With a snap of the finger and a pour from my favorite mug—I let the last drops of my addiction slide down the sink. The part of me that lingered on to the deeply aromatic and carefully roasted coffee beans was waning. I decided to cut the dark and rich beverage out of my life. I would no longer let the slightly bitter drink affect my health. I now lean on the herbal essence of tea instead. However, I worried that I would lose my identity. No longer the coffee-addicted writer, I would have to fuel my fire with natural energy.
I recently gave up coffee for good. There have been several attempts before during the 40 days of Lent when I abstained from the stimulant, but I always went in with the intention that I would leave holding my warm cup of Joe as though nothing happened. It never crossed my mind to think about removing coffee permanently from my life.
Coffee entered my life when I was twelve years old. I took a sip of the stuff behind my parents back and was hooked immediately to the taste. After lunch in middle school, I would occasionally let my old soul wander back to the cafeteria’s kitchen. I would chat with the lunch ladies over coffee and cream. Every adult that handed me a cup of the stuff found it amusing that a small twelve-year-old going on 50 enjoyed chatting with adults while sipping the hot brewed beverage. The drink seemed as though it became a part of my story, and I felt as though it evolved into an interesting part of me.
I saw myself as a lover of words, art, nature, and coffee. Like a structural element of the cosmos, I elevated coffee to sit far above the stars. There were so much weight and history behind the liquid. Long nights designing architectural models in the studio, early mornings typing up now published stories in print on my laptop, and late sunny afternoons meeting past loves for the first time. There was a time when I could never let this drink go, but now as I age and see all the things that I have accomplished so far in life, I know that I can continue achieving amazing things without it.