I have to admit, I’ve never subscribed to the whole “new year, new me” mindset. When I worked in the fashion industry AND had a fashion blog, I was often utterly exhausted by the time Christmas came around I didn’t have the headspace to start planning goals. And any day is a good day to adopt a new habit. However, being on the brink of a new decade feels different. More significant. So I wanted to pause for a moment to acknowledge the new era.
Many people will use the new decade as a fresh start, which is great. But you should also use this opportunity to appreciate yourself. Ten years is a long time and you’ve made it through 100% of your worst days. Every bad day, every low moment, every heartbreak. There have been some amazing highs and some transformative moments too of course. Take a moment to reflect on the progress and the good…and pack away the negative experiences.
I’m slightly ashamed to say that I had to pull up my CV to figure out exactly where I was in my life 10 years ago. I was settled into an amazing job at Tesco head office, which was the first step of a decade working in digital. Working there was a dream and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to learn about e-commerce from one of the biggest brands in the UK. It’s unbelievable that 25-year -old me was responsible for a website which had a turnover of £32m a week!
Although I loved the role and teams I worked with, I left Tesco because there was no career progression and I was frustrated. I had belief in myself and ultimately I was rewarded with a great role. The lesson I took away is to know your worth and don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith. During my decade-long career in the fashion industry, I put this into practice several times and I’m pleased to say that I’m now in a role that I adore, in a company which knows my worth.
Nothing that I achieved in my career would have been possible without my fashion blog. I’ve had roles created for me and jobs offered to me based on my blog, which is incredible! Ten years ago, I was blogging once a day and was fast falling out of love with my passion project. I had my highest ever page views…but I wasn’t happy. Blogging daily just isn’t sustainable while working full time. I wrote about the struggles of blogging while working fulltime a couple of years ago.
After taking a step back from blogging, I realised that I was being a bad boss. No one was forcing me to update my fashion blog daily, I was setting an impossible goal for myself and beating myself up over the poor quality of my work. Over the last couple of years, I’ve changed direction and fallen back into love with blogging. I write about things I care about, whether it’s unique places to visit or emerging designers. My writing is a lot more personal and I’m hands-on with my shoots and visuals. The lesson I took away from my fashion blog journey is that success is worth nothing if you’re unhappy and to prioritise self-care.
Fashion has been one of the biggest love stories in my life. I poured over copies of Vogue as a teenager and first began documenting my style on MySpace, before blogs were a thing. A decade ago, my style was experimental and a little crazy. I wore layers upon layers, stacked a bunch of rings and wore contrasting colours. I was shopping lots and shopping cheap. Primark was becoming a big deal so I’d overhaul my wardrobe every couple of months.
When I started working in the fashion industry, my attitude started to change. I saw behind the curtain and became aware of the amount of waste in the industry, as well as the true cost of each garment plus the margin. I’ve become much more conscious about my own clothing waste so I’m shopping less and buying better. I’ve written a couple of helpful blog posts which explain the shift to conscious consumerism and also things to watch out for when you’re shopping for vintage pieces online.
I left the most difficult to write about for last. Ten years ago, I had just ended a relationship with someone who I loved deeply. It was a whirlwind romance which got serious pretty quickly. It ended abruptly and it took me years to heal from it. I had a lot of fun dating and I have a dozen crazy date stories which are best shared over a cocktail or two. My next serious relationship was with someone who was abusive, that too was a tough break up. It took me a long time to process and to piece myself back together. I wrote about how hard it was to recover from that relationship a couple of years ago.
In the years since, I’ve been somewhat nervous about dating. I find it hard to trust people and truthfully, I’m scared of getting my heart broken. But those relationships also showed me that I’m stronger than I ever thought and I had the guts to walk away. I’ve enjoyed the freedom of not being tied down for the last couple of years but now, I think I’m in a good place to open my heart to someone who is worth it. My biggest lesson in love has been to put yourself first and never settle for less than what you deserve.
Once your past has been reconciled, you can look forward with clarity. Here are some of the things I’m hoping for in the next decade:
- Love. If the past decade has taught me anything it’s the importance of love, both giving and receiving love is so important to a happy life. This doesn’t necessarily mean romantic love, some of the biggest, best and most rewarding love stories of my last decade have been with my friends.
- Passion. I’m lucky to have landed a great job…my dream job. It taught me how important it is for me to be passionate about my 9-5. Some people just work to earn money and that’s great but I need to find purpose in my work and I want to continue to build on this throughout the 20s.
- Balance. I spent much of the past decade working myself to the ground and ultimately my sacrifice paid off but I recognise that the relentless pace isn’t sustainable. I want to build more routine into my life so that I also focus on eating healthier and exercising.
- Create. I went through a love-hate period with my blog and ultimately learnt that I love creating content. It’s not about becoming a “big” influencer, it’s the creative freedom and self-expression that I adore. I want to keep learning, improving and putting out the best content on my blog, Instagram and Tiktok.
- Inspire. I’ve really grafted for the past decade and now I’m in a position to share my journey and my lessons. I want to use what I’ve learnt to inspire the next generation both through the content I put out and through public speaking opportunities.
What are you hoping for in the next decade?
Dress by Richard Quinn for Debenhams (past season)| Shoes by Topshop (past season)
Photography by Kylie Eyra.