I have a ridiculously difficult time accepting things offered by others, especially strangers. As the oldest sibling, cousin, grandchild, teacher, and Taurus sun and moon, I was born with the implicit need to make certain all others had everything they needed before I attempted to serve myself.
Yesterday, I trekked to my favorite little coffeeshop in Columbus in the hopes of working on my new passion project and for a lift of my spirits. I arrived to a literal full house, even at the counter, with the exception of the time-worn leather sofa where I’ve sequestered myself with a book many times. Despite being disheartened, I took my latte to the sofa, where I’ve also written a good many journal and draft pages over the years with a coffee carefully balanced on the cushion beside me, but not this time. I promptly splashed some of the carefully frothed fern on the cushion. Unfazed but slightly embarrassed, I cleaned it up and sat down to start working.
A few rough paragraphs into my session, the gentleman at the nearest table engrossed in his coffee and a newspaper looked up to offer me his table for writing. There was one small open spot at the counter and he didn’t need an entire table to spread out and read–would I like it?
Of course I hesitated. I hate the idea of uprooting someone, anyone, from their space, especially on a sunny summer morning by the window. I was settled, I could make do, no problem, but the space of a table really felt good to me. In that moment, I realized that as the perpetual giver, learning to receive without expectation is a lesson I needed to work on.
I accepted, but not without several inquiries as to if he was certain. I mean, would he have asked me and then taken the offer back if I’d said yes? He moved to the counter, I moved to the table, and the draft of a six page article I hadn’t even begun to contemplate in my sofa space poured out of me as fast as my pen could keep up. If I get that piece into publication, I know who to thank.