Coffee Shop Thoughts: a Stress-Induced Monologue

I’m beginning to think that the weather is indicative of my current mental state: bleak, overwhelmed and frustrated. There’s a literary term for this phenomenon: “pathetic fallacy.” The culmination of being a full-time student and working over 20 hours at a fast-paced retail environment has resulted in tremendous stress.

It’s ruining any attempts of creating a tranquil headspace.

As I walk into Early Bird Espresso, the rain begins to pour. Poor unfortunate souls.

I notice that it’s a full house and frantically scan the area for a vacant spot. It’s at the end of the communal table, close to the door, where the brisk breeze is felt as customers enter and exit.


I glance at the coffee stained table where a dishevelled pile of loose-leaf papers sits.

Essay Topics and Instructions, it says.

Why did I take that 8 hour shift? Why do I always procrastinate?

It’s a miracle that that dark circles under my eyes aren’t as dark as they should be.

Clock in. Clock out. Clock in. Clock out.

This has been the routine, and will continue to be, until the holidays are over. I feel like an automated machine.

Forced motivation. No autonomy.

Staring at this blank document isn’t helping, either. As usual, I only have the introductory paragraph. And knowing myself, I’m going to re-write it until it’s to my satisfaction.

Why, oh, why?

The feeling of disappointment and stress slowly resurface as I look over the remaining tasks for the week:

  • Renew health card
  • Take notes on “Deadpool”
  • Complete discussion post
  • Draft for master’s applications
  • Finish Popular Literatures outline

As I take a step back, I feel a few tears collecting but refuse to breakdown in front of strangers. I tell myself that it’s the delayed reaction from someone dropping a shipment box on me at work, but deep down, it’s the self-induced stress that comes with being in fourth year.

Just as I’ve calmed down from the overwhelming range of emotions, I stare at the clock on my laptop. It’s 1:45 PM.

Oh shoot, I have to be at work at 2:00 PM!

Ring. Ring.

Hello, it’s Raquel. I’m going to be late for work.