Alarm. Snooze. Alarm. Shower. Kettle. If anything has stayed constant in the past years it’s been morning tea. This is how I come back to myself after a night’s rest. Jazz music or early morning talk radio while I spread avocado over bread or make salad.

Tea is ritual. To steep and brew something of seemingly no value into rebirth, conversation, or community. Black tea has woken my mind up for so many years now. The bitter of earth tannins and hot water on tongue coaxing me back to face the day.

It is summer in New England. I wake up to sun heating the brick on the apartment building next to me and pour a mason jar of irish breakfast hit with a splash of almond milk. I tap the radio in my kitchen to 90.9 WBUR and think about how I will inspire the students I work with today. Today my job is about community, about service, it’s about changing myself to better serve others.

It seems fitting to start this new chapter of my life with how I start every morning – with ritual, practice, and intent.

I am a recent college graduate, a runner, a plant-based eater, a reader, a lover, and a writer. This is my journey as I start this new chapter trying to figure out what it means to be in my 20s during the twenty-first century, while I work to keep things simple.

To breath ritual into morning, to bring mindfulness into the workplace, and to revive the simplest parts of me that were lost in trying to make it through college.

This is my meditation on my journey. I hope you will find bits of yourself in me so we can both better understand how to dedicate ourselves to living simple.

Drink a cup of tea. Let your mind come back to being present. You are here. Two bare feet in the kitchen. Toes stretching with the sun. A slow alto saxophone lamenting lost time for you so you don’t have to feel guilty about snoozing your first alarm.

Glass to pursed lips, rush of hot black tea – let the work of today begin by coming into yourself.