My dear Sweatpants & Coffee tribe,

I’ll tell you a secret.

This cozy blanket fort we call Sweatpants & Coffee was born of a soul-deep yearning for connection. Not just in me, but in you, too.

The day I sat down, dripping from the shower (which is where all my best epiphanies occur) at my desk to purchase the domain name for the absolutely-most-perfect-brilliant-utterly-amazing-whatever-it-is, I was, in fact, miserable.

I was anxious, depressed, creatively unfulfilled, and desperately in need of comfort. In that moment, beneath the sputtering showerhead that dispensed lukewarm water onto my frazzled brain bucket, I knew that two things made me feel at home in myself: sweatpants and coffee. I said the words out loud, “Sweatpants and coffee.” I mean, not just sweatpants and coffee, but off the top of my head, stretchy pants and caffeinated beverages were right up there. Holy shit, I was onto something. I would write about what made me happy and inspired and comfortable. I would send my imperfect blatherings out into the void like chicken-scratch missives, rolled up and corked into bottles and tossed into the ocean and maybe a few kindred souls would find them and read them. I didn’t feel at home in the world, but maybe I could make a place that felt like home.

So, here we are, five years later, which feels like a long time in Internet years, and it turns out that many, many people feel just like I did (and sometimes still do). Sweatpants & Coffee is a thriving community. I have a whole bunch of nerds who believe in it and keep it, and me, running. And all of it is predicated on a simple truth.

Note to Self Blanket Fort Tribe Nanea Hoffman

We’re all kind of lonely.

Isn’t that weird to admit?

You might be surrounded by friends and family and co-workers and pets and whatever, and you can still be lonely. You can still feel like you’re bobbing at the end of a balloon string, tethered to your life, but distant from it. You can still miss people you haven’t met. Also: you might be one of the people you are missing.

It’s such a stupid, shitty thing to be a lonely adult. We’re supposed to have it figured out. To know which lunch table to sit at or to just be okay on our own. To be self-sufficient.

The truth is that we are all sufficient. But that doesn’t mean we don’t long to be seen and understood and affirmed in our strange and confusing humanity.

I’m an awkward, bizarre, neurotic weirdo who grew up and blossomed into an even more awkward, bizarre, neurotic weirdo, and who only very recently managed to make peace with the fact that this is IT. This is my lunch table. And not only do I belong here, I love it.

You belong here, too, you know. That’s probably why you’re reading this. You want to know if there are others of your kind trying to make contact. You want to know how to find the ones who feel like home.

I don’t have any wisdom to impart about that except to say that being who you are, in all your lumpy, ridiculous, vulnerable, flawed glory is the only way I know to signal your tribe. Maybe you’ve found them. Maybe you’re still looking. Maybe that’s why you landed here.

Get comfy. Help yourself to a fresh cup. Welcome. We’ll figure it all out together.


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