Thursday, 29 March 2012

# 79 Wheels

Okay, so this pretty awesome thing happened on Wednesday which also happened to be my birthday. I picked up a brand new car from a showroom in Lincoln.

I have always owned a car since I passed my test in 1995. It has been my lifeline - the knowledge that, even if I didn't, I could get in my car and drive wherever I wanted. When I went to Uni I gave it up and sold my fabulous Toyota Carina. I knew I wouldn't be able to afford to run it and to be honest I didn't need it that often. But I've always regretted the decision even if it was the right one.

So the one thing I promised myself when I left Uni was a new car - a business investment predominantly. And now it's happened. Thanks to a great deal plus three hours of haggling at my local Peugeot showroom I am now the proud owner of a brand new 2012 plate 107. Yes, I know it's not much, but it's mine, and it's reliable and I can go wherever I want again.

It means I can turn my back on getting to shoots towing a case full to the brim, I can arrive fresh and de-stressed and I will now rarely have to use trains, buses and National Express coaches. Amen to that.


Monday, 26 March 2012

# 78 Friendship

I occurs to me there are a lot of ulterior motives where friendship is concerned. I seem to get embroiled in all sorts of situations which don't fit my nature. Whatever you may think of me (probably because you don't know me well enough) I am a good friend. I don't take sides, my advice is impartial and I don't back stab. I will help to resolve things where I can. If all that messed up shit is your bag, don't bother because I'll see you a mile off and walk away.

If you've got me as a real friend, you'll know it. If you're side stepping around me and not sure whether to trust me, more fool you. I give second chances, no more. Because I know that the kind of friendship I offer doesn't come around that often. Read it, and take head. I am no longer taking prisoners.

Friday, 23 March 2012

# 77 Three day catch up

This last week has been insane on so many levels. Now I feel I should do a three day blog catch up. But this is okay. I am not always in control of my life. Hey, it happens! Even control freaks and workaholics lose out sometimes.

Work deadlines for both university work and my business have been incredibly pressured this last week but this wasn't unexpected. I don't mind that, even if it means over the last three days I have had only 9 and a half hours sleep collectively. I work well under pressure and often produce my best work under these circumstances. The results should give you an idea how worth it, it all was. However, it has been coupled by personal stuff and the clash in the middle has been hard to balance against everything else.

Thankfully Friday was the perfect culmination to the entire week in one day. Deadlines met, amazing work results with fantastic teams, quality time with friends and personal stuff sorted to a happy conclusion. This gives me a smiley face like this :)

My month long Easter break from Uni begins now. It is full of design work, photoshoots, social gatherings and quality down time with friends and I am just going to enjoy every moment of it.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

# 76 Trust

To be able to put your trust entirely in a human being, to me, seems very foolhardy. It's never happened to me. I don't mean trust them with a secret, or even your future hopes and fears. But everything, your entire being emotionally and physically, everything you see and everything you feel. It's a dangerous risk to take because people are unpredictable and you never quite know how things are going to change. People can change so very fast. Once your trust is taken and they hold your secrets it's like they own you and this is a very dangerous game to play.

Not falling into this position can be instinctive or it can take years to perfect. I've never completely embraced it but I have come close a few times. Each time I have learnt why it is a keen lesson indeed.  Yes, I am still learning though rarely do I get my fingers burnt these days.

I don't think I'll fall into it anytime soon. But you never can tell. Sometimes people can surprise you, sometimes they can let you down. I guess only time and a little caution will tell.

Monday, 19 March 2012

# 75 Sleep Talkin' Man

I am genuinely unable to blog right now because I am so busy. Instead, here's a blog to make you all happy. Go to Sleep Talkin' Man. Enjoy.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

# 74 New week, new motto

To be honest with you I'm pretty glad this week is over. It's been a high pressured, deadline meeting, messed up, emotional train wreck of a week and I'm hopefully finally moving on (again). Please let this be the last time this year.

It began last night with yet another resolution to stop falling for the wrong guys and a trashy chick flick. You know, those ridiculous stories that have happy endings? Well gee, I'm not so sure about that, but if there's the promise of Hugh Jackman at the end, then I'm willing to play along for an hour and 16 minutes.

I managed to avoid my nemesis 'Bridget Jones' and plumped instead for 'Someone Like You' which actually is the perfect chick flick to end the kind of week I've had. Jane Goodale, the centre of the story line, could be my new nemesis, except she gets the enigmatic Jackman and I have an empty bed, again.

Hugh Jackman - who wouldn't.
So this weekend shall be busy with shoots and sewing and hopefully a Saturday night out. Next week will be filled with a stack of deadlines before four weeks of Easter break from Uni. I have crushed it full of shoots, commissions, a runway show in Birmingham and a week's round trip to my parents in Kent and a friend in the Cotswolds. Then I'm on the home straight for the last few weeks of my three year degree.

After that, I'm on my own. My business will be official and I will be the legal sole proprietor of a bonefide company. That freaks me out - in a good way. It should be enough to distract me from everything else. So why the hell do I worry about the other stuff when all this is going on?

Beats me!

Friday, 16 March 2012

# 73 Bedfellows

I randomly googled 'How to stop falling in love' the other day (like you do) because I figure if I can stop all this nonsense I won't keep getting into messy situations and struggling with feelings of bewilderment and regret. It's remarkable how much there is on the internet on the subject. I found this one on Yahoo Answers which I rather liked:

'If you are asking if it is possible for the mind to triumph over the heart, my personal experience and observations would indicate that the heart does as it wants. No logic or reason can influence its behavior.

The heart will whine and cry like a baby when it wants something... especially, something that it cannot have. You can try to comfort it, but in the end, when it gets out of control, and cannot be silenced, you must take it out of the room and away from that which it is crying for. Otherwise it will just disturb everyone else and make your life miserable.'

Not very scientific I know, but I suppose it is not possible to fall in love that fast. Love at first sight is surely therefore just infatuation at first sight and therefore it is possible to halt it, by, as the above writer indicated, taking it out of the room.

I been rather unimpressed with this year so far. So I've determined to simply lock down to my work and avoid any possible situation in which I may end up in his horrible predicament again. It is after all, the one thing that has kept me focused and moving forward. It is my bedfellow and I'm sure I don't need any other at the moment.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

# 72 Tactics

I am posting up this fabulously funny blog page for 'Sleep Talkin Man' that I was directed to by a friend this evening.

It is a diversionary tactic since I have had a horrendous day and I don't have the words to describe it. Hopefully I will be back tomorrow with enough letters to string together into words and ultimately sentences.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

# 71 Second Chances

I have always believed in giving people second chances. Everyone fucks up from time to time. We are what we are. I have ALWAYS given second chances, sometimes thirds if I really thought the person concerned was worth it.

When you are not given that second chance in return it hurts, it REALLY hurts, because to you it is unjustified. I have rarely had to prove myself because the proof is in how I treat people. Those close to me KNOW I am honest, straight down the middle and as trustworthy as you're ever likely to find a human being. That's NOT a boast, it's the way it is.

I don't think anyone I know well would say I was a bad person. I am the sort of person who, if you needed advice or just wanted to vent at someone, would give a layman's point of view and help you where possible. And I am proud of that. Because there aren't that many of us around. I guess that's one of my upsides. I am as good as I can be to the people who matter most to me. And I take the time to work out who those people are. It doesn't just happen. It's taken years of mistakes and regret to get to this refined stage of friendship control.

So not being given the second chance in return pretty much sucks. It means I haven't had the chance to prove myself as the person I really am or that the individual concerned hasn't had enough time to get to know me and only sees me for the mistake, which will have been without malice. It hasn't happened in a while, but it happened yesterday and I am genuinely, genuinely heart broken.

I don't mean for these things to happen. They very rarely do. But sometimes things just slip through the net. You don't realise how situations will change or how things will progress or how lucky you realise you are.

I am genuinely and completely devastated at what's happened this week and I hope that the person who I have so wronged (without wanting it at all) thinks again. Because I deserve that second chance and I know that I, and they, are worth it .

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

# 70 The Trouble is Not that I Am Single.....

'The trouble is not that I am single and likely to stay single, but that I am lonely and likely to stay lonely.' - Charlotte Bronte

This is a sentence I would probably have scorned at a while ago. Being independent has always been one of my strong points and certainly when I was younger, not relying on other people was part of my survival strategy. And all the time I have been in relationships I wondered if the grass was greener on the other side. It was something I yearned for secretly.

But as you get older and more used to sharing your life and your space permanently with someone else you learn that give and take is part of the norm. In your day to day life you learn to cope with people, help them, socialise with them. But it's a learning curve and we're not all born with the social gene. And whilst I am certainly not high on anyone's social radar I do enjoy getting out and meeting new and interesting people. This thankfully is becoming a more regular occurrence. Long may it continue.

I've been less bothered with the serious relationship angle though. I became an official single last November and was happy to embrace singledom full-heartedly but I have discovered to my surprise that I don't do well as an isolated single. No man is an island and human interaction is necessary if you are to have a well balanced life and keep your perspective. It doesn't mean permanent. But we are all animals and that little bit of me needs attention.

It's not an easy thing to cope with. Trying to find the perfect balance in your personal life versus your relationships is a fine art. Because I have learnt to fill my spare time with work, which means I am very committed, finding time for others, whilst very welcome and wanted, is still quite difficult to balance up. But I have also discovered that singledom can offer up all sorts of opportunities you don't necessarily have to turn down. I have been rather smug about this, because frankly I've been missing out and I like playing catch up.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

# 69 Beauty is subjective

We all have our ideal. Our ideal is not everyone else's ideal and that's good because it means (hopefully) there will be someone for everyone - more or less. But don't say someone isn't beautiful because that's a generalisation I can't be done with.

Of course, it isn't always physical. Not all of us stop at the outer shell. We may profess to like the 'eye candy', but there's really nothing more tempting than an intellectual, someone who can hold a conversation or has something to say and knows who they are. There's no doubt this comes highest on the list. It's a much bigger turn on than the James Bond lookalike.

You can be the most beautiful person in the world and have nothing to say about anything. You can be an average Joe and have the mind of a goddess. I know which I'd prefer.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

# 68 Fickle Insecurities

There are many reasons I am happiest of all behind the camera, designing and styling rather than modelling in front of it. It is an industry crippled by personal insecurities and I am often intrigued at how such self-doubting, fearful people are not only willing to put themselves through that kind of centre of attention on a regular basis but also how they continually rebutt any compliment that goes with it.

Let's face it, if you're modelling you SHOULD be good at it. It's a hard job as any professional / semi-professional or serious hobbyist will tell you. There is no glamour in it as a job. And you should also be confident that you look good, feel good and give the best results every time you are on a shoot or catwalk because otherwise you are wasting everyone's time.

There is nothing more annoying than the model who criticises how they look on final edits. Lines like 'my legs look fat' on a 5ft 9 inch tall, size 6 really really pisses me off. You may be fishing for compliments because you are insecure, but to the stylist and photographer this is just downright insulting. Did we not get your best angle? Was the dress not fitted enough?

If you know you have a best side, work to it. If you know a part of you is less flattering than the rest, play it down. To be honest I have no sympathy with people like this. If this is how you feel why put yourself through that kind of scrutiny every time you go to work? Time to change your career path?

Thankfully, the more professionals I work with the less I hear this sort of comment. You NEVER get this from a serious professional model who is being paid for her time. And she would not criticise the ability of her team with that sort of indirect response. I've never heard it from a photographer I've worked with.

But because a lot of my work still involves working with individuals who are hobbyists or just starting out, I still hear it and it's making me weary and more picky about who I choose to work with. If I've asked you to model in a project, it's not because I think your legs look fat, or I don't like the shape of your nose. It's because I think you look good, you fit the project and I want to work with you. Please treat it as a compliment.

I'd much rather listen to a model saying she likes the pictures, is happy with the angle and thinks she looks good than one who has an apparent sense of self-loathing. Recently, I've met a few people who are so self assured and happy in themselves they can say - 'Yes I am brilliant'. Yes, it's refreshing. I don't dislike them for it. I don't even think it's arrogant.

I have been plagued with insecurities all my life. Now, as I am, most of them have gone. I've found my niche market, I know I am good at what I do and that's not a boast. It's a truth. It must be, people are asking to work with me and I am very very busy at what I do. I'm a professional making a name for myself and working with the best. Why should I be ashamed of that?

Friday, 9 March 2012

# 67 Books

So far I've pretty much failed in one of my major resolutions - to read more. This week I was leant a book which I have never read *shame shame* - 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'. I'm sure that if I scheduled in some time I could get through a few pages a day.

And this could be a really good de-stress tactic. But doing it, when there are so many other things I could / should be doing, is tricky. I am really short of admin time and getting emails answered and pages updated takes time, especially when there is so much to lure me away from 'down time'.

I should make it the last thing I do before bed, even for just half an hour. I might get to sleep quicker. Time to put that resolution into practice.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

# 66 Be afraid

Do something new that scares you. It doesn't matter how big or small it is. Its significance is to you and your life. Shake yourself out of your routine, do something daring, odd, different, bizarre or dangerous. But do it. And do it soon. Here endeth the lesson. :)

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

# 65 Travel

On Monday I went to Stockport for a photoshoot. I love to travel and I actually don’t mind public transport although I will often profess otherwise. It's a genuine excuse to sit still, do nothing and think or sleep or read, or whatever it is I want to do that I rarely get a chance to indulge in. Sometimes I just do nothing and I really enjoy that in an environment where I’m not procrastinating but genuinely unable to get distracted by anything else.

Second to the train (which I like for the views but not the hassle factor) my favourite mode of transport is the car. I absolutely love driving. I love the mechanics of it, the independence it brings, the familiarity of being in something that is yours and has all the stuff in it that you need for that day.

So even though I was typing this on the train to Stockport, it didn’t last because I genuinely wanted to sit and do nothing. It's a state of mine I don't enjoy very often these days. I keep myself very busy, partly because I love what I do. Partly because it stops me from having too long to think about the stuff I can't deal with right now.  I guess I'm just a coward for that.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

# 64 Madness is a strange bed fellow

Do you ever feel like you're going slightly or slowly mad - that you haven't quite got a handle on things. And that just as you think you’ve finally worked it out and compartmentalised all those feelings and emotions, something comes along and like 'Kerplunk!' - one pull of those brightly coloured straws and the whole thing seems to go off kilter.

I'm sure I understand very little of what goes on in my life at the moment and there are days when I sit there and think WTF am I doing? Some of the important aspects like work I am pretty sure I am in control of and I’ve got my ethics sorted out and yes I’ve finally worked out who I am. But there are some things I just can't fathom – like people and being able to switch off instead of pointlessly brooding over the stuff I can't change. 

But then is that me? Or is it the rest of the world around me that’s lost the plot? A bigger question perhaps?  

And if it is me, am I the only one or are there lots of us who wake up in the morning and think, yes I think I probably am going slowly mad. It would be more comforting to know that I wasn’t alone in this thought rather than that in 10 years time I’m going to be in some mental institution somewhere – a rising star that just missed out due to insanity.

The thought of losing control really worries me. I’d hate to go mad, lose grip on reality. Perhaps if I simplified my life I wouldn’t get so worked up. It’s as if I go looking for trouble. I’m like a magnet for complication. I don’t expect to swan through life not having any hassle, truly. It doesn’t work out like that. But I’m pretty sure I don’t deserve everything I get. I wasn’t THAT bad was I? 

Monday, 5 March 2012

# 63 Reviewing the stakes

The past five months and, particularly those since I started this blog, have been some of the most turbulent, inspirational, productive, daunting and dare I say confusing of my life. People have come and gone and some have come back again. On the horizon looms one of the most monumental changes I've ever had to commit to and as that reality dawns I have gained an entirely new insight into how I live my life.

There is a phrase that I have used on this blog before which comes from Alice in Wonderland. It says 'It's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then'. It is an incredibly poignant statement right now because there are people and events in my life that have completely reshaped my outlook and mean I can never go back to the way things used to be.

And I wouldn't change it for the world because all these changes have been for the better even if some of them have been painful, soul destroying and just downright uninspiring. They have taught me how to be more patient with the things I don't understand, resilience in myself and who my friends really are (or has at least affirmed what I already knew). I have gained incredible knowledge into the people around me and in those moments this has strengthened considerably some of my relationships. This is all a good thing.

In just a couple of months, a way of life I have enjoyed entirely will suddenly end. My three years at the University of Lincoln comes to fruition and I must stand on my own two feet as a business owner, putting all my skills into practice, proving not only to everyone around me but also to me that I made the right decision and that this isn't so much a leap of faith as a conscious decision.

Previously I would have doubted I could do it, but something has changed and I am no longer frightened that I might fail. In many ways I am looking forward to living my working life with a whole new dynamic. No longer dreading the Monday to Friday 9 to 5 but immersing myself every day in my passion. That is a precious gift. And if I can make it work financially then all is well with the world.

As for everything else, well you can't predict how things will pan out, or how people will change. I have my hopes and dreams of course, but essentially I can't do anything about much of it. But I am hoping those dynamics will stay as they are because right here, right now, this is where I want to be and this is the way I want things to stay.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

# 62 Self indulgence

I had an interesting chat with a friend the other day.

We had both looked at the sacrifices we had made over the years for other people and what we'd got in return. Now, I know you shouldn't go out purposefully looking for return favours every time you do something for someone else, but it occurred to us that we had spent most of our adult lives pleasing other people. Family, friends, partners, society in general, sticking to the rules and being a 'model citizen'.

To be honest with you I'm getting pretty sick of playing by the rules. Especially as I've discovered they are only there to be broken.

And it appears we have reached the same conclusion at the same time, quite independently - that it's high time we started being a little more selfish, self congratulatory and self rewarding. We realised that if we don't do it, no one else is going to.

I for one don't want to look back in 10 years and wonder what I did that really made me happy. Yes there are things that are very satisfying about my life and I'm not about to pretend that I haven't lead a very productive and useful life to date, but sometimes you just need a break to get what YOU want and to immerse yourself just occasionally in complete and total self indulgent escapism.

So we've both made a decision. We're going to take what we want, have fun and just bloody well enjoy it.

Friday, 2 March 2012

# 61 Lost Days

How time flies....

I hadn't even realised I'd failed to post up yesterday. Shameful! It must have been something to do with the wonderful spring weather we're having this week. That and the impending deadlines of University. Yes, we've got just 3 weeks to get our collections finished before the Easter break. But then we have an insanely long holiday for a month so I'm not complaining really.

Hopefully tomorrow will bring a more interesting blog. I have a fantastic launch event to attend tonight so I'm sure I can find something to tell you about that. :)