Animals undergo remarkable changes while under stress. Opossums can force themselves into a comatose state, bison may move up to five tons of snow in the winter just to take a chomp on some soggy grass, and even one shark has learned how to walk on land when stranded away from water. Nature never ceases to amaze me. I think of these talents as superpowers and often wonder what mine might be.

I also undergo a change while under stress, but unlike a talent fit for life or death, I communicatively shut down. During this state in college I could write a 5-page paper in just a few hours like it’s nobody’s business. The compromise was that I could only write the paper. I couldn’t talk about it—I couldn’t talk about anything. My only conversations took place in my head until I finished the task. And that’s where I am today, but on a more grand scale.

Call it unhealthy (because talking is good), but I can’t talk about one major change to my life in an explicatory way. My mom has a talent of getting me to talk about anything, but I met our conversation with a grumpy attitude because I thought about things I disliked, like tax brackets and work-life negotiations far before she asked about them. I think being mad is a waste of energy, so instead, I shut down. I compartmentalize the topic, so I can have a full, stress-free conversation about anything else. The stress is an area that is “TBD” for me. I know it will heal in time, and that time is what I need to have a better idea of why I am upset. Then I can talk, but until then I must use 110% of my brain power to figure out what I can do to best the situation.

I absolutely love working at the cafe. It’s a job I have never dreaded and one I truly enjoy. It has made me who I am and given me more quality friends than I could ever imagine. Learning how to talk to anyone is a skill I credit more to the cafe than to my personality. It’s a sad thought, but my reign as barista is coming to an end. Moving on is difficult. The commitment to leave is the worst, and I’m terrified of life without the one unmoving point in my life. The planet is rotating. This time, fully.

What has helped is knowing where I came from, knowing what I’ve been through, and believing I will ultimately do whatever I’m intended to do, even if my next job is just a step in my fate’s destination. I’m a woman who needs to shift all of her thoughts to a positive direction on her own. That’s what I’m trying to do and I wouldn’t call it a superpower. I’m not an animal with an incredible survival trait, but I’m trying to be.

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