A Cup of Coffee

Coffee: A sip or two wakes you up, but too much of it makes you palpitate.

My first sip began when I joined the workforce as a graphic designer. I enjoyed the many perks of being an employee in the government. I got to work for prominent people in our province. The benefits, leave system, allowance and bonuses were very sufficient for a new graduate like me. For 3 years, I have created numerous  design elements,  dealt with paper works  and ventured with politics.  Working in the government was like drinking a tall glass of iced caramel macchiato. Refreshing. But this tall glass would soon be replaced by a cup of coffee with chocolate drizzle and cocoa powder on the top.
Comics by Ena Beleno Comics by Ena Beleno Comics by Ena Beleno Comics by Ena Beleno

I realized that there are more types of coffee out there and I wanted to learn more. I packed my bags and went to the city.

Manila was an eye opener, as well as a culture shock to me. I’ve met people of different shapes and sizes. Some of them were of good influence while some of them were not . A lavish life in the city, mingling with superior people,  was a scary and exciting journey. Working for a big private company as a website designer increased my confidence in my designs skills. The job was a mix of call and web design.  For 2 years I have talked to clients, created designs and assisted them with their website concerns. The job pays well, I have  supportive friends and teammates, and somehow my communication skills were developed. These beautiful things were like the thick  layer of foam with a beautiful coffee art in a large cup of hot cappuccino.  It was indeed a lovely sight. But you know that this work of art will soon be destroyed as you drink the coffee. The graveyard schedule and the unjust leave system took a toll on my health and mental state. I terribly miss my family. I cannot count how many family occasions I have not attended due to my schedule. The level of toxicity in my surroundings, the pain in my heart and the frustrations in my head was at the highest level. This part was the hot coffee itself.


Now that I’ve tasted two types of this drink, I was left confused on what to order next. Should I get back to my caramel macchiato or should I continue drinking a cappuccino? Undecided. My turmoil was, however ended, when a waitress told me that someone ordered a coffee for me. I did not wish to hurt the feelings of the anonymous so I accepted the drink. Alas! 2016 was like a shot of Coffee Americano I never ordered. The strong punch of this drink woke me up and made me realize, that I wanted to pursue the dreams I have put aside. I left my corporate job and stable income, and took a chance on what I love doing most; drawing.  I was well aware that I have to start from scratch. Equipped with skills, great passion and faith, I started creating my illustrations. Some family members, friends and peers were  disappointed with my decision. These concoction of uncertainties made me palpitate. With a slow process and low return, sometimes their harsh words made me feel like a let down.

2017, nearly a year has passed. I can now state that I have recovered from my palpitations and am enjoying the fruits of my hardships. I have gained some clients, created illustrations for their books and published some of my own. This is not that much, but atleast there is progress. I’ve settled for a bland , simple and cheap 3 in 1 coffee. Not as extravagant as the other coffee drinks before, but it is adequate.

You can order your own drink or someone may order it for you as a surprise. It can be sweet it can be bitter.  I do not know how much more coffee I can induce before suffering a heart attack, but I do know that every cup of this life is to be enjoyed. Always remember that there are people out there drinking the same type of coffee as you do. I do hope that this coffee session woke you up.

ENA, The Coffee Tinted Girl

Comics by Ena Beleno

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