A simple conversation between a well-to-do businesswoman and a young barista appeared to be trivial, but four words the young barista left the businesswoman with before she continued on her way completely “knocked the wind” out of her.
Genevieve Georget lives in Ottawa, Ontario. She runs her own business as a professional photographer, and she is also the author of Her Own Wild Winds.
It was a Wednesday afternoon when I walked into Starbucks that day nearly six years ago. I stood at the bar, waiting…
Georget was en route to the airport to catch a flight to Italy with her husband. She stopped for a quick cuppa at Starbucks. The barista asked her what she was going to be doing for the rest of the day, and Georget told her about the trip.
The barista handed over her coffee and kindly wished her a nice trip by saying: “But then again … why wouldn’t you … your life is golden!” Georget recalled in a Jan. 13, 2016, post published on Love What Matters.
Georget admitted that having wealth was nice; however, the sincerity of the barista’s words really struck her.
“This lovely girl saw me for all of five minutes a day, usually, all dressed up on the way to my full-time job at one of the country’s most prestigious art galleries,” she wrote. “Or with my camera in hand to photograph two people in love. Or, yes, on my way to Italy for ten days to celebrate my anniversary. This is what she saw. Therefore, this is what she knew.”
Georget pondered on how superficial modern life can be.
“Especially now,” she wrote, “when so many of our connections happen only happen minutes at a time…fully filtered and perfectly hashtagged.”
On the other hand, she understands we are all faced with the challenges of our times.
Georget honestly did not know what to say to her barista.
Her life may appear golden, but all that glitters is not necessarily gold.
In fact, Georget was actually struggling with some serious personal tribulations.
“Yes, we’re flying to Europe, I just miscarried our baby … we had a terrifying health scare … I’m suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder … and we’re feeling pretty far from God right now. So, yeah, going to Italy seemed as good a place as any to just run away from our life and justifiably eat gelato twelve times a day.”
She wasn’t going to tell the girl her problems, especially being that she was the barista who served up her coffee each day.
Georget pondered more deeply on the barista’s words and it made her reflect on “our sense of authenticity … our collective vulnerability … our polished identity. And it made me feel like a total fraud. Because I’m not any of those things that this girl sees on the other side of her coffee bar.”
“If I showed up one morning, wearing my most ragged and scarred self … it would be a very different girl staring back at her [and she would likely feel inclined to serve me alcohol instead of coffee!]…”
My husband has a scar about an inch long just above the inside of his left elbow.He got it on the evening of February…
The photographer-blogger goes on to share that she was bullied as a teenager, and delves a little into some of her own insecurities.
“I’m afraid of thunderstorms,” she adds. “I spend an absurd amount of time worrying about what other people think of me.
“My biggest challenge in life is letting go of people. Even if they hurt me. I hide behind my humor for fear that people won’t accept me without it.
“I feel like I have failed as a daughter. I try to avoid big groups so that I won’t feel like the invisible one among it. I’m insanely self-conscious of my smile.
“I feel like I’m an easy person to walk away from in life … and it haunts me on a daily basis. I almost always operate under the assumption that I care more about everyone else than they do about me.
“I unfollow people on Instagram if their life seems too perfect because it makes me feel inadequate. I feel like a terrible mother pretty much all the time. I hate emptying the dishwasher.
“Every day, I’m afraid that my husband is going to wake up and finally realize how much crazy [sic] he married. I thank God for every day that he doesn’t!
“I don’t like to try new foods … so I travel with my own jar of peanut butter. I want to write a book so badly that it hurts. But I’m afraid of people telling me that my life was never worth telling.
“I struggle, every single day, with feeling like I’m enough. Skinny enough. Funny enough. Good enough. And I cry. A lot.
“I highly doubt I would get a gold star for any of this. But, now, six years later, I do know one thing for sure; that even with all of my frailty … all of my fears … and all my faults … none of those things make my life any less golden.
“Scars tell stories. Scars mean survival. Because life requires guts … it requires bravery … and it requires vulnerability, so, buy your coffee … wear your scars proudly … and carry on, dear soldier … you’re not in this battle alone.”
Georget’s trip to Starbucks and her thoughts of self-reflection afterwards illustrates that there is healing for our wounds. So, don’t be too hard on yourself.
Remember to be strong. Be cool; be you!