#WeekendCoffeeShare : Thanks for Showing Up

If we were having coffee, you’d see a sedate version of me. While I’m overflowing right now in new and impossibly beautiful ways, there are people I love who are mired. I want to lift them, make sure they know how loved they are. I want to make them know how much they are worth it. That they deserve better and I believe–really, truly believe–that better can happen for them.


If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m a person who lives my life on the outside. I have hidden, but I don’t hide. You would look at me and see how much it hurts me to know friends and family are hurting. You would see that I am always on the verge of tears. You would witness my nervous tic–the way I scratch my head and gulp my coffee instead of sipping. Like I can’t get it down fast enough. Like the heat could wash some of this hurt away.

Even if it were the first time we met and sat together, I would show you who I am. I have hidden. I can no longer hide, and I wish others wouldn’t hide either. I would ask you questions and find ways to celebrate who you are. Yes, sometimes I forget details, but I would not forget you. Just as I do not forget those far away from me, those who should have support but aren’t finding it. Instead, they are finding voices raised and backs turned and being cut off at every pass.They feel lost and out of hope. They feel as if putting one foot in front of the other is breaking free of heavy cement. As though the world is wet and heavy with their tears and they are dry inside.

I feel anger. Immense anger. Toward the self-serving, love-reserving people of the world who purse their lips and feel righteous about their choice to withhold, to teach a lesson, to “protect” themselves from the situation they have helped create by actions they fail to see as consistently harsh, hateful and outright abusive. I am angry at people who let fear dictate their love patterns. People who sink themselves into hate instead of life. People who don’t show up.

This is the side of me I try to hide. I don’t attend to binaries. I am fluid in more ways than the world yet knows. So to find people who choose black and white as a worldview when there are so many brilliant colors and shapes and experiences in this world. . . Were I violent I would spank them.


I am suffused, and no amount of coffee can wash this away. Friendship can, though. Thank you for sitting with me. Thank you for being my witness and for hearing me. I hope we can meet again under better circumstances. I appreciate you showing up.

Shawna Ayoub

Shawna Ayoub is an essayist, fiction writer, poet and instructor with an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. Some of her work has been published in The Manifest-Station, Role Reboot, [wherever], The Huffington Post, The Oxford Review and Exit 7. Her writing explores the intersections of race, place and survivorship. She writes with honesty about her own experience in order to transform pain.

8 Discussion to this post

  1. tpcsufian says:

    Your words are beautiful. I feel the exact same way. I acknowledge my friends and family hurting. I could give them advice that can very well save their damned lives but they won’t listen. They are not ready to listen. I tend to be guarded and hidden to most but i love blogging because i can express myself the same way you or anyone else here do. I enjoyed your theme on sitting and drinking coffee with a friend. It was a pleasure showing up to your coffee hour πŸ˜‰

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  2. Diana says:

    Glad to see you around for the coffee share.

    I think we all feel like pretenders sometimes, and we all hide.

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