Today at lunch Ricky and I were talking about the state of the universe and, at a given point, I noted that something wasn’t “my cup of tea.”
He stopped me and said, “That’s good, though. Most people don’t know their teas.”
I just love that as a phrase. Know your teas.
I repeated it and then repeated it again before I got back to my story, and now I’m repeating it for a third time. Teas.
I guess they’ve been on my mind a lot lately. Over the weekend I was talking to some dude I’d just met about how I don’t really know what I want to do with myself, but I feel like that’s a solid place to be. Standing at the edge of the canyon of your priorities and having the luxury of asking yourself what you care about. To not be scared shitless by the prospect of saying, “This isn’t enough,” or, “This doesn’t fit,” or whatever the case may be. He smiled and cocked his head at me like I was a charming alien — which is fine — but I don’t think he understood teas at all. To his mind there’s just the thing you love and then pushing really hard at it for as long as possible. Like food? Be a chef.
But there’s something very valuable in the, “I don’t know.”
In making your engine as quiet as possible for a while and hearing your own pulse in your ears and your own breaths through your nose and knowing there’s nothing better or more important than paying attention to just that. Knowing this second and this second and this second and how you feel about them without the weight and the anchor of any of the seconds that came before or might hypothetically come after.
Honoring the part of you that’s an animal, I guess. An organism made to forage and fuck and read eyes and… I don’t know… be faced with challenges beyond deciding whether or not to be the type of woman who cares about pillow shams.
That part of you that, when something falls off the counter, catches it midair. That balls-of-your-feet hyper awareness. Every atom around you legible if you just make enough space to hear the language. To feel when something shifts and then say, “Hey. It’s different in here.”
Maybe too much of being an adult or a first world person or someone behind a computer is having to learn how to cope with ignoring those things. Learning how to smother them or talk about them in a way that’s definitively charming (say “humans” a lot, quote something topical) instead of truthful. But there’s nothing charming about someone coasting through a thesis they don’t love and there’s no merit in wading waist deep through that proverbial quarter life bog with nothing to show for it but your own frustration.
So we cut the engines. We float a while. We hear the waves slap the hull and we assess our teas.
And we thank our fucking lucky stars that we’re still dumb enough to believe that there’s something at stake in this life.
229 Notes/ Hide
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