It would be nice if I could be a vagabond gypsy, at peace with myself and my surroundings. Confident in my own ability, excited by the irregularity of adventure, running simply for the pleasure of feeling free and eating to relish decadent flavors. A woodland fairy, a coastal nymph, a mountainous goddess. With only love for every experience and endless laughter shared by kindred spirits mixed with gratitude for the wonder of living, I would be free of superficial external judgments and expectations, free of internal war and strife, free to surrender to my own potential, appreciate those around me, free to offer to the world the full fruit I know I’m capable of growing.
Unfortunately, for some reason my path has not led me in this direction. I don’t know, man, maybe I was born a couple decades too late or a couple countries too far north or maybe I’m just not meant to be a traveling nature spirit. Who knows. What I do know is this sexy, magical, imaginative-but-still-possible lifestyle lives in my day dreams and my secret thoughts hiding in the reflection of sun on my water glass as I lay outside wondering.
I can make my gypsy fantasy pretty real, if I want to. It really, really helps if I have coffee. Or endorphins.
See, when I drink coffee, almost certainly I feel my mood rising and pulling the gas pedal along with it. I get excited about all the opportunities my future holds, bodily pain is nearly forgotten, and my productivity increases enormously. I laugh more and I talk more. I feel a compelling need to divulge my personal thoughts and secrets or feelings I otherwise wouldn’t share, but somehow it just feels appropriate with caffeine in my bloodstream.
Yes, at 2 pm when the crash hits and I realize that good mood was actually just a product of a stimulant, it’s disheartening and I plop right back down into Frown Land.
BUT. And it’s a big but. I had like 5 hours of happiness! Of excitement and ideas, accomplishment and planning and confidence in my own abilities and opportunities. With the aid of coffee, I CAN be the vagabond gypsy with dreadlocks and feathers in my hair, stinky unshaven armpits and a shamelessly sexy rolling belly, hopping between Latin American towns helping locals and adopting cultures as I move along.
I am the inspiring activist; the insightful, creative writer; the determined student; the accomplished politician; the loving daughter, sister, and partner; I can do ANYTHING. My life fucking rocks!
THIS is how I feel after drinking coffee. (Not to mention the extremely pleasant routine of sitting on a sunny couch with my mom or immersed in the soothing-yet-bustling environment of a coffee shop curled around the best smell/taste ever.)
Again, pulling me back to reality, I know that caffeine highs — or any other high, for that matter — are temporary, illusory, and misleading. There’s a reason alcoholics and drug addicts keep on needing more.
BUT. (There it is again.) When you’ve forgotten what it’s like to be so excited to tackle your to-do list and see where your immediate and long-term future takes you that you can hardly sit still, it’s really, really, really nice to get that feeling again.
Yeah, there are some momentary pleasures or compulsions that we should probably stay away from, e.g. cigarettes, abusive relationships, and heroin. But something like caffeine? (Or chocolate, funny and horrible movies, sex, staying up late with a good conversation/book, distractions like social media to weather a tempting compulsion, hot showers, etc.) I am absolutely aware it’s not a cure-all, or even really part of the solution. I’m crazy hopeful there will be a time in my life (soon?? Please?!?!!???) when I feel genuine excitement and that sunshiney feeling that makes ya just wanna plaster a smile on everyone’s face. I would LOVE for at least a little bit of my journey to take place in the form of a fearless, carefree, earthy gypsy traipsing through the world’s exotic playgrounds. All I can do right now is hope.
In the meantime, if I have a few hours of full-body joy in the morning and taste something delicious in the process, I’m gonna take what I can get.