Moving On (30 minute writing exercise with an image of an old bench and a writing prompt indicating that two friends met here everyday).


I could not help myself. I needed another coffee to get started even though I told myself countless times that I was wasting my money and could better spend the money elsewhere. I was saving for something very special that was as shallow as get my morning Starbucks. I justified saving for my dream purchases by saying to myself that I was not like any other woman. I don’t always want everything. I only want some things. There is a difference I thought. My friend, whom I met earlier this year at my children’s school agreed with me although she was not partial to my dream purchase. She was out of my league often splurging simply on a whim. But I didn’t care, I had my own style. Always did, even was a young  girl. Funny how we know we are so obviously different and actually don’t mind. Maybe this would bother some people, but I like being a little different with fashion. My friend and I shared a passion for fashion as they say. We used to meet everyday after school drop-off, lattes in hand and on the days when the temperature dipped a little, steam oozed from the cup giving me a sense of coziness. Life was grand, or so I thought. Although we had much to talk about each and every day on that old long teak bench, my friend was an unfortunate whiner. Having everything delivered on a silver platter, she always wanted more. Is that what having too much money is all about, I thought. You become a surly, needy bitch never quite seeing the glass  half full?


One day, after many days of feeling guilty for having created a crater full of shallowness and devoid of fulfillment but rich in full fat lattes, I decided to go back to work. I did love that bench and the routine. The convenient bench was also the bench that became too comfortable. I spoke with my friend about my desire to move on. She was quite happy to continue sitting on the barren bench day after day. After all, we did have much to talk about. She was content. Clearly, the bench represented something different to me. You see, the bench was actually two benches pushed together. You could easily see the split in the middle as the wood was warped and part of the one side rose above it in the middle. Separating the benches would be a cinch but who would want to divide it? They had been there for years without moving. And so this is how I saw my life. I could have stayed there on the bench or pulled myself away and moved on. What would I have to loose? Imagine the freedom of being your own bench. Of not having to be one with the other but making your own decisions. Of creating your own destiny. The reasons to move on were so compelling. So undeniably exciting.


I met my old friend in a queue at the cafe. She and her friend had their steaming lattes in hand, venturing outside to the bench. With a wry smile, she gave a curt hello. I knew I shouldn’t have stopped at the cafe. I still needed that money for my dream purchase.  I thought to myself how likely it would be for me to give up coffee for something else. Not likely. Not everything in life needs a lesson in self-improvement I convinced myself. I have, in fact, already take a giant leap in my life. On my way out, I glanced over at the bench. The old bench I thought with a tinge of melancholy. I don’t need to go there nor do I want to. Thank goodness for landmarks I thought. How would we ever find our way around. My friend and her companion sat giggling, engrossed in conversation. They barely noticed me but it didn’t matter, I noticed them and the old bench and moved on my way.