There is nothing, NOTHING like running to the doorway of the WAY ALREADY in-progress final, stopping short at the door to try to catch your breath, and seeing the arched eyebrow of your professor with the, "You had BETTER have a really good excuse, kid," look on her face. I mean seriously, it's been 19 years, and I have yet to replicate that feeling in its entirety. I won't lie, there have been moments that have come close, accelerated heartbeat to the point it might burst (I had to run up to Merrill from Cowell via Cardiac Hill for those UCSC stalkers, I mean readers), hilariously out of breath, with a million and one thoughts racing through my head (NEVER before had anything like this happened to me, ME! OMG I am going to fail my first class, EVER! What a schoolgirl!), and trying really really hard not to cry (amazingly enough? I must have been a much tougher person back then, cuz I didn't, not even after I was told that I could still attempt the exam, but my end time would be the same as everyone else's.) I might have experienced the individual items on their own (except now I cry), but not yet again all together.
Coffee betrayed my young trusting self and so I dumped it. Bitter elixir whose taste I actually like. A lot. I must, I mean, I happily make coffee flavored ice cream at the drop of a hat! I don't know what happened to my coffee maker, but very shortly thereafter it was replaced by my rival hot water heating um thingie and my morning ritual became a lovely cup of Earl Grey tea, hot. (You know I had to say it.) And an afternoon cuppa. So intense was my anger, determination, and will power (weeelll, and possibly the increase in cancer stick inhalation may have helped, a lot), that I gave it up without (too) much of an issue. It was possibly this success (more than the nagging of my then boyfriend) that also may have given me the same drive to start quitting the smoking habit I'd taken to (it took years. Do as I say and not as I did, as I quote Grandmaster Flash, "Just don't do it.")
And yeah, I've had a love/hate relationship with the stuff ever since. Given my druthers I choose tea, not coffee. Milky, lovely tea. Earl Grey (hot, hee hee), Darjeeling, Ginger Peach, Mango Ceylon...Tea I will sit and linger over. Coffee, and I'm thinking of the YEARS when I took it back, I treated rough, I'd pound it down like a shot. It was not enjoyed, but the item to get me out the door. Then, once settled in at work, I could have my lovely cup of fragrant tea. And when the guilt of drinking coffee with poisoned and sugary (but yummy) French Vanilla non-Dairy Creamer finally filled my old UCSC-hippie heart, it wasn't. It was a little more painful (no cancer sticks to make the process a little less harsh), but thankfully I discovered Chai Tea Lattes. Don't ask me why, but that just fit the bill nicely.
Something's changing again, though...I can blame the allergies, I can blame my inability to sleep through the night...(I'm thinking I need to try this sleep schedule, it can't hurt at this point as 4 hours a night is just not cutting it). I can maybe also blame my brain for not being able to stop and chill. Too many things rolling through it these days, 99% work related. New job, WAY NEW STRESSES, way new things to learn...and my one lovely cup of tea in the morning...just not working.
The other day I had the revelation that I feel like I've been dumped into a grad school program (with all the learning and constant brain melting I'm experiencing) that I actually never thought I'd sign up for, like, ever. In fact, that might have been the last time I worked around a four-hour sleep schedule...and it was work. If I wasn't teaching I was biking to class, or working on lesson plans, or correcting papers. Sleep happened sometime after 2 AM, and I was at school ready to teach at 7 AM. And yeah, there might have been coffee around then too, hanging out in the shadows, calling me over, promising me that this time it would be different...
Ugh, coffee, I wish I knew how to quit you. But at least this time I'm not hiding behind the ultra processed creamer or fancy pants mocha concoctions. That seems too much like dessert to me now. Milk, sugar, ground beans, and water. Mmmm, and now I must go have some...urgh.