Smug Instagram lifestyle content writes itself - whether you really want to speak in that voice or not.
I reread my last post and disliked it. Not the cute pink lantern-bedecked surprise stairway - that's still rather lovely. Or the support for a local independent business (Ben's House coffee shop, pictured here inside the gallery) - that PR was sincere.
Just. One of those moments where you catch sight of yourself in the mirror and shrink back in aversion when you see what your life has become & what you're putting forward into the world.
We, the global AirSpace class, collecting the world as images, as so many tradeable Pokemon cards. (How many points will this one be worth?) +5 for thirdwave coffee, +3 for artisan doughnuts, +1 for plywood construction, +10 for a polished concrete floor. #popup. #secretlondon. #brunch. So much surface, you hardly notice that whatever might be real - human, true, challenging - is missing from the frame.
What is real here? What was I missing out? Follow the money… to the way Ben was forced out of his last coffeeshop site by the owner seeking to redevelop into luxury flats. We live in a popup city because the rent is too damn high.
Or the circumstances why I was there: a 1-to-1 with my manager where we talked about how you build & shape the culture of a company. My frustrations with male colleagues ranking clients by their sexual attractiveness - my frustration with myself for not calling this guy out. A constructive conversation about how we can build both skills and team identity around insight, about taking pride in the quality of work that we do. Wish me luck.
So perhaps that's what's real, under the #lifestyle #aesthetic. That's what you do to earn the money to buy the coffee in a place such as this.