My friends are sending me to New York City to fall in love in a coffee shop.

Of all the jokes that have run through the bloodstreams of our friendships, this is the one that withstands all time and circumstances.

I began talking about my dreams of falling love in a coffee shop, over a skim latte and a book recklessly abandoned for the sake of conversation, quite a few years ago.

It’s always an early Saturday morning. It’s always an autumn day where possibility seems to rise up off the ground like steam on gravel after a fresh fallen rain. It’s always in New York City.  Perhaps the unintentional ambiance that the city conjures up or maybe the fact that a coffee shop awaits at every single corner so Love is bound to sit inside of one.

Post a sign that reads “Hopeless Romantic” across my back, but I have often wondered what it would be like to live a life skipping from Saturday to Saturday. To be so content to just sit in the presence of someone else as they sip their cappuccino and read their New York Times, someone that literally does not even know you exist. What It Might Be Like To Never Exchange A Word. However, these wordless encounters somehow come packed with enough passion and mystery to crawl you through the next seven days. All the days, Sunday through Friday, are spent thinking of that person who sits in the coffee shop. Wondering about their thoughts, dreams and how they fill their days.

I wonder what it would be like to be one of the millions who have not the courage to reach out a hand to the one they love and introduce themselves.

I guess I am a horrendous story teller because that is where my plot ends. Quite the lack of thickening, if you consult with me. I have never thought of what would come after the first handshake- of “our” thoughts together and “our” dreams and how “we” would fill our days.

I only have the coffee shop and the moments planned out pre-handshake. And that is like sending a pretty girl out into a big wide city but giving her no map to get anywhere.

We spend a lot of time building up dreams in our heads. We convince ourselves that happiness exists in a certain place with certain people. That our dream job does not exist outside of our dream city. That we were destined for a coffee shop, a freshly brewed Chai and a warm smile. And we stop there.

But don’t we pigeon hole ourselves when we plan so furiously? We should be so careful not to dream too specifically that we wipe away all other options. That we don't grow to be so arrogant as we hold the soft hand of our dreams that we deem the others- outside of the coffee shop, jobs outside of our dream city and opportunities apart from our thought process- to be less than worthy. Perhaps, perhaps our dreams are good… but our futures are even better.

What if I could make all of our dreams come true in a matter of 172 days. That might be nice, right? We would stroll around in less than a year (24 weeks and five days) with spouses we have dreamed of, jobs we have wanted for a long time, white picket fences and all that good stuff. But what might we do for the 172 days? Sit and wait?

A lot of life can pass us by when we are waiting on one option. When We Forcefully Close Other Doors Because We Are Convinced That a Specific One Will Open.

This silly little “reach for the tissues” cinematic dream of mine is teaching me very much as of late. Oh How To Make Things Not So Silly. Not So Little. Not Just Dreams. I would love to claim to be the best director of my life but I have learned through experience that the best in this lifetime comes when we least expect it. When we are hoping for one smile and we gain another. When we are waiting for one opportunity and we stumble across something even brighter and more brilliant. We need to be careful not waste time sitting in our heads and precariously planning out dreams that lack a certain “plan of execution.”

If we want great things, well, we must work. If we want happiness, well, we must be open-minded.

Open-Minded: o·pen-mind·ed. adj. To not designate the corners where our happiness must wait for us, nor the coffee shops that our true loves sit in. To entertain curiosity, new faces and life when it throws us for a loop.

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