Do you ever do your work in a coffee shop? Maybe that’s not common. I guess it might be something left largely to aspiring writers and post-grad kids trying to figure out what’s next while they live back home with their parents. I spent two and a half glorious months doing this in 2010. Sometimes I miss it.

I don’t miss the uncertainty. That made me crazy.

I miss the noise; the hum of the machines; the buzz of people chatting softly over steamed milk and espresso mixtures.

I miss the grinding of beans, and the baristas fast-paced motions behind the counter.

I miss shuffling my papers from one page of job applications to the next, and wondering how anyone fits everything she needs on one of these tiny circular tables.

I remember the day I found out I’d been hired for my first job in news. I was going to be a real journalist, not just a kid who plays one a couple of days a week at an internship. Somewhere in the thrill (and it was a thrill) of finally realizing my journalism dreams, I missed a moment to grieve the loss of such a deliciously sensory time in my life.

In my most frequent daydreams I romanticize big cities. Sometimes the picture that plays is me walking quickly down a sidewalk by myself, surrounded by thousands of strangers moving faster than I am. They’re all too busy to care where I’m headed. I like the idea of just going along with my business among a crowd doing the same. More often than that, my daydreams are just me sitting in a quiet corner of a bustling big city coffee shop. I’m tuning out the grinding, and chatting, and buzzing while I write. I never know what I’m writing, maybe it’s the kind of self-involved blather you’ve powered through in these past two minutes. Maybe it’s something more important, better. I don’t know what it is. I only know writing is what I’m always doing in these thoughts.

Most often when I daydream I’m quietly enjoying a loud space and filling a page with ideas that are all my own. There’s something to be said for consistency in dreams, and for a loud girl who sometimes just wants to be quieter than her surroundings.

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