Today I was going to finish all the characters to my book, and I needed to get out of my apartment. So, I threw on a pair of jeans, an old Rolling Stones tee-shirt, my black chucks, grabbed my laptop, and headed to my favorite coffee shop in town. Parking was crazy, but that isn’t usual in Nashville these days, but the amount of people at my coffee spot, left me speechless. Didn’t they know this was MY spot? A spot once protected from all the bachelorette parties of Nashville. Clearly, someone let out my secret and now not only were there four or five brides-to-be in my coffee shop, but I also spotted a few grooms-to-be with their “bros” clogging up the counter and all of the tables. I turned right around and wondered when was it that brides and grooms took over the man bun in Nashville. Have I been living under a rock, or did I just not leave the comfort of my apartment overlooking the city from afar often enough? Either way, my view from my fancy apartment has prevented me from the horror that is the bachelorette and bachelor parties, and here it was hitting me in the face like someone threw a cold craft beer in my face, and I was horrified.
As I climbed back into my little Fiat grumbling like an old lady, I drove to a coffee shop I had been wanting to try for years but was never comfortable leaving my usual spot. I pulled into the parking lot just as a millennial was getting in her cute little car that, no doubt, daddy paid for, and just sit there. Iced coffee in one hand, phone in her other hand, she was oblivious to my little Fiat patiently waiting for her to back out of that spot and because it is not polite to honk your horn in Nashville, I waited…and waited…and waited and then alas, the old lady in me lost my patience, and I decided to head to another coffee place. After all, there are almost more coffee shops than hipsters in Nashville, how hard could it be on a Friday at 10 am to find one that wasn’t busy. The answer to that question is impossible.
I ended up in East Nashville at a spot I have never been, and it was surprisingly empty. It was empty because it sucked, but it was empty. I got a coffee and climbed into a booth, put on my headphones, pulled out my laptop, and started to write. It took me about 10 seconds to get distracted by the book of face, and I started to look at my profile like I didn’t know who I was; like a stranger would, or someone who knew me a long time ago. I remembered back to when I lived in Pennsylvania, and I came across a couple of pictures from that time. One was my driver’s license from 1997, and I have used that picture before on an entirely different blog post, it stops me in my tracks everytime I see it and today was no different. I sat and stared at my driver’s license picture. I had just turned 30, was newly divorced, and so insecure and I just stared at that picture and wondered why I was so insecure. I was so young looking, I had great hair, and I was pretty. I took out my current driver’s license and looked at it, really just looked at that picture. I had just turned 50, married for almost 15 years, and so secure of myself. I have gray hair now, it is much shorter with a streak of purple, and I certainly look older.
There are still parts of me that are the same as that 30-year girl. My skin is still as soft as it was back in 1997, I still have bouts of self-doubt, but I am secure in myself, and that is prettier, dare I say, sexier than not. As I sat in that horrible coffee place in a booth amongst the hipsters, I wish I could have been sitting across from the girl from my Pennsylvania driver’s license. I would tell her all she had to do was be more confident, more comfortable in her skin and she would have the world by the tail. I would tell her not to waste 20 years with self-doubt, you are beautiful, smart, funny, and sexy. Grab the world by the tail and have a damn good time.