You Have to Wait for the Tea to Cool Down

Photo by Carli Jeen on Unsplash

This fine morning as I was dropping off my youngest brothers to school, I decided to play Jay Shetty’s latest podcast with his wife. The podcast focuses on their new venture as a couple — a beverage product they have designed to help their audience find peace and calmness.

But what stayed with me hours after the podcast ended was something Radhi had said. It was so simple and so authentic. She had mentioned how hot tea is something that demands patience from its consumer.

The tea has to cool down to a certain temperature before it is sipped.

The more slowly you drink the tea, the more flavors you will be able to taste in it. The more fulfilling it will be.

And this got me thinking hard about how our lives are no different than a hot cup of tea. This hot cup of tea is an an analogy of life on this Earth. Our lives are designed to contain contents that have the ability to burn us if we are not careful with them. Anyone who tries to absorb the contents of this life hastily will end up burning its soul.

We are rushing through life from the moment of our birth. Our parents begin to think of names from the moment they learn about the pregnancy. It seems as if no matter what point of life you are in, there is this unsaid pressure of quickly sipping the tea before it turns cold makes us drink it too hot.

What happens then, is that we miss out on the joy that life has to offer. We no longer can taste the next things that we are either drinking of eating because our taste buds have been destroyed due to our first act. So many times we are taught to achieve things in a certain timeframe. Only to find out later that life never had a timeline. It only demanded us to take the time in learning about ourselves.

The Hot Tea of Education
All of us have been told to complete our education by the age of twenty-one. This idea is hammered into our thought process so much so that we stop believing in the existence of education past a certain age. For us, if education is not completed by a certain age then it is not worth it. This concept is no less than taking the pot of the stove, pouring it a large cup and beginning to drink out of it instantly. We do not even let the tea sit for a while and we do not even smell the herbs in that tea to decide whether we like it or not. We hold the cup so tightly burning our hands and feel fearful of putting it down on the table, only because we would rather have ourselves burn to exhaustion than take the time and let things cool down.

The Hot Tea of Career
If you start preparing your resume from the age of sixteen then by the time you finish your undergraduate, a job will be handed to you. Most probably. However, will that job will be the one that you want? Or is working even something you wish to do? Societies set up standards to how a career should look like that most of the times we forget the purpose of having a career in the first place. We run towards the idea of career so blindly that we step on our skills and destroy the definition of career we had composed ourselves. We rush into a job that will pay us money to take care of bills but will provide no happiness whatsoever.

Mentioned above are only two examples of how this hot tea analogy is applicable to every aspect of our lives. Whether we like it or not, this life has many flavors of teas to offer. While one might find calmness in lavender flavored tea, the other will like ginger better. No one flavor is going to fulfill everyone else’s needs or desires. We have to patiently explore the flavors and then choose the one that feels like “us”. That makes us feel at peace and provides with a sense of fulfilment.

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Writer | Poetess | Financial Consultant. A South-Asian Woman Mastering the Art of Metamorphosis as an Immigrant.

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Afifa Zaheer

Afifa Zaheer

Writer | Poetess | Financial Consultant. A South-Asian Woman Mastering the Art of Metamorphosis as an Immigrant.

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