One may ask, what does Spanish Latte have to do with finding your self identity?
Spanish Latte is a strange delicacy that I have never, ever tried before. Not while I was in Spain, and certainly never before in my lifetime because not very many coffee shops make it. Spanish Latte is espresso served with steamed/foamed condensed milk and absolutely delicious because it is rich and frothy, the exact type of coffee I adore.
How do I know? Because my gut says so. My mouth salivates and I feel a sense of giddiness that I only feel when I am looking forward to something.
Self identity and knowing yourself is exactly that. Know what makes you tick, and what doesn’t sit well with you.
Before I launch into a whole spiel of how this all came about, if you ever want to give Spanish Latte a shot in Vancouver, or try really high quality artisan coffee, head over to Buro Coffee in Vancouver Gastown, and please, please, please order yourself a pastry to go with that. They have gluten-free options and the most delicious house made peanut butter coffee and chocolate roll.
Coffee shops are a strange place. It’s a place that is conducive to idea sex a.k.a. the exchange of ideas, in a relaxed environment. So many great ideas and conversations are born in coffee shops.
Over a Spanish Latte, I met Rae. Rae and I had been messaging each other through Levo, a network for millennials to help them navigate the workplace and their careers. We are both on a mission: to help reinvigorate the Vancouver Chapter of Levo. It’s funny how a common goal or mission can bring two people together.
That aside, our conversation eventually continued on at a local Japanese restaurant called Mirai Sushi Restaurant near Chinatown, which by the way, has the best assorted Tempura.
Rae moved to Vancouver at 18 and has a lot of wisdom for a 25-year-old. We have similar personalities, but ultimately what connected us is we both want who we are tomorrow to be better than who we are today, and who we are today to be better than who we were yesterday. We are always hungry for improvement, and look forward to connecting to people because new perspectives help us grow.
Rae radiated confidence and when I asked, “Do you know exactly who you are?” Rae chuckled, and said with sheer firmness and calmness that communicated to me that there was no truth bending in any shape or form, “Of course! I knew who I was since many years ago.”
That piqued my interest, as I am still seaching for my self identity, “But, how do you know?”
These are the key nuggets of information that Rae imparted on me:
5 Keys To Finding Your Self Identity
- It’s gauging your reaction and feelings. Listen and make observations on how you react to an event, someone, or something in your life. Does it make you excited? Does it make you feel sad? Chances are, it either works for you or it doesn’t because you have a certain set of preferences and values. Make decisions based on logic because emotions are also fleeting. So, pay attention to your emotions, interpret, and then be confident in your decisions! The feedback loop will reveal a certain pattern in your behaviour, which ultimate teaches you your values.
- Knowing when to pursue something, when to stick to it, and when to let go. One lesson that Rae shared with me is that in life, we must be willing to take action. There’s always something you can do, and if there isn’t then don’t worry about it! Know what you want, and sometimes, we must have patience to get to where we want to go. We are always in control and chose to be in the moment that we are living. You either choose to move forward, hang on because you know the reward will be worth it, or let go. The only reason why you should stay in a situation, is because you are still learning, still benefiting. Time is precious, my friend.
- Friends impact your identity. The above reasoning applies to people too. Think of friends as anchors in your life and you have to be willing to let go so you can move forward. Rae illustrated this reasoning in this way: Friends are anchors. Friends are people you should learn from, and although they may have played an important role in your life at one point, there are times when they are no longer on the same page. Say, friend A is 60 ft. below surface and at one point you were comfortable being at 60 ft. but you realize one day, that you need to get to surface so you can get air. If you don’t, you really will suffocate! If friend A wants to move forward with you, that’s great, but you can’t wait forever. So, you say bye, and you move to friend B, the anchor that is 30 ft. below surface, and suddenly, you are closer, but you know that one day, you will need to get to the surface…that is, towards your goal. You can’t let anyone hold you back. In the same way, you may have to be the anchor to let go of someone you are holding back one day. Be comfortable with moving upwards and onwards, as that is the essence of life. Choose friends who are diverse and will teach you a new perspective.
- Accept your emotions and know your values. Self identity is sometimes about accepting that you will feel a certain way and then learning how to deal with it. Being confident about your self identity is learning from one situation and then when that situation recurs, knowing how to deal with it. With every situation, if you accept it instead of pushing it away, you become more calm and eventually, you become more level-headed, confident, and reassured about small things that used to bug you and make you frazzled. So next time you are sad, cry! It’s okay to do so.
- Take everything with a grain of salt. When you meet someone new who shares with you new perspectives and insight, know what resonates with you then take everything else and let it go. Don’t let absolutely everything and everyone you encounter influence how you think or feel, because you will forever be pointed in whatever which way and caught in an eternal state of confusion. Everyone is different; know that what works for one person may not work for you. Know what’s negative and what’s positive. Heck, be open to learning, because meeting someone, anyone, for even one brief moment can shape your identity.
One thought remains true when the evening came to an end. Rae and I both agreed on this: that life is a journey. No one is completely sure about where they are (even that COO or CEO who looks like they have everything together) and life is wondrous and mysterious. We have to be comfortable with the unknown and live life with patience because one day, we will stumble upon our passion or purpose, we don’t have to be in a rush to look for it. Know that we are always in control and have the power to change.
Oh sweet, Spanish Latte. Who would’ve thought one cup of coffee could inspire me and help me to find a new friend who certainly made an impact on my journey of self-discovery.
Next time, when you go out for a cup of coffee, think about how you feel about it. Maybe it will help you discover something new.