Things started to look up in January. I can recall having just one moment where I experienced the highly unoriginal sentiment ‘life’s too short’, for the first time. I’d trekked into work, suffered a 40 minute bus journey where I’d stood up all the way, surrounded by screaming children, terrifying looking chavs, and people who looked like they’d given up on life. I then jumped on a train for the remainder of my journey, which was delayed Every. Single. Day. I got into work, late, for a day of being screamed at over the phone by people I’d never met. And then I realised. Life’s too short to make a daily three hour round trip to a job in a call centre that made me miserable. Life is TOO SHORT to not be doing what I want, and to not even try.
And from then on, it just sort of clicked in. I began to engage more with life. I moved on from the call centre, heard back from the job I wanted in advertising, and I began to blog more. I started setting myself blogging challenges, focussed around doing things for other people, or trying something new. I enrolled in Race for Life and started running. I started organising events and trying to see a lot more of my friends. Slowly but surely, things started to change.
The main difference was actually something incredibly easy to do. I mentioned it in my post on New Year’s Resolutions: just say yes. I began to say yes to things, to different opportunities, to invitations, and suddenly my world opened up. Instead of just planning things and never doing them, I made it my mission to just get up and do it. My friend India and I talked about going to Latitude festival. In previous years, I’d only have talked about it, ultimately being put off by the idea of not having a bath for four days, and I’d never have gone. Instead, we saved up, booked tickets, and it was one of the best things I did all year.
I made it a policy to try new things. I’d never run to fundraise before, and entering Race for Life was a fantastic experience. In previous years, it’d always been that thing that I ‘really ought to do’. It was always on my To Do list. I would say things like ‘yes, I really wanted to enter Race for Life this year, but I just didn’t get round to it’. In 2011, I got round to things. I sat down, enrolled myself (it took less than fifteen minutes), and set up a fundraising page. I found that the more I ‘just did’, the more things I wanted to do. I’d set up a precedent now, and I wasn’t going to let myself down.
The other wonderful thing I found was that one thing inevitably lead to another. Through Twitter, I found out about a fashion festival happening on the Pantiles. The woman organising it runs her own online fashion magazine, www.LadyMPresents.co.uk, and I volunteered myself to be in it. Not only did I have the insanely fun experience of walking in the fashion show, but because Lady M herself liked my (somewhat bizarre) outfits, she wanted to write a feature on me. Fast forward a month, and instead of writing a feature, she wanted me to write my own column. Then suddenly, I was going to London Fashion Week to cover some of the shows. I’m now a regular contributor, and it’s one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done. I’d always dreamt of going to London Fashion Week, but never thought I’d get the chance. While I’m on the subject, I must thank Lady M for her unbelievable support – she’s a dream editor, and she’s made this past year so special.
I also started paying attention to my strengths and weaknesses, and applied my ‘life’s too short’ philosophy countless other times. The job I thought I’d wanted turned out to be incredibly wrong for me. I left with the goal of pursuing more creative pastimes, and so it was that a few months on, I began to design and make my own jewellery. Thanks to the support of friends and the extremely helpful videos you can find on YouTube, I’ve managed to design and build my own website (also thanks to Mikey for getting me out of a sticky spot), and I’ve never been happier.
Things have continued to happen – I became an ambassador for the Teenage Cancer Trust, which you’ll be hearing a lot more about in the New Year, and I’ve just got another ‘post’ doing PR, communications and general Girl Friday-ing for a fantastic local artist. A year which started with me working in a call centre is ending a million miles away. I’m excited about life again, I’m enjoying myself, and I’ve never worked so hard in my life.
But, look. This blog isn’t about showing off about my endeavours (well, not completely, anyway.) I wanted to use my own example as a tool, to show you that you shouldn’t give up. I know I wasn’t exactly in the gutter before, but I had no idea what I wanted from life. I was just coasting by, not really engaging with anything, feeling miserable. If you saw yourself in this blog, then don’t worry. Things can and will change. Just remember the following:
- Don’t ignore opportunities – you never know what they could lead to.
- Say yes to everything
- …Within reason – don’t be a doormat…
- Be an interesting person – cultivate your own interests. The arts, sports, books. Whatever it is, tap into your interest and find a way to pursue it. In many cases, you can do that for free.
- Use social media – Twitter and blogging, you never know what you’ll come across.
- Just get out – what good is sitting along in your room? Simply getting out and doing something can work wonders.
- Don’t give up – if you don’t feel things are going right for you at the moment, keep going. If you have the right attitude, you can make things happen.
Thanks for reading, chaps. It’s been a pretty self-involved post, and I apologise for that. But if you get your own blog, you too can be marvellously self-obsessed.
Lots of love and a Happy New Year,