Doubters; pay attention to me.
What would you do if I tell you that for a very long time I didn’t believe in myself? I didn’t think I had it in me to walk into a room, full of beautiful people and still demand my worth.
Maybe confidence is caring less about what people think of you and more about running towards the things that make you happy.
I turned twenty-two last week and I feel like my time is running out in terms of achieving the things I so desperately desire. I haven’t achieved enough. I am not enough. What have I done in the past year worth mentioning? Nothing. That’s how hard I can be on myself sometimes. My inner voice reminds me that I still have time to show the world what I am made of. It reminds me that twenty-one held more than I ever could have imagined for myself; it took my life in a completely new direction. Despite my desire to always have a plan, I learnt that I could be brave. I went from walking on a path to become a full-time journalist; set on working for the BBC or Thompson Reuters and ending up in a world I’ve loved since I was a child.
Say hello to the Fashion world! Falling into this industry last year had almost been foreshadowed. Fashion has always been something I’ve been interested in. I would make my sisters dress up and make them pretend that they were on a catwalk. I remember receiving sewing patterns for my fourteenth birthday and I mimicking models’ photoshoots with my friends for art projects. I’ve watched the Victoria Secret Fashion show for as long as I can remember.
Sometimes I look around myself on set and I’m like wow this is my job, me?! This is really cool.
It wasn’t easy getting here, let me tell you that. I worked my ass off and compromised on big life decisions. I moved back home after vowing that I would never do that. I’m still at home and don’t know when that will change. I made myself available for every opportunity I was offered, meaning I would cancel on friends and family last minute and pretty much have no social life. I worked seven-day weeks and on my days ‘off’ I would organise test shoots, talk to my agent, message people on Instagram, reply to emails, write invoices and try my best to find more work. My agenda? To make myself known. The first thing I do in the morning is to read my emails and the last thing I do at night is to check them again. That’s how badly I want this.
I am not glamourising this at all; society disguises burnout as hard work making it appear glamorous. But it’s not I’m exhausted and I’m worried all the time about when my next paycheck will be or whether I’ll ever book another job. It’s unstable and very hard work which is why I am hoping it will pay off. But like many people will tell you hard work doesn’t automatically equal success or happiness; that comes from within yourself.
So yes, twenty-one was not a wasted year. Twenty-one taught me to be confident. Instead of that nine to five familiarity; I was meeting new clients, artists, models, photographers every single day. I had to learn my worth fast and discuss rates, have business meetings and go after what I wanted. I got uncomfortable and struggled endlessly with the constant unknown. I found comfort and love in people. I fell in love, made a best friend and life partner. I taught myself that things happen that we could never imagine.
I am adamant that life is what you make it. I don’t think life happens to us, it’s what you want and believe it is. It’s all yours for as far as your arms can stretch. The energy you put out, the work, the grace, the smiles and the love. If you’re a positive, friendly, hardworking human, I completely believe that you will attract and invite those attributes back into your life.
I learnt this year that confidence comes from how you feel about yourself. It’s not how you look or if someone tells you that you’re doing well or are beautiful. You have to believe it too, you can work so hard and still believe you’re failing unless you give yourself a moment to appreciate how far you’ve come. For you that might be looking back on fitness goals and seeing where you started. For me, it’s looking back to exactly a year ago and seeing where I have been and what I have done since then.
I’m looking forward to reflecting again a year on from now at 23 years and seeing if life has gotten even better. For now I just have to get through the next month and that means, more hard work, more travelling, meeting, paperwork, getting up at the crack of dawn and that’s not even the half of it.