I've made a change in my life. I've decided to start drinking tea.
It was so chilly in my office this morning that, on a total whim, I made a cup of tea (all supplies courtesy of the company). As I sipped my steaming hot Orange Pekoe with one sugar, memories of another cold place came flooding back.
When I was 19 and living in London, I used to drink tea every day. You know, when in London, do as the Londoners do. But it was mostly due to the influence of one of my Professors. She was an actual Lady (married to a Lord) and took her tea every afternoon in our classroom with a China cup and saucer.
For some reason the process fascinated me. I used to study her every move. The way she poured, how much milk and sugar she used, how she held her cup. Even how she would sip. She took slow, tiny sips. The act of drinking at its most refined.
There I was, a trancedelic techno music lover with a pierced nose and bleached hair, studying Architecture and Theater in one of the coolest cities in the world. I wore ripped jeans (bought at Camden Market) and blue Dr Martens. And I was desperate to drink tea like a Lady.
I bought myself some Earl Grey and made a cup of tea every morning on a hot plate in my room. I liked it milky, with one cube of sugar. For a special treat I'd sometimes eat it with shortbread biscuits covered in chocolate. At the time I thought clubbing was the greatest thing that London had to offer, but now I look back more fondly on those moments with my hot cup of tea. I'd often drink it out on my balcony, which I had to climb through a large window to get to, listening to the sounds of the neighborhood. And to myself.
By the time I left for home, I could speak in one hell of a London accent, as expected, but I was also an excellent tea drinker. Unfortunately, my newly adored habit didn't last more than a week once back in the States.
This morning's cup of tea took me right back to those wonderful, cold days in London. To what it felt like to be young and smart and on an exciting adventure. And how sure of myself I used to be. The feeling was so strong, I felt like I could reach out and touch it.
I've been floundering a bit lately. Not unhappy, but not totally okay, either. It's a strange limbo to be in. My life is a blessed one, but there is so much to do I'm totally and utterly overwhelmed. And it's not that I mind having all of these responsibilities, but I need something that makes all the hard work worthwhile. Something that makes me feel like I'm more than just all the things I have to do.
This morning I caught a glimpse of what I needed. To reclaim a moment of time that makes me feel like me. Just me. The person I am when I wrap my hands around a cup of hot tea and let my To Do lists slide away behind my hopes and dreams. Like I used to do on that balcony.
I may be investing a lot in a little cup of tea, but life really is about the little things. The small pleasures that keep us going. I think I may have found one of mine.
Though I'm going to have to buy a much finer stash of tea than what's offered for free at my work. If I'm going to have tea, I'm going to have it the right way. With shortbread biscuits covered in chocolate a very likely possibility.