Coffee and Thankfulness

Bad days follow good days the same way good days follow bad. I’m glad I’ve come to realise this and develop some kind of ability to take things as they come to me. Sure, I complain a lot. Anyone who knows me knows that I complain about almost everything. At the same time though, I’ve begun to be more thankful for things too. Maybe it’s because recently a lot of good things have been happening to me. It could also be that I am choosing to do so in order to cope with the not so good things that are happening to me as well. I realise that even as I complain about awful customers and rude adults and mentally insane weather, I am thankful for receiving a day off, having enough time to cook a meal for myself, being able to sing a song in front of a meagre audience.

I am currently at work drinking my second medium-sized cup of dark roast coffee with almond milk and three sugars from Dunkin’ Donuts. I was enjoying my coffee and singing in my head while looking off at the scenery through the windows. I realised that my state was one of calm and unconcern. I wasn’t worried or annoyed about anything. I love moments like that, because they do not happen often. Then an image of me writing came to mind.

I’m astounded that I’ve even been posting these days. When the semester started I thought I wouldn’t be able to write anything till it was over because of how busy I was going to be, but here I am writing. Here I’ve been writing.

I’m thankful for every time I’ve written something and posted it on here. I’m thankful for every person who has read what I have written, and for each new follower of this blog. Receiving notifications from WordPress that people have liked my writing and have decided to follow it has been a great source of joy recently, which is a welcome change from constantly feeling tired and bogged down with assignments.

I like this new thankfulness thing. And I like when I realise I’m doing it. I like this change in myself. And I like that it’s finally occurring.

Four Espresso Shots in a Venti Cup

Probably didn’t make a difference – all that coffee. Four espresso shots in that venti cup. I always romanticise that shit. I’m going to drink coffee and feel awake and be able to read and not fall asleep. I’ll be able to make use of the two hours I have between my internship and work and when I get to work I’ll be able to function too. I’ll be alert and awake and not spend the whole shift trying not to fall asleep. This will be great. The hell it is. And now I sound like the people in the book I’m reading for my anthropology class who say goddammit and hell in at least every other sentence, who yell with crusty voices – who always yell – and scream and shout everything.

Hell.

I’m just trying to finish this damn semester. (There I go again.) And I’m not even supposed to be at work right now. But I really want to get a social work job after I graduate in May, so I think I have to go to this event on Thursday – when I’m really supposed to be working – so I asked to have my shift changed to today. And I’m tired.

Dammit.

But the semester is almost over, so I just need to hang in there, which I think I can do. I mean, I have to. And then there’s next semester and graduation and moving and South Korea and grad school and I don’t even know why I keep thinking about this stuff when it’s so far away. I mean it’s not really far away, but I have pressing matters at hand right now that I really need to pay attention to. But making trouble for myself looks like something I’m good at doing.

No, probably didn’t make much difference – those four espresso shots in that venti cup.

No

No. I don’t want to take your advice. I don’t want to make a life decision based on something you said, or wrote down on beautiful, brown-stained paper with artistic lines crawling all over its digital surface.

I don’t want to take your typewritten words to heart and doubt my relationship – the one you know nothing about, the one you say isn’t good enough, the one you say I’m settling for. I don’t want to think that he is a great person, because sometimes you decide to tell me that he is, that I should be grateful for him and not cast him aside because of whatever “better” I think is waiting for me around the corner. I don’t want to worry about how well we suit each other because on a particular day you point out one of his flaws – one that I already know about – and use that as reason enough for him not to be good enough. For me. Me, who can’t do half of what he can, who has no interest in even learning, and who is amazed that he can do so much, being only one person. Me, who sometimes is the one not good enough to be with (I already know that – thank you very much) because I’m not sure where we’re going (though I still want to go there).

No. I’m not a Jamaican based on the many items that are on your several lists. I am a Jamaican because I was born there and I lived there for the first seventeen years of my life without ever setting foot on foreign soil of any kind. I don’t stop being a “real Jamaican” because I don’t know that one word or that one fruit or because I’ve never had those two meals, or because I don’t know how to cook them! I also say my alphabet properly. And I don’t put the letter “h” where it doesn’t belong. I can be a Jamaican and know how to speak proper English at the same time. I am also very versed in my dialect and will not speak English because I am told to so, because I’ve been in America long enough now, or because you think I “talk bad” which is not even proper English to begin with.

This was supposed to be a rant in opposition to those wonderful memes that appear frequently on my Facebook newsfeed, but I guess I veered off there and included people who like to tell me how to be who I am.

The point is I hate seeing those things and I hate that I pay so much attention to them and who the hell wrote all those things anyway? Who the hell are they to tell me whom I should be with and whom and I shouldn’t settle for and how a “real Jamaican” speaks and how I should live my life?

And will everyone SHUT UP about who is having children and how you’re not? It’s none of your business! And I don’t care. If you don’t like it, then leave it alone. No one asked you. Don’t like the pictures, don’t comment, just keep scrolling – the way I do – or admire the baby for two seconds. Don’t share another one of those stupid memes or make a post of your own talking about it. It’s really annoying.

(Of course this is totally going to the wrong audience, so the people who are doing this and who I want to stop won’t see this post, but I’ve been wanting to say something about this for a while. It’s really been bothering me. A lot of things have been bothering me.)

I will now abruptly end here.

Writing to Remember Who You Are

 

I’m losing interest, falling asleep and getting hungry while trying to do school stuff. I leave the computer and go to the back room to finish a cinnamon roll and some coffee from last night. I’m doing school stuff again, but it’s just not right and I know I can’t get any real work done right now, so I veer off and decide I’m going to continue my sporadic job search which began last week or so. Over to the side of the main screen are ads and one right in the middle is entitled “Writing To Remember Who You Are During A Tough Job Search”. “Writing to remember who you are…” Isn’t that a nice idea? Isn’t that true for so many of us?

How many of us write to remember who we are after being lost in wrong decisions or other people’s expectations? How many of us write to find out who we are after living our whole lives for others? How many times have I done that? How many times have I written because I couldn’t place my finger on, or put a name to, something that was so potent within me, so very present? How many times do I write because I am changing and cannot see it right in front of me, but can only feel it somewhere in the periphery? How many times has writing given strength to memories I didn’t think were strong at all?

I have no idea how writing to remember who you are will help you during a tough job search, or how those things are even related, but writing does help me to preserve memories and discover parts of myself that I don’t readily come into contact with. It allows me to express things that I can’t say out loud, that I can’t say directly to anyone, including myself. It allows me to speak to people and situations that I don’t know exist. It helps me to create pictures in my mind, which is a wonderful compensation for my lack of artistic skill with such things as pencils and paintbrushes. Writing is my music and my art, my dance floor and my canvas.