I was sitting by myself at the café, absorbed in my work, quietly writing and they passed by my table. As I knew them a little I nodded, and smiled. But they took that as an invitation and stopped.
So I lay down my pen, and half-heartedly started a conversation with them, hoping it would be a quick “how do you do”, and then back to my work. And yet they stayed. And I was too polite to tell them to go.
It got to the point where they had talked so long their legs got weary. So they pulled out chairs and sat down. Joining me at the table, uninvited. I picked up my pen hoping they’d get the hint, but the chatter continued unabated and I couldn’t concentrate on my work.
The conversation was more directed by them than by me, let’s be honest. They talked about the wonderful things the person on the next table was doing. They talked about all the little things that one should be doing to get ahead. They talked about ideal numbers on social media. They talked about how a friend’s recent book was excellent. And of course it would be because she had studied creative writing at Uni.
It was when they placed an order that I knew I was really in trouble.
By now the conversation was between the two of them and I was just a listening bystander. I’m not even sure if they remembered I was there. But as I listened I sank down into my seat. I felt myself getting smaller and smaller, more and more unsure. When my spirit was totally depleted and I had sunk so low that my brow touched the table, they breezily got up and left. Leaving me with the bill, (of course).
As I grudgingly got up to pay, I remembered that self-doubt and comparison are only passing acquaintances. They are not friends. They should never be allowed a place at the table. When you confuse that, you always end up paying the price.
Join me for the journey,