In an effort to break the ice with pen and paper, Coffee Break Conversations places no focus on career achievements or milestones; with every episode, we create a safe space for genuine, candid conversational exchanges.
Here's what goes down...
We sit across one another, in silence, with 2 pens and a paper (or our keyboards and screens, if the session is virtually facilitated). I'll start by writing the opening question and passing the paper. The participant writes back and the conversation goes on from there. With 30 minutes on the clock, we have a candid conversation (in writing) over coffee. The last question is always: "What question would you want me to open our next Coffee Break Conversation with?", and that's how we start our next episode.
Location: Kawon (كَون) Cultural Bookshop - Madaba, Jordan
Soundtrack: Tamino - Indigo Night
In conversation with: Nadine
Copyquette: What scares you?
Nadine: Time, thinking about the future.
I’m scared of uncertainty - sometimes it’s a good kind of fear. Other times it’s the kind that keeps me up.
Are there any rituals or routines you have that help you re-route the fear into something else?
Kind of, my ritual, or rather saying, that I live by is to just go with the flow, avoid thinking about the future and how little time we all have. So I simply go day by day, baby steps.
What kind of uncertainty are you talking about? And how do you go about it?
I see that in you so much - your go with the flow energy is contagious.
I don’t know how to describe it but on good days it’s just uncertainty revolving around small life decisions (Am I happy when I go here? Does it serve me when I see this person?) and on more anxious days it’s more like uncertainty about life/death, losing people I love, etc…
I move my body in order to cope with the movement of these thoughts, meaning going on a walk/run. But I also believe in being preventative with the way I cope - so exercising everyday, yoga, even just a 15 min stretch, especially on days where I’m not having the anxiety, so that I’m ready to cope when these thoughts come. Does that make sense?
Are you where you want to be?
Yes I completely get that. Thinking about growing up and how things change everyday, and that anything can happen at any point makes me anxious. I’ve actually been thinking about whether seeing certain people is doing me any good a lot these days too. You’re one of the people that gives me so much good energy that I love being around though.
Everyday I wonder if I’m at a place in my life where I’m doing enough? Am I giving back? I think I can do so much more than I am, that I should be way ahead, comparing myself to successful people of my age. But then I take a breath and I remind myself that it’s okay to be where I’m at and that I’m proud of how much I’ve grown and everything I’m doing right now and that as long as I’m trying and have the right intentions that’s what matters.
Would you say you are happy where you are in life?
The fact that I used to think that way at 21 and still do at 27 makes me think “will we ever feel like we’re doing enough”? Age is weird. But ‘you’re doing great and just keep going’ is what I tell myself too.
I think this year has been the first in a long time where I feel at ease and confident in decisions I’m making, which makes me think that happiness is feeling like you’re mindfully choosing where you are, both in the big picture as well as on a day-to-day level.
If there’s one thing you wish you knew 5 years ago what would that be? Also, describe this past year in 3 words only…
Honestly, I wish I knew how important some of the relationships in my life were. Maybe then I would’ve nurtured some of them more.
3 words → Raw, Peaceful, Self-reflection
What are your 3 words?
My three words would be:
Tell me who you are without telling me your age/major/nationality. And give me 1 takeaway or message you’d like to close out with - it can be as specific/vague/advice-y/random as you like.
I’m curious george. I want to discover all life has to offer and at the same time help everyone & everything. I wish I could solve the world’s problems but I can’t, so I’ll start small. I strongly believe in creativity & the notion of human synergy. I hope to nurture people’s creativity by showing them we are better together. Don’t fret about small things, it’s a waste of your precious time. Remember it’s not personal, and let it go. You will always win this way.
Who are you?
& advice for us?
I’m figuring it out everyday - every time I think I know exactly who I am, I surprise myself. I’m an appreciator of things/people, I’m a vessel of feelings/lessons that I’ve accumulated over time and I’m a lover of sharing - whether it’s feelings, food, knowledge, experiences, I appreciate it. I like to break the ice fast and build meaningful relationships slowly. And I’m proud of the Arabic in me - language, ideals (not all, but like to see the positive), etc… My one piece of advice today would be to be open to newness, get out of your comfort zone because that’s where you learn the most, get excited about being somewhere new, meeting different people and going beyond the small talk.
How did this [coffee break conversation] make you feel?
Peaceful, there’s something special about conversing in silence. I loved it. :)
What question would you want me to open the next Coffee Break Conversation with?
If you could change one thing, anything, what would it be, and would you?
Want to participate in our Coffee Break Conversations series? We'd love to have you - reach out here!