puts me in my zone. For some reason, I always saw this as an opportunity to tell myself and the people around me that “I can’t do coffee in the mornings.” “Oh it makes me sleepy.”. Was it a misinterpretation of my own emotions? I don’t really know.
But something felt different today and I went for the cappuccino instead of my regular Milo. I’ve never ordered anything other than a Milo before so I was a little confused about how much sugar I should add. So I didn’t add anything and took my first sip. It. Was. Bitter. It took me a few mins to process that raw taste. In that time, I looked around and saw a couple of working professionals who had ordered the same thing. They were sitting alone, either reading the news online or just having a moment. And even though they were absolute strangers to me, I felt a distinct camaraderie with them. Relating to unfamiliar people on something so deep and unspoken. Ah, this is adulthood I thought.
It’s so easy to get caught up in all the havoc that resumes once You start your day (officially). Business meetings, multiple phone calls, the never-ending emails to reply to and not to mention all the different types of people You’d have to deal with on a daily basis. It just tires You out and puts You in a cranky mood, something that gets reflected on the faces of the people You see going back home during the peak hours. The individuals I saw around me were not here by accident. They weren’t accidentally early. It was completely intentional. They were there at 7am to grab a coffee and have some quality alone time for themselves. A moment of peace if You will, before the day begins.
As 8.20am approaches, I drained my cup of its last drops of coffee. It was bittersweet. The coffee still tasted bitter but my wandering thoughts made it sweeter. I didn’t have to worry about replying to text messages because no one was online. I was not obliged to check my school/work inbox because I was simply existing, in my own world. Surrounded by strangers in the same blissful situation.
So so thankful for the lack of traffic today that allowed me to get to that moment. I had a full hour and 20 mins to myself and it was amazing. I felt rejuvenated. As I was walking to meet my friend, I felt myself walking further away from that little heaven. But I also knew that I’ll be back. 💜