Cafe Hunter: Perception Coffee

Change Your Perspective

A few thoughts at a beautiful cafe. 

Story By: Becky White

Photos By: Manon Thore


I find it fascinating that we perceive ourselves in a different way than others view us. It’s also interesting to see how these perceptions change over time without us even knowing. When I was in high school, I disliked my body. My hips were ‘too wide,’ I was ‘too tall,’ my  nose was ‘too awkward.’ I could barely look at my own photos. Now, past high school and learning about health and fitness, I rediscovered some old high school pictures and was beyond shocked to recognize how slim I was. Rather than actively changing a wrong perception about myself, it seems that time and knowledge naturally replaced one perception with a more honest one; I am healthy and happy to be me. 

Allow me to share five ways I’ve changed negative perceptions about myself and people. 

    The perfect example is learning about health and fitness to overcome the warped view I had about my body. Learning broadens our mind and I’m a firm believer that through reading we see the world in many different ways that we could never experience in just one life.

    It’s so easy to show to other people the sides we only want them to see. We get caught up in the social media life and end up getting consumed looking at our outside appearance; do I look good? But we know that beauty comes from within - the real person is more than just what is seen with the visible eye. Ask yourself who you are and explore the person called ‘me'.

    I hate it, but it’s true. Getting humbled can reveal so much about ourselves and give us clarity. Some perceptions are negative but in the sense that we have an inflated view of our greatness. If you haven’t heard it yet, let me be the first to say it - no matter how smart, how pretty, or how talented you are, there is someone out there who is better than you. The good news? Your value is not found in the number of followers you have or the amount of money in the bank. Getting humbled straightens out big-headed perceptions we have about ourselves in quickly and often painfully. But it’s good in the long run.

    Trying something new teaches you something new. Traveling to places hitherto unknown reveals a lot about yourself and the cultures you hail from. We often uphold our way as best; we sometimes have harmful perceptions about cultures and people groups that we don’t realize we are carrying until we come face to face with those cultures and people. I once perceived eggplant as weird, squishy food (totally false) but after I experienced it in a grilled parmesan dish my perception completely changed.

    This is the worst way to change your perceptions. Do you think you are invincible? Once we realize the pain of losing someone special to us, the way we perceive life and time dramatically changes. Loss heightens our awareness of what we do have. On a smaller scale than life and death, I remember the first time I failed an audition for the school play. I wanted it so badly and believed I deserved that role. When I was rejected even from the chorus, I cried into my pillow, bewailing the injustice. I will tell you, however, after that I worked twice as hard to never feel the sting of failure again - impossible to avoid forever, but pain is definitely a great motivator at times. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Visit Perception Cafe when you can. It’s undeniably gorgeous, with the light wood and unusual wavy ceiling. I love the accents of greenery and flowers that soften the whole ambiance. Glass walls let the light stream in, and for such a small place, it’s a great spot for a shoot.

Location: 16 Eoulmadang-ro 1-gil, Hapjeong-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul

Hours: M, W, TH, F, Sat, Sun 9 am to 12 am / Rest on Tues

Follow the official Cafe Hunter on instagram @CafeHunter.Official and the website 

Sean Choi