Picture this: girl walks down Shoreditch highstreet, coconut milk flat white in hand, clad in a subtly expensive autumn coat with some very trendy independent designer sunglasses on. Feeling like a million pounds (yes we are English here no dollars thanks) she struts her stuff with the faintest of pouts, spurred on by the Queen (Beyoncé, not Elizabeth) proclaiming the superiority of the female sex in her ear.
Of course then she trips on an uneven paving slab and spills aforementioned coconut flat white down ill-advised white shirt. Because she has been awake since 4:30am. Subsequently all pouts and struts are replaced by fumbling for a tissue and desperately trying not to incur more laundry because that’s expensive.
This girl, ladies and gentlemen, is me.
This morning I rose before the sun, and before the N8 stopped running, and tonight I will go to bed after the sun has risen and the 8 starts running again. Such is the life of a student who works in a café and a bar at the same time. But I love it.
I have realised the limits of my body: I cannot work more than 45 hours a week and be a functioning human (last week I pushed 53) and I have enjoyed having the whole day free after working 7-11am and being able to sleep the whole day because I am working all night. Yes, my body clock is fucked but it compliments the dichotomy of my personality perfectly.
I firmly believe that, in the immortal words of Blair Waldorf, we all struggle between our Grace Kellys and Grace Joneses. One side is elegant and well spoken and the other side is a party animal who isn’t afraid to go and get what she wants. Whilst Blair Waldorf being both fictional and astronomically wealthy can struggle with her dichotomy in style (and alongside Chuck Bass, yum), I live mine out through these two jobs which is rather less glamorous, but still fun.
My Grace Kelly smiles at commuters and chats with them about their lives as she makes their flat whites and prepares salads and sandwiches for lunch whilst my Grace Jones flirts with drunk people (for tips) and makes a mean cocktail. The barista in me knows the customer is always right, however the bartender will refuse service to a dickhead and will argue back if someone tries to accuse me of watering down the vodka in their drink (you saw me open the bottle, you’re just too drunk to taste it).
Having a two sided personality is usually seen as a negative thing, however the balance we must strike in our day to day lives in order to survive (modern natural selection, if you will) means that developing a multi-faced personality enables us to satisfy all of our desires through the safe medium of having a dark side and a good side. We aren’t going to go full on Anakin vs. Vader here but a healthy dose of each side can be ever so freeing.
So let your Graces out; you may be pleasantly surprised.