A long time ago in a land far away a small brunette girl poured over her pile of glossy fashion magazines, studying each page in detail, cutting out pictures that caught her eye and longing for a career within the industry. Sighing as she finished the last in her stack of mags until the next instalment, she went back to writing her best selling novel when suddenly a huge dragon swept into the room and frazzled her magazines into smithereens-
Ok that isn’t true. Well not necessarily true. I mean the whole small, brunette, fash mag lovin’ thing is true, but the best-selling novel and dragon not so much. More like a few years ago in London writing her 105627363724th essay on The Golden Era of literature and her mum appearing in her room armed with a bin bag bleating on about recycling.
The girl is me by the way, shocker, I know. But I was (and still am to a degree) obsessed with magazines, especially fashion ones. Print, online, blogs, anything that contained clothing or an image of a well-dressed individual. My desire for a career in the fashion world clashed terribly with my Lit & Journo degree, and so did my student budget (debts and loans, woo!). But I was determined to try and get in in some way, so I did a bit of online fashion writing and went in the pursuit of internships.
Approximately 4 years later, a string of internships and 2 fashion-related jobs under my belt, I have had a change of heart. I still love clothes, and stuff, and mags- this will never change. But my plans of working within the fashion PR industry have been diminished. Although some of my internships were pretty cool (Fashion Week workie anyone?) they weren’t really for me. The jobs that I had were fast-paced and unfortunately toxic environments. Again I stress that this is not the case for everyone. My point is, I hated the jobs that I was doing and my enthusiasm was wavering. My anxiety was at a high. If I was trying to do something that I loved, why was I hating every second of it? Why was I not reading magazines anymore and why did my morning commute to work feel like a death sentence everyday? I felt quite sad actually, like a what would I do with myself now/ existential crisis thing.
I had an epiphany- maybe I was choosing a career unsuited to me, roles that didn’t fit my persona in any way. Maybe I just enjoyed admiring fashion from afar rather than working within the industry? Did I really want a fashion job or was I just at a loss for what to do? Why did I want a career in fashion anyway when I had other passions? Yes, I loved clothes. But had I actually enjoyed an of the internships or roles that I had pursued? No. My point is, I know that a job is a job, I know that we are encouraged to do something that we love. But what if we try to do something that we love and realise that actually, it’s probably not the right path for us? We’re expected to automatically know what to do with ourselves and this is going to be what we do for the rest of our lives? It’s ok to try something and realise it may not be for you, it’s not the be all and end all.
Basically it’s ok to change your mind. I was so convinced that this was the right area for me that I wasn’t acknowledging the fact that I wasn’t enjoying a second of it.
I still love fashion, enjoy magazines and buying stuff providing my funds will allow it. I respect anyone working in that industry who is following their dream. I am more than happy to be a spectator and pursue other things that I had put on a back burner and ignored that I had more love for. It might not have been my ideal career in the end or worked for me, but that’s my thing, I’m glad I got a chance to try it out. At the risk of being REALLY cheesy here follow your dreams but you might be surprised in the end. But you don’t know until you try.