The introvert’s paradise can be found in quiet corners, good books, in the sounds of noise canceling headphones that pour out simple, melodic music. It is in the company of others without the obligation to interact, surrounded by clear, non-distracting walls with windows that let just enough light in to feel the sun on your face. The entire place is speckled with small photos or local paintings for sale with just enough greenery to create the feeling of home.
I’ve found refuge in these places all around the world. I seek them out to reenergize, to find peace and quiet, to allow myself to be part of something that is happening without being the focus. Sonder, described as the understanding that everyone is living a life as vivid and interesting as my own, is a beautiful realization. Coffee shops allow me to disappear into the background, to be an extra in someone’s play, and to simply be where I am.
In fact, it is the place in which introverts can be observers, historians of sorts; someone to document what is happening in such a simple, yet meaningful place. Directly in front of me, a friend studying financial analysis with a disdain so evident that she checks her texts every few minutes. A stranger to my left who has tucked herself away from others to study. Walls covered with abstract paintings created by art students. Behind me a photographer editing photos from a wedding. Stock images and cardboard swans sit atop a mantle. White walls brought to life with red couches, brown wooden tables and chairs, and painted doors. It is simple, yet elegant – it is almost poetic. (Not poetic for the sake of poetry, but to feel effortless in its presentation).
A paradise in the sea of an ever-moving life. A simple, stillness created by a shared love of coffee.