Recently, a Justin Bieber/swooshy hair/light eyed barista helped me as I ordered a small coffee. The problem was, he came back with a large. With an adorable smile, he said, “Here you go.”
I said, “Oh, sorry, that might not be mine. I ordered a small.”
He looked puzzled, flipped his hair, and laughed, “Oh no! I think I messed it up and gave you a large. That’s ok. You can have it anyway.”
Then, he smiled another perfectly lined white grill smile like It’s your lucky day! More free coffee.
Problem was, I didn’t want his big cup of coffee. I just didn’t want it.
And yet there he was, smiling away.
A big brass band started in my brain.
I DON’T WANT A LARGE. I want a small. I don’t want to drink too much coffee; I’ll feel shaky and sick. But now here is this nice, young, attractive guy. He thinks he’s doing me a favor. I hate good looking people. They make me so nervous. I should just take it. But then I’ll drink it and feel crappy. I should stand up for myself, I’m always people pleasing and telling people it’s ok when it’s not. This is not ok. This is not what I ordered. I’m PAYING for this. I should get what I pay for. I should get what I want. I deserve what I want. Why am I so afraid of good looking people? Why am I so afraid to upset him? Why am I so afraid to say what I want? Why do I always eat the birthday cake, say yes to the event, and say it’s ok when people let me down when it’s not! It’s not OK.
I don’t want this coffee. Say it. SAY it. SAY IT!!!
So then I said it. I said, “Actually, I’d rather have a small.”
He gave a cutesy high-pitched laugh and said, “Oh! OK, no problem.”
And then, he got me a small. And it really was no problem. No problem at all.
The small victories are the first bricks laid in a strong foundation.
Here’s the larger structure: I want what I want. I deserve what I want just as much as other people. What other people want doesn’t come before what I want.
No, that’s not being selfish. It’s called self-care.
For me, a small coffee is nice. A large coffee wouldn’t feel good. I’d end up with a headache. Then guilt.
It feels so much better when my body and my health come first.
Do you think I’m making a big deal about coffee? Do you think I should have just taken something I didn’t want? Do you always just eat the cake, go to another event when you’re tired, and say it’s ok when someone keeps letting you down?
That’s ok. There’s a reason for that. There’s a lesson in it. I get it. You can see how much mental anguish I had over a freaking cup of coffee!
You see, quite often, I’ve put myself last. I’ve said yes when I wanted to say no to extra work, to extra events, to extra food.
But now, I’ve been putting down bricks and building self-care into my to-do list. It’s scheduled on my calendar every day. My physical and mental health gets devoted time and attention. I choose it over everyone else.
Do you think you’ll lose friends as you practice self-care? It could happen. You can silently bless those people and let them go. Your awesome friends will stay: they will be the ones cheering you on and joining you as you do what you want and choose to do.
Say it. SAY it. SAY IT: Your health comes first.
If you’re anything like me, that can be hard to say. But you know what, baristas? I don’t care how good looking you are. I’m not drinking your large coffees.
Say yes to what you want. Say yes to what serves you. Say yes to living healthy and breathing easy.
Cup by cup, say yes to YOU.