Life can pass you by so quickly and you’d never even notice, until one day you stop to think for a second about the time and changes that have passed you by and realise what exactly is happening with your life.
The last couple of weeks have been dull to say the least, as beautiful as this city and its architecture is, the buildings start to meld into one another after a while so you don’t know if you’re standing three miles further down the road…or in the exact same position. So I’ve taken the last few days to think about what has happened in my life and the potential of what could happen.
Four years ago, my life was completely different. I was studying for my Leaving Cert, I had a vastly different group of friends and I desperately wanted to be a lawyer. It was always my Dad’s dream for me to go into law. Since I was five or six, I was the child who stood out against the future ballerinas and dinosaurs, the girl who wanted to do something grown up but answered on command to the big question ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ with ‘A solicitor’…not knowing how to spell it, never mind what it was.
Years later, standing in the grounds of my school with my results paper in front of me, I should have been happy…but I wasn’t happy, I felt ill. I had to make the phone call to my Dad that I never wanted to make, that I wasn’t going to be a lawyer.
But I started to look on the bright side of life and thought of my CAO form and that maybe, just maybe, I got enough to get something. I couldn’t be a lawyer…or an accountant…or a princess (I gave up that dream when I realised I’d have to move to Scotland) but I could be something.
Three weeks later, I barged into my first Journalism class with a little less enthusiasm than was needed but I was there, muttering under my breath. I’d always been good at English (not just a side-effect of the London accent) so why couldn’t I give this a go for four long, arduous, boring years…bugger…should have done a jam-making course instead, I’ve always liked jam. But as I listened, I became captivated and within a number of days, I knew this was the job for me. Not a ballerina. Not a dinosaur. Not a jam-maker (although I miss the inevitable jam supply). Especially not a lawyer. I was meant to be a journalist.
Time passed and I flitted in and out of various topics. I could be a politics journalist, until I realised that politicians and politics bored me. I could be a law journalist until I remembered how my last brush with law went and swiftly rejected that. I could be a sports journa….no, I couldn’t. It wasn’t until January 2011, less than 14 months ago, when a writing opportunity came up in An Focal that I realised I’d left one vital subject out: fashion journalism.
Within a few months, I had my mind set. I had articles in the paper every issue, I’d flown to London for an exclusive fashion conference, I had been interviewed and accepted as the new Fashion Editor and I had started my new blog which, guess what, you’re currently reading. Everything started to fall into place and I felt more relaxed about my future than I ever thought I would be, even though the job market is a minefield.
No matter how tough it gets in the future, I know this is what I want to do in life. Whether it has to do with photography, or styling, or writing itself, this is the right choice for me and I can make it work for myself with enough dedication. I am determined to be sitting in Alexandra Shulman’s seat within the next 15 years and the ever-growing pile of rejection letters and emails won’t deter because the one thing I’ve learnt over the past year is that persistence and risk-taking are the two things you need to practice to get where you want to go.
It’s going to be a very long and scary road and by god, I tell you, there are sometimes I wish I’d decided to be a stegosaurus instead, they have it easy, but that’s life. You only live it once.
I’m not completely sure where I was going with this, 770 words later and I still don’t have a point (although that wouldn’t be unlike me generally!). I suppose you never know what’s waiting around the corner, not just in career terms, but life-changing epiphanies in love and even life itself. Persistence will always pay off, and if it doesn’t, I’m going to be very angry with a lot of
people who told me otherwise. Take risks and always go for what you want. If I were a lawyer right now…I’d be a very unhappy lawyer, so it’s better that I had to make that phone call and disappoint someone once, than get the results for something I wasn’t sure I wanted…and disappoint myself forever.