Goals for the new normal

Image by Andreea Ilie

This was one of the last cups of coffee I had in a café before socially isolating. It was a white chocolate mocha, and one of the best beverages I’ve ever treated myself to. The Young Man Who Keeps To Himself made it-although I’d go there every day to write, I am so embarrassingly bad with names that I could never remember his, although it was always right there, golden letters lasered on the black of his nametag. But he made the best coffee out of everyone who worked there, of that I am sure.


I remember that was a particularly good day. It was warmer than usual, so I went outside and found a small table in a corner, hidden behind the backs of a small crowd of university students doing school work or tutoring each other. Math and something that had to do with engineering, and they used really nice yellow and orange highlighters, that really stood out in neatly drawn lines from their books, as I walked past them-see, that I can remember.


Before drinking it, I arranged the cup on the table and took about five pictures of it. It was perfect. I got some side glances, but went ahead and kept smiling at the frothy  swirl that looked up at me through my phone screen. This was one image I wanted to keep for the books. You see, I’m the sort of person who always goes for the best of both worlds-wanting to enjoy the moment and be fully present, yet trying to capture it for future, inquisitive eyes, be they as they mostly are, my own. Inevitably, then, a lot more of what I strive to keep gets lost than I want to admit.


I took my first sip and was  blown away. It tasted exactly how self-love feels. Balanced. Bold. Then, I went on the café website and checked how many calories it had. Enough to skip dessert that day, and the next. I put the number in my calorie counting ap..
Before the pandemic, I would waste a lot of time fuelling my own misery, I now see. I wouldn’t blame it on socially-imposed beauty standards, history or the industries that promote them, no. I am my own woman and I know very well what I’m doing to myself, with my time: missing moments, depriving myself of joy, directing my attention towards the most subtle yet efficient ways of self-harm.

Once I’m out, that will have to stop.