“she’s just cooler than me”

I like to do my writing in coffee shops. Which coffee shop it is doesn’t matter so long as I have left my house to do my writing I feel a little bit more inspired. Today, I plopped myself down in Kuppi Coffee Company for a few hours to do some writing. As a side note – if you have never been to Kuppi Coffee Company I would highly recommend it (as a place to grab coffee but especially as a place to sit and do some work).

Anyways, I walked into the coffee shop around 10:50am this morning feeling pretty good about myself – I had woken up decently early, straightened my hair, put on one of my favorite pairs of jeans and boots (so I felt I looked pretty good), and left my house (which trust me is a notable accomplishment as I have spent a large portion of my summer break thus far lounging on my couch). I ordered my chai latte and sat down at a high table, opened my laptop and got ready to write.

Typically, whenever I first sit down in a coffee shop, my first few minutes are devoted to people watching. While my brain searches for inspiration and my opening words, I take a moment and look at everyone around me – wondering what they’re talking about, who they are here with, or what appears behind their computer screens. Today was no different. And as my eyes made their way around Kuppi Coffee Company, they ultimately landed on the girl sitting directly to my left. Now obviously, my eyes couldn’t linger on her for too long as she was sitting literally right next to me and I would’ve suddenly gone from innocent people watcher to major creep.  But the moment I saw her, the confidence that I had had walking into Kuppi Coffee Company at 10:50am was now, at about 10:52am, completely gone. She just seemed “cooler”. Which I know may be pretty unimaginative adjective to describe her with but that is what comes to mind. Her hair fell behind her in perfect dirty-blonde loose curls and she sat scribbling notes in her notebook and typing away at her computer as she alternated between sips of her half-drunk latte and electrolyte infused water. And if the image I have created of her doesn’t do it for you, I’m sure you can imagine the kind of person I am talking about. The kind of people that just seem “cooler” than us. The point though isn’t that this girl seemed to type at a computer better than I could and that that had killed my confidence; rather, in a mere matter of seconds I had decided that what she was typing was more important. I knew nothing about this girl and yet I had already decided that her life had to be more interesting than mine was.

And this isn’t an isolated incident. It is not isolated to this trip to Kuppi Coffee Company and it is not a feeling isolated to me. We have a constant tendency to compare ourselves to other people. And for some of us, myself included, we determine our self-worth, in-part, based on how we measure up to other people. People we really know nothing about. We need to stop doing this. Because our self-image often shapes what we feel we deserve and in turn shapes what we will fight for and what goals we set for ourselves. And I am struggling now to find words that don’t sound incredibly cliché because my point is basically this: you are you and only you. And there is something beautiful and important about that. And the people that sit next to you in coffee shops or walk past you on the street, no matter how “cool” they seem, don’t change the fact that you’re you and you are pretty damn awesome. And if we are going to start living up to our full potentials, we need to get to a place where the people around us, the people we don’t know anything about, don’t wound our confidence or quiet our ambitions.

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