Oi! Quick post becauuuuuse tomorrow is my FIRST day at my new job and I'm EXCITED and also nervous and I'm mentally preparing every possible thing (like WHAT TO EAT and WHAT TO WEAR and WHAT TO BRING). As you can see, I'm feeling a bit CAPS-y. I'll deal though, I'm an adult and I'm eager to find my place at this new gig. To prove myself, to adapt and to evolve as a person. If everything goes the way it should, I should have a PhD in four years. I'll be 30 then, which is also kind of cool. I remember being so scared of growing older when I was in my late teens. I felt like my options and possibilities were dwindling with each passing day, like I was pissing away my potential without even knowing if it was really potential or just untested arrogance. But then I DID things. I made decisions, I tested myself and I made sacrifices. And I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't gone through all of that shit.
You see, when I was 19 my dad had a stroke, months before I was supposed to start university. He was the sole breadwinner for our family, and when he became unable to provide for us there was a drastic change of plans. My family cut me off in a way, basically meaning I could not depend on them for anything anymore. Which meant I couldn't afford to go through with the plan that had been laid out for me since I was a kid.
So. I started working retail to save up for university. It was hard, working long hours and even longer days at mind-dulling tasks like folding clothes over and over and over again. And that boredom led to me trying to find something on the side to stimulate my creativity. So I started participating in online style communities like Chictopia, taking baby steps towards starting my own blog. I wanted to DO something, to build something, to have some sense of progress at a time in my life that felt like I was plateauing. Or sinking. On the other hand, I didn't feel like I really had something to contribute to the world. Who would want to read that? Watch that? My self confidence wasn't exactly soaring at this point. But I dipped my pinky toe in.
one of my very first outfit posts on Chictopia
I wrote myself into a gig as an Everybody is Ugly contributor, finally getting the chance to prove something to the world and most importantly to myself. Writing short articles and learning more about the internet and interactive media in general made me realize that Communication Sciences would be the education that would suit my talents and ambitions best. After saving up for a year and a half I had finally scrounged up enough to go forward, and I entered university. A little after that I started a PROPER blog, with my own lay out and rules and blog name. And I kept working, building towards a better future.
Look it's me in one of my ACTUAL classes being a douche taking outfit pictures!
I loved my classes, they stimulated me and this new intellectual impetus, along with my participation in the blogging community, exposed me to feminism. This was a huge new thing in my life, forcing me to re-evaluate my views and actions on a day to day basis. This definitely pushed my blog to become better as well. I got opportunities, meeting people and growing in the light of their confidence in my abilities. A major moment came when Stéphanie Duval contacted me based on nothing but her knowing my blog with the offer of an internship, taking me under her wing to learn everything about fashion journalism and online marketing for three months. Again, I grew tremendously, gaining confidence and abilities.
Somewhere down the line, my dad died. And then one of my closest friends committed suicide. It was my worst year, but I managed to hand in my dissertation.
What I wore to my dad's funeral. Keeping up with the drudgery of daily life (like taking outfit photos) kept me sane.
Finished university magna cum laude. I had set my hopes on doing a PhD but financially I couldn't afford to spend half a year working out a proposal and still run a big risk of not getting a scholarship. I sent my application in when I read about a research project on violence against women, but I didn't get a callback based on my lack of experience. Gotta admit, I was crushed at not getting a chance. I floundered a bit trying to find a job during economic recession, but after about 2 months I got my job as a social media manager at a local furniture store. I got to design campaigns and a new webshop. And then, based on my acquired experience with social media and my results at university, I was asked to do research at my uni on a four month project on teen moms in the media. I was excited but didn't want to ditch my other job for a four month project so I asked if I could take it on part-time. They made the effort to adapt the position for me and I LOVED it. In fact I loved both of my jobs even though working two jobs was taxing.
Tired but happy
I guess that love showed through because I convinced my university of my abilities as a researcher. I was notified of a new project revolving around young teens, sexual objectification and media. After going back and forth a bit in fear of another rejection, I sent in my application. Got the callback. Had a delightful interview talking about feminism. Went home feeling grateful for even having had that talk because seriously, life felt like it was open road in front of me, filled with possibilities. And then I got the email. I was waiting for a "thank you for applying, BUT". What I got was a "thank you for applying, we've decided that we want to go forward with you". My stomach dropped and my heart soared.
And here I am tonight, on the eve of starting my PhD. If someone had told me six years ago that I would have to work retail, start blogging, work on my social network, finish an internship, go through mourning, get a degree and work two jobs to get from nowhere to here, I would probably have collapsed from the burden of the sheer magnitude of what was laid out before me. Yet here I am. It's amazing how much you can accomplish by putting one foot in front of the other.
This is starting to sound a bit like an acceptance speech (but way too long, I would have been booed off the stage by now), so I might as well thank my guy for standing by me through all of that. I literally couldn't have done it without you, babe.
Graphic evidence of the best moment of my life, the day that made all of my past struggles worth it, That Time I Petted A Giraffe. LOOK THERE'S ONE RIGHT NEXT TO MY ARM
So when you feel like you're stuck without a chance of turning your life around, don't back down. Consider your options and start walking towards your future, one step at a time.