My Single Life Part 2
Location • Petersham Nurseries
photographer • Franki Sears
I’m so happy you've come back to read part 2 of ‘my single life’ I wanted to make this post more about my late 20's & early 30's but I think i'm gonna need a ‘part 3’ as looking back at my early 20's it was pretty eventful. Writing this series of blog posts has brought back so many moments in my life I’d forgotten about so I’m just going with it and letting the memories do the talking....
I left University at 24 feeling accomplished that i'd achieved a 1st class honours degree in fashion design, I even got selected into the 'Zandra Rhodes' textile awards fashion show which I came 2nd, yippee. My 12 piece collection looked like a multi coloured art exhibition mixed with 60's swing so no wonder Zandra was all over it, I almost gave Andy Warhol a run for his money!
I left college full of optimism thinking that I was going to get snapped up by the likes of Gucci or Versace but would you believe it leaving Uni with a 1st class honours degree doesn't really give you such jobs you still have to work from the bottom up. I did get a glimmer of hope when I got an interview at Inditex in Spain which is basically Zara head office. I got flown over for an accessories designer position which was first very daunting as i'd never travelled alone and also I didn't speak the language and to my dismay it was literally in the middle of no where. I thought the job being at Zara HQ would mean it would be some glamorous hill top, beach view location with everyone sashaying around in flowing maxi dresses from the latest collection , but no just a regular factory office with an old school Spanish cafe mainly visited by the locals. This was nearly 10 years ago so I’m sure by now it’s upped it’s anti as Zara back then wasn’t such a big deal as it is now. Cut to the chase I didn't get the position a lot like many other jobs I applied for back then but the experience taught me to never give up and always keep that fire in you that you'll get your big break one day
the holiday romance
In between looking for fashion designer jobs I would take annual holidays with the girls mainly to Greek islands where we would drink sugary alco-pops mainly in the form of fishbowls which now make my stomach turn thinking about what was actually in them. My first girls holiday was with my friend Claire we was 18 and we went to Malia where I got the best tan id had since my holidays as a kid, I think it was laying on the beach till gone 7pm watching the sun sets, we were so tanned we got mistaken for “workers” out there which then made us happy but now makes me want to never get a tan again haha.
So we arrive in Malia and its not quite the holidays i'm used to with my family, its 18-30 holidays which scared the crap out of poor mum but she let me go anyway she probably prayed every night i'd still be alive the next morning. Our first night out was on the strip when I saw this guy outside a bar trying too sell 2-1 on ouzo shots to groups of girls and guys. He was a “worker” out there and he had the dark mahogany tan to match also he had that messy kinda hair and look that goes with role...my eyes lite up, I thought it was love at first sight. I dragged Claire to that bar just so I could talk to him, now i've always been shy around people I fancy I freak out, go bright red and basically turn into the biggest geek going which is basically what happened. I also have a weird thing where I literally can not eat I've only had this a few times in my life i'm sure its just nerves, its great on holiday though & does wonders for your bikini body!
So Long story short we saw him every night of our 7 day holiday and he was my first holiday romance. I did the lamest thing on the last night though, I genuinely thought it was real love (where is the monkey hiding face emoji when you need it) and therefore decided it was totally okay to run up the strip throw him a piece of paper which had my Nokia 3810 mobil number on it, moments before our tour bus had to leave taking us back to the airport. He looked pissed off which made me feel 10 times more stupid as many other girls on the strip stared at me in embarrassment, I cried the whole way home listening to Usher 8701 album on my CD player which can I just say is the best album ever made.
I continued to think about him weeks after until one night I was out in Yates in Lewisham (I never usually go here by the way) this is where I saw him but what a difference a tan can make as honestly he was unrecognisable so much so I hide from him in the toilet until I could get my arse out of there quicker than Usain Bolt. Ewww what had I been thinking all that time pinning over a boy who probably had some sort of ‘Malia STD’ (by the way I did not sleep with him I wasn’t that silly) so at least I could feel some sort of comfort in the fact I was probably one of the rare few that said no to him. Looking back I think that’s why he didn’t want my number I was to bloody hard work but I do love my younger self for saying no. I think if I hadn’t that Usher album would of been on repeat longer than the plane journey home haha!
the wii fit guy
Now don’t get me wrong every girl loves presents but I’m more of a simple present kinda girl, flowers, 'bottle of bubble juice' as my grandad called it (thats champagne to those thinking what the hells bubble juice haha) but a wii fit is probably not on my list of most desired gifts!
We met in the local pub close to where I lived, I was heading to meet the girls in beckenham so was dressed to match a night out wearing black wet look leggings (remember that fashion trend ladies, you know the one that made you look like cat women or thats what we thought haha) a white slogan t-shirt, really high heals and i'd had my hair dyed a plum like colour I looked vampy to say the least. Thinking back no wonder he chatted me up I must of stuck out like a sore thumb in the well lite pub!! We exchanged numbers and I didn't think much of it I was more excited about heading to beckenham where the boys were fit and the drinks were strong.
So I said yes to a date which escalated to about 6 more dates all of which I enjoyed but I just didn’t get that electric feeling you get when your so excited to see someone you know when you could the tingles haha!
It was also bad timing for me as meeting 'WII Man' clashed with my dream of becoming a designer. I started to design accessories just before we met and they were selling well mainly by word of mouth but it grew quickly, so well in fact I sent some of my new bangle designs into 'Grazia Magazine' who decided to feature me in the 'Fashion & Beauty' charts as Number 1 and in Marie Claire A-Z as the new designer to watch out for. It was all a little surreal at the time and even though my designs had massive magazine appeal my funds weren’t matching that status. I did however sell many designs of the back of those magazine articles and enjoyed every bit of it. The thing that really held me back from growing the brand was the lack of money and the pressure to earn a wage was pretty hard at times as all my money went back into the business - All creatives must go through that phase of money vs their passion and I take my hat off to those who never let their dreams become squished by the pressure to be apart of society or the rat race called life!
Now I like to design my accessories when I feel inspired which takes the pressure of it being solely about making money, for me the enjoyment of designing outweighs the £ sign at the end, it literally gives me life making customers smile when they get their GBL design and love it!
So back to WII man, we continued dating for a few months before I realised he wasn't the one for me, one funny story was my first trip to his house where I found out his mum enjoyed stealing knives and forks from restaurants and even took a large plant from the 'New Eltham grill' doorway adding it to her own kitchen decor... you can only imagine my face. But guys thats not why it ended, I did find it comical that none of the cutlery matched at their house. It ended at Christmas with him buying me a WII Fit which summed up the romance in that relationship and I finally called it a day.
Speeding through to 2018 and as you can probably tell I’ve skipped out most of my late 20s but I’ll write about those another time as I still feel like theirs so much to talk about. I think maybe what I now really need is someone that makes me stop what I’m doing and focus on being more present. Showing me that life isn’t just about work, social media and posting 2 times a day on Instagram (even tho I think life has become this & I love the engagement with you guys on insta).
I've been a fuss pot with love I know this, its just because I still believe in the one you know like in 'Sleepless in Seattle' where she gives up everything to meet a stranger on the top of the Empire State Building and it just so happens that he’s been waiting for her too.... That film literally gives me life!
You may think I’m crazy and I may still be sitting here at 50, writing my blog wondering where it all went wrong... but I honestly believe if you want something enough it’ll happen and knowing me their will definitely be a story to tell after ;)