I am on a first-ever coffee date with myself right now. Yes, Alyssa Cann…Tinnirella (still weird) is sitting in Baker and The Brew, with four chairs, and only one occupied. For those of you who know me, this will likely come as a shock. I don’t do ANYTHING by myself (anxiety is a real bummer). But some changes needed to be made in the way I was handling (letting my anxiety dictate) my new career. Changes including single coffee dates with my computer. And guess what? I did it. And I didn’t even have to call someone on the phone as I walked in (one of my anxiety calming tactics when I’m walking into situations that stress me out). Mom look! I’m a big girl now!
This coffee shop date/exit out of my comfort zone is a long time coming. Every Monday since I started working from home, I would wake up and tell Nick that I am going to spend some time working at the coffee shop this week. He would tell me what a great idea it was, and in my head I would think “shit, now I have to do this.” I said the same thing for the last two months. 8 Mondays. 8 Tuesdays. 8 Wednesdays. You get it. And today is the first day I did it.
Today I decided to make it a point to do one thing for the Alyssa Tinnirella brand. I was going to step out of my house, out of my comfort zone, and try to find inspiration that has been MIA for far too long. So I woke up, put clothes on, quickly dry shampooed my hair into some presentable knot on my head, ignored every message I got from other bosses, pushed myself out the front door, and got outta there before I could convince myself of all the reasons I need to turn around (What if there are no seats? What if it thunders and Jack gets scared? Maybe I should work out instead. How do I plug my computer in? What if the poor ergonomics of their seating arrangements make my pinched nerve flare up? to name a few). I had turned into a borderline hermit.
So here I am! I did it. Just me, myself, and I. Well, and my pumpkin spiced coffee with the best ice this side the Mississippi (they are like little magic ice balls). I’ve got murder mysteries in my headphones, and my fingers feverishly running around this keyboard like a dog that’s been in the house all day when the back door finally swings open. My fingers haven’t moved this fast or with this much intention since a time I can’t even remember. It is like a dam gave way, and everything that has been jammed up inside my head is rushing out. This little spot in the corner is working for me. And almost instantly it’s clear to me that I need to do this more often. When anxiety tries to tether you, pull your hardest to break those binds and get out there. It’s worth it and almost never as scary as it seems from your couch.
It may have taken 8 weeks, but I did it, and my comfort zone has expanded just a little bit. By the time I was finished writing this blog a smile had found its way to my face. Writing clears my mind, changes my mood, and keeps any approaching funk at bay. Even with the rain pounding outside, I felt rejuvenated. As I packed up to go, I noticed my coffee was surrounded by a puddle on the table, watered down beyond recognition and short only a few sips. A $5 donation for peace of mind. I may be hooked.
This date won’t be our last.