My first experience with this was when I was younger and we would honor the tradition of serving our parents breakfast in bed for mothers' and fathers' days. (To this day, I don't know why my parents always had to choose the bedroom that was the most difficult to get to from the kitchen, but they did.) That walk up the stairs, or down the hallway, generously filled coffee cup in hand, was stressful! With every step, tip toe-ing as if robbing a house while the resident is home, each step taken with a silent prayer that the hot liquid would just stay in the cup a little longer... until I reached my destination (approximately an hour later).
Fast-forward some time, and hot beverages were my business. Working at a coffee shop was my ideal part-time job. Like, if pre-dream jobs were a thing, a coffee shop was mine. One day while at work, and older customer ordered a coffee in a mug. Being older and a regular customer, my coworker told me to just take the coffee over to her when it was ready. Looking down at the ceramic mug in the saucer, a familiar kind of stress returned. Trying my best to not let this simple drink defeat me, I did the best fake-it-till-you-make-it I've ever done. In other words, I walked quickly and hoped for the best.
Receiving her drink, saucer covered with hot brown overflow, the customer wasn't upset at all. Instead she just asked for a napkin, and offered a free word of advice. She said, "You know, the trick to not spilling the coffee, is to not look at it. Just stand tall and trust that the cup will do its job." I've carried coffee in such a way ever since.
Whether you're a student, a recent graduate, a full-time employee, or someone still trying to figure it all out, life is like a box of chocolates. But it's like carrying a full cup of coffee too. The cup is full, the liquid is hot, and screwing up could really hurt. It becomes an obvious method; to keep staring at the cup to make sure nothing happens. As if the coffee wouldn't dare spill if we're watching it, as if life doesn't change as long as we're stressing and obsessing over the details.
When I graduated from college, a friend gave me this really great Isabel Bloom. It's a frog, and it says "Sometimes hanging on requires a leap of faith." I see it every single day. I'm reminded that sometimes playing it safe isn't the best option. Sometimes the coffee will spill if you watch it. But if we stand confident in our actions, willing to accept the lessons that come with mistakes, and we simply rely on faith to keep the coffee in the cup, if we let the cup do its job, maybe it all doesn't have to be so scary and stressful.
That day in the coffee shop, stressing over and staring at the coffee didn't keep it from spilling over. In fact, it probably actually made my hands shake more. in the same way, obsessing over the fact that I'm single isn't going to help me find love any faster. Losing sleep over that interview isn't going to guarantee you that job or promotion. Walking through life worrying about whether people like you or not isn't going to provide you with more friends.
So stand tall, and let the cup do its job.
Thanks for reading!