2 Hours in a Teahouse

The last few days have been stressful (self-induced, of course. All stress is.) A lot of it concerns the future, which especially now is precariously balanced on more than a few things. Two consecutive days of melting down later, I finally found some peace and courage.

For the past year I have been working hard at graduating a year early from school. Easier said than done, and after some time it became my full time mindset: graduate fast and get out of school asap. Every moment of my 19 credit semester and three class summer and extra internships was driven by this thought process. 

But, here I am, terrified of having to go through another grueling semester. Already stressed before the stress is even supposed to begin. Now,I’m just scared of letting everyone down, everyone who was impressed at my drive to get school done and over with.

I decided to start today my favorite way: breakfast at Starbucks with my laptop and free internet.I researched my options, figured out some finances, made appointments to discuss different ways to complete my degree. It felt good, and it cleared my mind. I felt a little braver, and able to sit calmly with an uncertain future.

Then I went down to my favorite spot in DC: Georgetown. I stopped by Lush (my new favorite store) and planned a romantic evening for my partner. I probably spent too much time talking about social justice issues with the store associates who love those things too.

Finally I walked into a teahouse on the way to the waterfront. I literally sat for two hours, drinking tea, writing down Chinese characters and speaking in Mandarin to the waitress. It was so internally cleansing to just sit without internet or texting or mindless scrolling and befriend a stranger. On my way out, she gave me a beautiful Chinese New Year card.

Now, I’m sitting on front of the river that snakes around DC. It’s calm, and clear and amid all the city sounds, peaceful. The sun is out (my favorite thing in the world) and I’m not drowning in fear for something I can never know for sure. I might not have all my answers yet, but at least I am being more present than I was.

Stay fearless, kind, and hopeful,

Marta

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