It's hard to say goodbye, to people, to beliefs, and even to places, especially if that place is where you built the beginning of your dream career.
Today, I sit here inside my favorite Starbucks store on its final operating day writing my first blog post for 2018. The closing of the store was supposed to happen months ago but got delayed a couple of times. I hoped some divine intervention would interfere and prevent today's event at all. But I guess some things were meant to end (or be).
There are a few things I love in this coffee paradise. First is my special place right at the bar, away from most of the coffee-goers' gossip and laughter. Second is the baristas, the best I've known so far, especially those I've become friends with. Third is the security I feel at the place. I can leave my things while I pee in the restroom (coffee, blame the coffee) without any worry. Finally, there's also my emotional attachment with what I consider my second home.
Special memories will also never be forgotten. Once I met a Chinese network marketing guy here. Still high on self-development at that time, I fell for the spiel. Good thing I course corrected and abandoned that path as soon as I could.
Second are those times I was holding back my tears while writing "Alexander the Great Fool", "Scarlet Forever", and "I Killed My Friends", hoping no one in the café would see me. I don't know if anyone did. If they did, I'm not ashamed. There's no shame in a writer being moved by his own writing.
Third is that time I was crying right next to the restroom's door. I had released my debut novel to the world that day and was having a mental celebration of my accomplishment. I gotta celebrate myself even when nobody did.
Of course, there are the hundreds of mundane, repetitive days of writing spent. Insignificant, arguably? But sometimes small things amount to great things. Without those boring writing days, there would be no books under my name, no I Killed My Friends and It Thrilled Me and Walden and Hyde (and Other Short Stories).
The timing of the store's closing is perhaps also symbolic of my writing career. A new book is about to start. A new writing home awaits me.
Goodbye and thank you, SBG5.