Almost a year ago, a girl looking to move into town to work in coffee reached out asking for advice. Eventually we met up, chatted, and from them on I made it a point to give her tips and link opportunities that seemed interesting.
After one of those messages, she replied with “thanks barista Vinni.”
I often think back to that message, and it always calls into question some of my identity. I find myself wondering what I did exactly to warrant that. To warrant being “reduced” to a barista. I mean, there’s a lot more that I am. I’m a reader, a writer, a hobby brewer. I’m short, I’m quiet, I’m upbeat. I walk quickly, I eat a lot, I work out. I’m a student, and I’m also a barista.
At that time, I was going out of my way to put my barista side on the spotlight, but how could she not see everything else?!
I only tell this little anecdote because it touches on an important concept: how others see us will very rarely match how we see ourselves. What they have figured us out to be will most of the time be a part of our identity, but reductive at best.