It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are – E.E. Cummings.
Around this time, as always, all over the place, there are people receiving their university degrees and heading off to their graduation and I am so excited for them because I remember the exact moment that I found out I had received a 2:1 in my degree (I was in Tenerife having a late breakfast, early lunch) and the excitement and nerves that built up around my graduation day. In all honesty, I would love to relive that day – heading to Southbank in London, being in awe of the Royal Festival Hall, climbing the stairs in my bright orange shoes, shaking the Jacqueline Wilson’s hand and celebrating with Pimms and pizza. It was one of the best days of my life; one that I don’t reflect on as much as I should.
With all that said, it has been nearly three years since that day and I can’t believe I am saying three years. It doesn’t feel like that long, but it does at the same time. Time is a funny thing. It probably just makes me feel older than I actually feel which isn’t something to dwell on too much.
Recently, I’ve been feeling like I haven’t been successful, or I’m not successful because I haven’t made my way into a dream career, or I haven’t been working in any time of career since graduation, like a lot of other people have my age. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing – everyone takes different paths, and that’s okay. I’ve had a lot of fun instead, whilst not really settling down and always choosing to get up and do something different, to basically put off the idea of growing up. I think loving Peter Pan too much has rubbed a little off on me. I’m writing this from my bed in my parent’s home, which is also my home, and the place I have always returned to after different chapters in my life: after university, after working abroad, after Australia. I’ve never been in the position to leave my childhood home. I mean, I could have if I had chosen that, but I wanted to go and travel instead and so I didn’t want to waste money on rent when that wasn’t what I really wanted.
Today I wanted to reflect on all the things I have done since graduation and to show people who are maybe in a position where they’ve just graduated and they feel like they don’t have a clue about what is the next chapter in their life. We’re not all put on this earth to go straight into a job and live for the weekends. People have dreams of all kinds and ambitions that are completely different from everyone else’s. The great thing about the position you are in at graduation is that you can find your own pathway and follow it. I’m not saying it is as simple as that: there are setbacks, there are times you have to scrape on the pennies and make sacrifices. As long as you stick to your guns about what you want to do, and you work for it, you’ll get there – even if it’s in twenty, thirty years time.
WORKED AND PLAYED ABROAD
My very first summer after university was a whirlwind of holidays, partying and working various jobs in Tenerife. As I write this, today three years ago, I went to Disneyland Paris with my cousins and played a big kid by getting my own autograph book. I nearly jumped up and down when I met Peter, Wendy, Hook and Smee. I am not afraid to admit that.
Summer 2014 was epic and one of the best summers I’ve ever had. In the months of June and August, I worked in Tenerife as a meet and greet girl, a PR and a shot girl (which I wrote an article for Cosmo that you can read here) and generally let my salty beach hair loose after working so hard in my final year of uni. In July, I headed to Disneyland Paris, had my graduation in London, and flew out to Marbella for a week of partying with one of my closest university friends before heading back to Tenerife for August – that was a long night at the airport! And it didn’t end at the end of August; me and the same friend went to Ibiza for a week of closing parties.
I had the best tan I have ever had and so many cherished memories of just having fun.
HAD MY FIRST TASTER OF WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY
After I got home from Ibiza, I obviously needed a job; I didn’t earn enough in Tenerife, by a long shot, to save. And so, I started looking around and found something as a copywriter. Little did I know that I wouldn’t get paid for it. Yep, cutthroat industry of the creatives, people. I worked at Purple Revolver for six months, gaining experience of the journalism industry and building my portfolio. I’m not going to say I didn’t learn anything from it because that would be a lie. Yeah, it was really frustrating at times and there were creative clashes and all the rest of it but it was there that I interviewed more musicians, learned how to do social media better, became a content editor and managed a group of writers. I also learned that it really wasn’t the place I wanted to be in at that point in my life. I had a goal of travelling Australia and that seemed further away than ever, so I decided to quit and focus on getting paid work as well as my own writing.
I STARTED MY OWN BLOG
Fayebeline came shortly after and I have loved blogging ever since. Right now, I feel like up and down with it but I can’t deny the incredible experiences I have from it such as receiving books to review and heading to amazing events such as the British Style Collective. I love this blog and I’ll continue to love it for a very, very long time.
ADDED “PERFUME EXPERT” TO MY CV
Yep. I am a “perfume expert”, according to my training at The Perfume Shop. I absolutely loved working for TPS whilst I saved for my travels. I am now obsessed with perfume and all things fragrance. Before, I loved perfume, but I didn’t understand the ins and outs, the history, the notes, the brand and everything else that comes hand in hand with amazing perfumes. Because of my job here, I got to walk into the same job in Melbourne which was amazing. I never imagined I could be doing a job I love in Australia. I also met some of my bestest friends at The Perfume Shop so I’m really grateful for Mum spotting that part-time poster in the shop window.
I completed my solid dream of three years and travelled to Australia last year. I did that. I worked hard at two jobs, taking every hour under the sun, working for eleven days straight over the busy Christmas period, bought my one-way ticket (open return because you can’t buy a one-way ticket to Australia) and boarded that plane all by myself. I became a solo traveller and I did it. My travels in Australia had ups and downs, like many things in life but it was a life-changing experience. I’m really proud of myself for having the confidence and the ability to get up and go for it. When I am asked about it, a lot of people ask me you did that by yourself? in a really shocked way and so I guess that makes me feel a little bit brave, because everyone else says I should be. If you want to read more about travelling solo, I’ve written about that too. I’ve also been lucky enough to have Bali steal my heart, a place I am desperate to head back to, as well as Singapore.
Well that post turned out to be on the longer side. I hope you stuck with me all the way through it! I just felt like sharing my story about life after graduation and to show that not every path is the same. Sometimes I do think why haven’t I achieved this yet? Why am I not successful in this area of my life? Why do I feel like I’m not a fully fledged adult yet? I’m 25 and still living at home blah blah blah. It is so easy to focus on the negatives in our life rather than the positives. I think society has somehow manipulated us from a very early age to always look at the things we want to make better, rather than the things we have already achieved. I also wrote something called the Anti-Bucket List which also focuses on the things I had achieved so far in my life if you would like some more life affirmations and to get to know me a little more.
No matter what stage you are at in your life, it is your own personal journey and yours alone. Nobody else can dictate what you should or shouldn’t be doing. I am now working a Monday to Friday job in marketing, a career I would potentially love to see through. I still have that travel and writing itch though!
Don’t give up on your dreams, whatever they may be.
Love, Faye xo