This is a simple good morning, right here. With some effort, I come up with a couple really first-rate topics on which I could be writing.  I sip my coffee, and make a note elsewhere. I add them to the running list of potential topics for other days. (While each new idea this morning is certainly worthy of my attention at some point, they do not hold my attention this morning.)

I contentedly sip my coffee without concern over waking up later than usual, or falling asleep earlier than usual last night. It’s not cause for panic, and unlike nights that are short on sleep, the deviation from my routine is likely healthy rather than potentially harmful – I probably needed the rest. Yesterday was a hot day, and I walked to and from work, and did so also over my lunch break. I enjoyed somewhat longer routes, too, beating my loose goal of exceeding 5 miles a day of walking. I did enough yoga, before and after work, to ease stiff joints – and enough to ‘get some exercise’, too. Tired at the end of the day seems reasonable. I didn’t even ‘over sleep’ my alarm; I woke and reset it for another half an hour of sleep. (There are some nice advantages to getting up so early each day.) There’s no stress over any of this… only coffee.

Enough.

Enough.

I sip the fragrant dark roast and wonder just a bit at how obviously it is ‘not my favorite’. Having moved into my own place, and finally feeling really ‘settled in’, I am finding moments of surprise that my taste has changed, or that I didn’t understand some detail about myself better. I did not expect that there truly would be a ‘getting to know me’ stage in all this – as with building any new relationship. Who is this woman in the mirror? When did she stop preferring the very darkest roasted coffee? When did she start being okay with sleeping in now and then – even on a work day?! I rub my eyes sleepily, and continue to sip my coffee – daydreaming about the Brazilian coffee I had just the other day. (It was a small sample, only, and it is gone – utterly enjoyed to the finish.) Is that the coffee I most enjoy? What else about me is not who I expected to find on the other side of the mirror?

Who am I “really“?  What does that question mean? In a world so driven to perform, to compete, to ‘measure up’, to achieve, to present an ideal image – I guess I am not surprised to find that in a safe, calm space, characterized by day-to-day contentment, I am able to explore details of who I am – and find surprises. Too much precious time is spent ‘selling ourselves’ to the world, or trying to be something someone else wants. Giving up on that is a start, but apparently like any journey… simply beginning down the path of authenticity is just a start to a much more involved process. I spend enough time with myself, in gentle solitude, that I can hear the softest voice within expressing those preferences that have been beat down, held down, and twisted for far too long.

I actually do like my coffee black, most of the time. It is my preference. Adding half and half and something sweet is nice for a treat now and then, but it isn’t my day-to-day preference at all. I didn’t know that until I moved into this space, alone with my coffee and my choices. Where espresso beverages are concerned, a simple vanilla latte is my favorite – and I like it best made by my traveling partner (his are without question the very best lattes for texture, temperature, mouth feel, and given the right beans, for flavor as well) – but lattes are a treat. Calorie laden and creamy, they are very much a dessert sort of thing, for me.

There is a lot to learn about myself. I’m living in an environment where the “I” in “who I am” really stands out – good qualities and those less good as well. I am learning how much of my day-to-day experience of the past has been compromised to better suit other people over the years. I lost my way here and there, and wandered off a path I didn’t know I was following. I allowed myself to cave to pressure to conform, to change, to be something other than the creature I am…and didn’t follow-up with me, to find out who this person is, resting within this fragile vessel, and to make sure her needs are met, too. There’s joy in getting to know me, in becoming comfortable with myself, even in finding out that I prefer my tuna casserole with broccoli instead of peas, and that I like the mushroom sauce to be made from scratch using crimini mushrooms…and that I like to top it with fried onions. Those things are not ‘important’ taken one by one… but if I spend my lifetime doing things in the fashion that most suits others, when do I take time for me? At what point must I acknowledge that I don’t know me, anymore, and question who the hell those others think they are involved with, in the first place? (Cuz… it may not be me.)

I will, thanks. :-)

I will, thanks. 🙂

It’s a quiet morning over my coffee, content to listen to morning become day through the open patio door, and content to feel the soft breezes cooling the apartment. Contentment is quite a lovely feeling. Today is a good day for contentment, and a good day to know myself.