Coffee shops are my guilty pleasure. I say guilty, because I have a whole drawer full of tea at home and I always feel like I should save money and drink that. But I work so well in coffee shops, something about the smell of it, the sounds of the milk being frothed, the way people seem to relax when they drink it, even though coffee makes me intensely wired.

I opt instead for tea, usually decaf, but I still appreciate coffee culture, the communal nature of it all, the talent that can go into the perfect cup. There’s a craft here that I don’t understand but I love anyways, and the artistry of it all propels me forward into the headspace I need to write.

Today, I happened upon a particularly exciting new shop called Public House in La Mesa, California. A mixture of art gallery, performance space, and coffee house, Public House somehow found a way to be trendy without the pretension. Maybe it’s the poster on the door welcoming people of all backgrounds or the cards on the tables asking when the last time you felt cared for was.

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Can you answer that question?

When was the last time you felt cared for?

I texted a photo of the card to my best friend and we both got teary-eyed thinking of an answer. Being cared for is hard for independent women who are used to holding it all together, taking care of those around us as well as ourselves. But when grief hits, as it is currently hitting my best friend and has been hitting me for too long to count, it’s impossible to make it through without care.

We all need to feel welcomed and cared for, loved and supported, held up and held tight.

We all need a place to escape our responsibilities and focus on caring for ourselves.

Coffee shops are that place for me, somewhere I can forget the dishes that need to be done, bills that need to be paid, and clothes that need to be washed. Somewhere I can focus simply and solely on my favorite form of self-care: writing.

What’s that place for you?

Where do you go when you need to step away to care for yourself?

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