Up and Down- Chasing Vibes and Riding the Curve

I used to be a little smug about not drinking coffee. When you’re a weird, obnoxious kid trying to find out who you are, it’s often easier to find definitions based on what you’re not. In my case, I wasn’t “one of those coffee shop people.” I had a massive collection of tea in my cabinets at college for any reason and any taste. My friends jokingly called me a “tea shaman,” and if I really needed caffeine? That’s why God invented energy drinks.

As I write this 16 years later, sitting in a coffee shop with an empty cappuccino at my right hand, I can tell you I’m still not a coffee guy. I’m drinking a vibe… it just happens to be coffee based. “A man who can laugh at himself shall never cease to be amused.”

I’m not sure what to call what I’m doing right now. For sure I’m writing… and about time too. Coming up with merch ideas and designs is fun as hell, but if I’m a writer I’d better be writing dammit. I’ve had my head down a lot lately, so topics to write about have been rather thin.

I don’t need to write about the seasonal workflow of the pie shop. I’ve written plenty about anxiety and depression too. I don’t mind talking about it either— if I can get that shit out of my head AND make someone else out there realize they aren’t alone in a mental ditch, that’s a force for good in the world.

The fact is my life is very neutral right now. Things are Fine ™️. The weather is cold and lousy and everything in my body and soul lately have been telling me to go back to my apartment, wrap myself in blankets, pour a little whiskey and take a nap. MAYBE do some knitting if I’m feeling industrious. Later on, if I’m feeling extra spicy, THEN I can do some writing or exercise or design another hat.

I’ve never been able to handle doing that though. The more neutral life feels, the more I climb on my own back to do something, to feel something- so I wind up being something to kick it all off. Self-help books call it the “law of attraction” or “raising your vibrations.” I simply adjust mine and seek out places that share the same.

Scene Change- 24 hours later, and I’ve taken shelter at Belmont Station. The place is packed with folks enjoying their Saturday night and hiding from the bitter weather outside. The usually warmer back patio has no room- a large and loud party has one of the long tables taken up, and smaller groups in the biercafe proper have relegated me to the farthest back end of the bar- next to the chips and packs of nuts that some folks MUST buy. Everyone on the back patio is enjoying the smash burgers from the truck outside, but I’m of two minds about that. The pint of Vienna Lager at my hand now is doing just fine, and I’m not sure how hungry I am yet.

I’m here to drink beer and make words happen, and the crowd is actually helping. I have to be a Writer On A Mission to write well in conditions of silence at my own desk back home. The Serious Writer’s Desk Chair I got a while back earns its keep fine, but I’ve always written better out where people are (the fact that my keyboard is out of juice notwithstanding.) Burgers, on the other hand, may give way to a short walk down the street to a Balkan place down the street. More vibes, more vibes…

I’m much more together now than I was at the cafe. A solid workout and a little spin through the PSU farmers market has gotten the blood back to my brain. Body and mind are on the same page craving action. Agency.

Downtime comes and goes as much as anything else. You still need to do your best to show up and take a crack at things, but I’m slowly learning to accept when I simply don’t have a whole lot in the tank and I need to give myself time to whomp up more.

This is the less-than-glamorous view of being a creative, but I’ve never been the “tortured artist” type.

Stay Classy,

The BHB's Top Hat Logo Signature

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