At University, I used to go and sit in coffee shops or the Oxford Union to ‘work’ on my essay. In all honesty, I spent the majority of my time people watching, wondering what was going on in their head. I would wonder where their education was taking them, even wonder who they were and make up stories about their perfect (or not so in some cases) lives.
Now I am older, I hear the echo of ‘these days will be the best of your life’ in my ear almost daily. It’s true, I miss university immensely, the false sense of responsibility I had and the yearly loan and scholarship that appears in my bank account was really something that I look back on and took for granted.
I think something for all university students to be aware of when graduating is that you will end up in a sales or recruitment job if you don’t care too much about what you want to do. I am not saying this is at all about thing, as there can be a lot of money in those industries as I have found out myself, but they aren’t always secure and are most certainly not the friendliest of places to wind up in (unless you get lucky).
Today I had a sense of purpose, I wanted to do something that could change my path and open up a new door to my future. I suppose I have felt a little lost and at liberty to do things that please other people, I worry constantly about the things we all worry about on a daily basis: money, my weight, the future and my career. But mostly I worry about not affording a dog or a house by the time I’m 30. That is a huge aim for me, and something I have always wanted to achieve.
So, why coffee shops and laptops? Well it’s simple. That is exactly where I am now. I’m sat in a stereotypical coffee shop sipping on my foamy chai latte tapping away on my MacBook Air. Let’s be honest, if I can afford these luxuries, should I really be worrying about the above? Probably not.
So why did I come here? I came here for some inspiration, to motivate myself and basically to push myself to write something, which I did. I wrote two pages and sent off an important email, as well as stopping myself from eating the entire content of my cupboard, or strolling around Whole Foods telling myself I really really need that over priced vegan chocolate fudge cake with fat burning properties (I’m sure that is a thing?).
Today I have noticed on my people watching expedition (and productive afternoon I like to think), that I am completely ordinary, but in so many ways I am completely different. I’m sat here with an oversized jumper on my hair curly and far too long with my cute little Cath Kidston shoes on sat in a what I call, relaxed way on the squishy sofa provided to me by Starbucks.
The lady sat opposite me opened her phone and instantly showed me not only her insecurities but her vanity and nervousness as well. She turned the camera to selfie-mode after having a quick look around to check no-one was watching her. She applied her lipstick with a slightly shaking hand, fluffed up her hair and looked up with a fear on her face as the gentlemen she was meeting walked in. He made light of the situation and asked her if she was posing for the camera. She awkwardly explained she was just checking to see if she had something in her eye, which we all knew was a little white lie.
It’s moments like this that I sit here, notice these little things people do and realise that no matter what we worry about, even if for me its writers block right now, we all have our little quirks in life and I think a personality oozing with confidence is much more attractive than a face oozing with Mac.
I’ve got a few ideas for characters in my book now, settings and places. My book however, dark, funny, cute or romantic it might be is just that, mine. So unlike the lady with the lipstick, I’m going to make sure that I sip my coffee and write my book for me, without the worry that someone might be watching me and judging the way I sit on my cosy Starbucks chair.