You Can't Be Everyone's Cup of Tea

A Real Life Lesson from a Canister of Tea.

I have a round, clear canister, that sits atop my kitchen counter, right next to my spices. It’s just one of the several canisters of tea in my home. I love how many varieties the tea comes in, and my friends know this about me, so they often gift me different flavors. I’ve accumulated quite a bit of bags, in time, and the rainbow of choices always beckon me in, whenever I feel like I’m in need of a warm escape.

I read a quote the other day, on some outlet or other, and although it resonated with me, I imagined my tea bag collection would shudder in confusion, upon hearing it uttered. It said,

“You can’t be everyone’s cup of tea.”

I related to this quote on so many levels.Real Life Lesson: You Can't Be Everyone's Cup of Tea

For starters, I’m a doctor. That means not everyone will like me, or respect the decisions I make (some patients, for example, want antibiotics prescribed, even when they’re not warranted).

Second, I’m a writer. That means I often lay my cards on the table, for all to read. Some like my material, while others don’t.

Third, I’m a mother. This sometimes translates into various forms of judgement from those around me – from family, to friends, to those in my community. I imagine most parents can relate to this.

I thought of this quote from the other side of the coin, too – the way in which I look at others. Not everyone is MY cup of tea. But, in my defense, I try and approach all tea selections with respectful consideration and an open mind – err, palate.

I picture my canister now, with all of its options raising their thin, stringy hands out at me, just begging to be brewed.

Real Life Lesson: You Can't Be Everyone's Cup of TeaThe raspberry flavor, filled with sweetness, but with a bit of sour undertone to it.

The chamomile that calms with every sip. I always savor the moment with this one.

The earl grey – energizes, with jolts of caffeinated goodness.

Even the Alice in Wonderland blend, brought back from Disney World by a dear friend, stimulates my imagination to the point of hallucination. I’ve picture myself raising a teacup, in celebration of my ‘unbirthday’ – part of my own Mad Hatter party, right smack dab in mid-afternoon – right there on my kitchen table, while sipping on this particular brew. A wildly good-time blend.


Many Choices.

There are so many choices to pick from. They remind me of the choices in my life.

Real Life Lesson: You Can't Be Everyone's Cup of Tea

When it comes to friends especially, or to those I wish to surround myself with, I have options. I look at those options like my selection of teas.

I have my favorites, of course. Those are the flavors I go back to, again and again (they’re the people I enjoy, plain and simply). But I also keep an open mind when considering other flavors available for tasting – the so-called ‘others’ in my tea canister.

There is so much beauty to having that variety available. So many people out there to love.

You may not even know just how delicious a flavor can be until you give it several tries. Have you ever grown into a friendship? That’s exactly this flavor of tea! You’ve simply got to keep an open mind about the way that you approach the experience. Sip it ‘with a grain of salt’.

Don’t get me wrong – if it doesn’t work out, then you can let go. It’s ok to have to retire a flavor. It may just not be your cup of tea.

The quote I read had resonated with me so much, that it took some time for the vivid image of my tea canister to slowly disappear into a distant memory. But I did physically reach for it, later that same night, after a meal spent catching up with old friends. I looked through the choices, picked up a bag I hadn’t handled before, and broke open its tab – a fresh, brand-spankin’ new flavor.

Choosing a #friendship is like choosing a tea flavor from my kitchen canister: I'm open to trying out different ones, but it's also ok to retire a flavor. It may just not be my cup of tea. Click To Tweet

Real Life Lesson: You Can’t Be Everyone’s Cup of Tea


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