Exhausted and irritable from being on a bus for five hours, I make my way to a small coffee shop where I can drop my many bags and move my body. Sitting here with a warm cup of mint tea, I realized how important the small, seemingly insignificant things are for getting me through the day.

I’m talking about those really small things, like walking into the bathroom of a local coffee shop and seeing ‘hey baby’ carved into a wooden baby changing table when I’m feeling ragged, sweaty, and lonely, wishing I had more interesting plans for my Saturday night than sitting in a cafe and going home to watch law & order in bed. Things like stealing a roll of toilet paper for your house, half-listening to a barista you went on a date with earlier this year tell you for the thousandth time about their aches and pains, their obsession with Phish and how bored they get at work, and being granted an awkward smile from a one-night stand’s friend and having that be a reminder of how much better it is that they’re not in your life.

Or, the way the harsh smoke fills your lungs and sends a rush to your head and the knowledge that really, you should not be smoking - should never have started in the first place, what would your family think! - and the comfort in seeing the faces of people you see all the time but have never spoken to, and the way your heart starts to race when you see that smug, flirtatious person that you just can’t seem to figure out.

And the way your off-key voice fills the nighttime air when you’re walking home past the cemetery and the school and the houses you see at least twice a day, the overwhelming, bittersweet desire and longing to hold and be held by a person who, in the end, only makes you feel terrible about yourself anyway, a stranger’s attempt to make friendly conversation with you when you’re just too tired and sick of traveling to hold up your end, and the knowledge that at the end of the night, you have a warm, soft bed to curl up in and that tomorrow you will wake up to sunshine streaming in through your windows.

When things get bad, try to remember how much you have and how much you have to give. if you can’t, sit down and write. Write until your fingers are numb, until you’ve written all of the scattered words and thoughts and dreams out of your system, write until all you want to do is lay down on the kitchen floor and sleep for the rest of your life, write until the moon goes down, the sun comes up, and you’re left with all of the words you didn’t know you had in you.

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