Coffee Times
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Coffee Times

The Cherries on Top

In response to Coffee Challenge: Summary Article

Photo by Tim Douglas from Pexels

Here are my 5 favorite pieces from the Coffee Times New Year Challenge:

  • To Be My Messy Self Jadine Lydia’s entry was one of the first ones I read and I related to it instantly. I was enveloped by her whirlwind revelation of embracing her true self and deciding to show that to the world, and how she captured that feeling within the writing style itself. I’m a huge advocate for our inner weirdness and how that’s often the most beautiful part of ourselves and Jadine’s journey is a fantastic example of that. Accept the mess and let it be the fuel to ignite the rest of your life!
  • Stay Close: Don’t Go Yet — I found Suma Narayan’s piece about rediscovering her love for those closest to her to be very touching and moving. Near the end, she resolves, “to keep that smile going always,” which is a gorgeous sentiment and the one that stood out to me most of all. We can never have enough reminders to hold those dearest to us as much as we can for as long as we can, and Suma pontificated upon that with so much wisdom and love.
  • Resolutions and Affirmations — Being a big believer in vulnerability I appreciated how much Christina DeFeo opened herself up to allow us a look inside the trials and tribulations of her year, as well as her triumphs! Whether it was about the downsides to empathy, the strength in showing up for yourself or simply giving herself the space to reflect she discussed it all with much heart and eloquence. Plus, she used a gif of Hades so that’s always a plus in my book.
  • Resolved To Be Free From Fear — Holding myself back is something I’m intimately familiar with and to see that reflected back at me in E.S. Yates’s piece was validating and affirming. The honesty she writes with is palpable and already demonstrates the fearlessness she is capable of. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and the determined resolve Yates shows here should be inspiring to us all!
  • Happy? Happy. I loved this examination of happiness and what it means to even be that in the first place, and the permission to be so. Veronika Kaufmann writes with a lot of wit, and spirit that I instantly felt when I began reading. As someone who struggles with understanding happiness, struggling with how abstract a concept it can feel, her dissection of it for herself really helped put all that into perspective. Dare I say I was just plain happy reading this?

I really enjoyed making my way through the submissions list. There have been so many wonderful, heartbreaking, beautiful, aspirational, and just joyous pieces to read. It was hard whittling it down, but these are the ones that spoke or resonated with me in a particular way I just could not shake (nor do I want to).

All my respect to every writer in this contest who has bared their soul a little bit, and has met this challenge with aplomb! You’re already off to a great 2022!




Coffee Times is not just a publication, but a movement to build a mutually supportive community that encourage active reading and better writings.

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Charlie Cole

Charlie Cole

Writer • Photographer • Editor • Champion Overthinker • She/Her • Twitter: @CharlieTheCole

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