This Old Mug

Sometimes you get writers block. And I’m just gonna sit here and describe my coffee mug just to make my fingers type.

The white porcelain coffee mug sitting on my desk smells of low-level Starbucks “Christmas Blend” coffee. I’ve had this blend for a year, and recently decided to grind myself up a cup of it for a fix of hot caffeine. The coffee stains smeared at the inner edges of the mug show where I casually sip the now cold and bitter decoction throughout the day.

The mug was delivered to me unsolicitedly to my then-income tax / real estate office in December of 2007 by Midwest College of Oriental Medicine. It was a part of a package that also included a poster of some old Chinese drawing, as well as a “welcome” letter, hoping to lure me into their Masters of Oriental Medicine program. The mug contains a graphic of the school’s logo combined with the compulsory Yin-Yang and Bagua Trigram symbols on it, so to let you know that it’s A Very Authentic Chinese Medicine School.

img_1086You guessed it, I actually did join their Masters program in Oriental Medicine which took me about three and a half years to complete, during which I experienced mind-numbing stress, the loss of my father, and a lot of tears and sleepless nights.

Today, inside of my now-Oriental Medicine office, the mug sits in front of me here on my desk, like an old relic, cold and coffee-stained, reminding me of a time before I sacrificed the materialistic endeavors of money and status to pursue a life as a healer.

My life was immeasurably different back then.


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