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  • Sam Salerno

A Barista's Wisdom



You ever have one of those moments when you know for a fact that the person giving you advice is 100% correct, but you really don't want to agree with them because a) you're too prideful, and/or b) you know you're clearly in the wrong and a child could have pointed it out?


It's like you just want them to (politely) shut up and let you go on living in your mistake because the pain of them pointing it out is so irksome that you just can't even?


This happened today while talking with the barista at one of my favorite tea and coffee shops here in Monterey. It wasn't as bad as I just said, but the feeling of, "Man, she's right and I hate it" was definitely there. She's a sweet Texas girl with deep brown eyes, the makings of a beautiful rose sleeve tattoo, and the endearing bad habit of saying "y'all" when addressing groups.


I spend a good number of hours at the shop, enjoying the clean retro vibe mixed with a phenomenal view, killer white ginseng tea, down to earth staff, and seasick tourists desperate for a pick-me-up after losing their stomachs out on the deep blue. When the crowd subsides, she and I will chat from across the bar – her cleaning the machines and me typing away at a blog or design project.


Today's conversation revolved around bed times, and this is where my soul was gently pulverized under the crushing weight of my pride.


I'm a night owl. That's how it is. And the truth is: I don't consciously choose to be a night-owl. As oxymoronic as that sentence sounds, I really don't! I plan on getting to bed by 11pm, but then I look at the clock and it's 1:30am! It's as if time speeds up in the last three two or three hours of my day, and there's nothing I can do to stop it.


As I was explaining this to her, she asked what my typical bed time routine is, to which I replied I'm usually up til 1 or 2am cranking out or editing an earlier blog post, then I shut off all the lights and try to sleep.


"You know technology before bed won't help you sleep, right?"


Yes.


"It get's your brain all fired up and you can't relax."


I know, but I love writing and typing it all out.


"Well, could you handwrite stuff instead of typing it out?"


...yes...


"You could always transfer it and type it out later!"


...yes, but...


"And if you like to read, then just read for an hour before bed with the lights dimmed. That'll help!"


Uh, thank you. Now go back to Texas.


"Does chamomile tea help you relax?"


...yes...yes it does...now, plea–


"Then get all cozied up with a cup of chamomile and your book and you'll be set!"


"You know," I responded, "I 100% agree with everything you just said, but getting to bed on time is just so hard for me. It's a matter of self-discipline...and I don't have that when it comes to turning off all my stuff and closing my eyes."


"Looks like you're going to have to work on it, then!" she smiled.


I'm almost positive my eye twitched as I buried my frustration with myself deep within my soul. But the truth is, she's absolutely right. There are so many things that I could be doing to help me get to bed on time. And this barista from Texas, filled with wisdom and the skills to make a spectacular Americano and white ginseng tea, gave me perfect, step-by-step instructions on how to do it.


But...it's already 12:45am, so I'll have to start tomorrow night.


And if you're reading this, Chloe, know that you're an amazing barista and I really don't want you to go back to Texas :) Thanks for being awesome!


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