To the person, who has not found love, yet…

I’m not really sure how to begin this post apart from, I have a lot of things on my mind lately and figured writing about them in a blogpost will be a great way to get it out. I thought I would write this post in an anonymous letter, to whomever may need it, including perhaps myself. I’m not entirely sure if this will flow well, at all.

“Dear whomever is reading this,

I’m not sure how I’m gonna get into this letter. I guess the only way I can do is state what I want to say without ‘beating round the bush’ – whatever that means. I’m 23 years old. I’m a female and I’ve never ever been in a serious relationship. I say serious, in actual fact I mean… any love-type relationship, at all. 

I often see posts on social media, of people my age and even younger with their loved one. Going away on holidays together, romantic dates or even days where you sit in bed, eat pizza and binge watch TV shows. I know that what is posted on social media is what people want you to see of their lives, or has been said before… a show’s highlight reel. I know, it isn’t always what it’s really like. There could be other problems and issues people are going through that they don’t want you to see. I get that. But the posts I do see, I can’t help but feel, when will it be my turn? 

The ‘attention’ I ever seem to get is from men, which I wish would leave me alone. For example, not too long ago, I got off the train from London after a job interview and couldn’t afford a taxi home so had to get the bus. Whilst walking to the bus stop the bus passed me and I missed it. I still headed there, waiting for the next bus as the walk from the station home isn’t long, but long enough. Especially after a day in London. The bus stop isn’t in a location where there’s no one around. In fact, it’s in a place where many, many people are around. Walking, driving, whatever it may be. However, there was this one man… quite tall and weirdly carrying a balloon. Must have got it from McDonalds near by, who was following me. Every time I stopped and turned round, he stopped. Not that this should be an issue at all, but I was wearing quite a short leather skirt and a longer blazer. I mean… I had to dress up smartly because I had an interview. I started to get concerned because I was alone and this guy was literally following me. It wasn’t until he started shouting stuff I really got nervous. I ended up having to run… literally run, two bus stops away to get away from him. WHY is it always, these types of people I attract?

I would say that I’m an outgoing person. I would like to think I am fun to be around. Of course not all the time, we alllllll have those days. Whether we admit it or not. You know, them types of days where you just want to hide from the world, snuggled in bed, watching your fave TV show and drinking hot chocolate or cups of tea on tap. (If you’re interested, my show is Greys Anatomy… I’ve watched 11 out of 13 seasons and it’s the ONLY show I can watch, without getting bored… unless you’re talking about Friends, but that’s a different story – that Now TV I bought at Christmas time, my fave for all Grey’s binge sessions) With that being said about myself, why haven’t I found someone yet? Why does no one pay any sort of attention to me?

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I feel a little left out. I feel like maybe I’m not good enough for a partner. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a bit terrified of love, because I’ve never had it before. I wouldn’t know the first thing to do. Maybe it’s just the attention I want and the love and not everything else that comes with it? Maybe… I just don’t know what or who I want after all?

I hate putting labels on things, especially things such as love. Love should just be love, right? Whether you’re a boy/man who has fallen in love with a boy/man/girl/woman or if you’re a girl/woman who’s fallen in love with a girl/woman/boy/man. Surely love, is love. 

I don’t know if what I’ve said has made sense. If you have read this and has also never had a boyfriend/girlfriend, who is also the only one out of your friend’s who hasn’t got/had a partner, Just know you’re not alone. I know the feeling is crappy and I too, am fed up of that saying… there is someone for everyone. I will believe it when I see it. I do, however.. believe everyone is worthy of love. Whoever and whenever it will be.

Until then, I guess you and I will be holding out for a hero… whoever they may be x x x”

 

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LFW – #TommyNow show. What it was like being there.

I, for one, cannot believe I get to write a blogpost about attending a London Fashion Week show. Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to attend one. It was always my goal, but, I knew that you had to be invited to the shows, which meant I had no hope at all.  However, whilst scrolling through my Twitter feed I saw that Yanin, (PrettySickly) had an opportunity to attend the Tommy Hilfiger RockCircus show…of course I jumped at the chance and… I won!

Let me start by saying, I cannot thank Yanin enough for choosing me and my plus one Sophie, for this experience. To see any London Fashion Week show would be a plus, but to see the one, where two of my biggest muses, Gigi Hadid show her third Tommy collection and walk the show, as well as her beautiful sister, Bella Hadid (that I have a crush on!) with all their model friends, it was a dream come true. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.

The whole process began with the decision of – what am I gonna wear??? For a broke graduate, I knew I would not be able to buy the dream outfit I would want to wear so had to settle for something less. I was umming and ahhing all week before the show, shall I order this? Shall I order that? Hmmm. It wasn’t until the day before I headed into town in hope that something jumped out at me. The weather has turned cold and I was so not up for wearing anything that would make me freezing. So, I settled for this outfit.

A £10 dress from Primark. Thanks Primark, you babes. My favourite part of the outfit is, the studded boots (from H&M) and fishnet socks teamed with the biggest, brightest, Pat Butcher-esque earrings from Topshop.

 

Tommy Hilfiger – RockCircus was on Tuesday 19th September and that afternoon I headed up to London to meet Sophie for pre-fashion week dinner. After dinner in our favourite chinese restaurant in Leicester Square Mr Wong, we headed to the venue. When we arrived, we were in a completely different line and completely bi-passed all the people. How cool. How VIP. How sassy. We had to wait outside for around an hour until we were allowed in.

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When entering the venue we were handed a Tommy Hilfiger drawstring bag. Yaaas!! As soon as we got in, there were stands with the collection that was being shown on. There were photo booths. There were GIF booths. There were people offering wine. There were people offering free burgers, hot dogs and fish and chips. There was a bar. It was all lit up like a circus inside, with a big Tommy RockCircus light up sign. It was something that I had never ever seen before. I was overwhelmed. 

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One, that I was even in the building and I was actually at an invite only London Fashion Week show, but how incredible it looked as well. We found a spot where we could stand and chilled until the show started, trying to spot the celeb just down from where we stood every time a bunch of paparazzi had their cameras flashing. All whilst standing, sipping wine and taking it all in. It wasn’t long until someone who was working the show, walked by and offered a halloumi burger. HALLOUMI BURGER. ALL THE YES FROM ME. Damn, it was sooooo good.

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It wasn’t too long until the show started and that was when the adrenaline kicked in and the buzz was felt in the atmosphere. Gigi walked out first and I swear, I could of fainted. I’ve admired this lady and her work ethic for so long and to see her, right there, in front of me. Literally, arms length away. Wow. I could feel that inner 14 year old fangirl in me about to make an appearance. The show had the most perfect soundtrack. Hip hop/RnB to strut your stuff too. I was so tempted to join in, not sure if they would like that though. I was stood with water in my eyes a few times, just so beyond grateful to be there. My dream coming true before my eyes

Gigi and Bella Hadid – ahhhhh!!!

Jourdan Dunn, Hayley Baldwin, Georgia May Jagger, Joan Smalls and a smiling Bella

When the fashion show had finished, there was a legit circus act happening. People on a trapeze and swinging from hoops, climbing big pieces of material, just wow. Whilst that was all happening, the stage was getting set for the one and only The Chainsmokers. They were performing at the afterparty. YES! I’ve loved these guys for a long time, just a cherry on top of the cake. Whilst standing watching The Chainsmokers (wow amazing live!) we were handed mini doughnuts. This show was the most incredible, amazing, overwhelming event I have ever, ever been to. 

Sophie and I stood watching the show for a little while before taking a wonder round. I didn’t want to mooch before the show, as I didn’t want to lose what incredible space we had. We went into the photobooth and got the biggest poster, with the Tommy London writing over the top as a take away gift for being there. We posed with microphones and a star tamborine. Just like Gigi does in the promo running up to the event. I was living the dream. 

Even now, 16 hours after coming home from the event I am still on a buzz. I cannot believe I was given this opportunity. I cannot believe I saw Gigi Hadid and Bella Hadid with all their model friends. I always catch up on these guys, when they walk catwalk shows. Then, they were right in front of me. I cannot believe I got to attend such an incredible, well put on and fun event at London Fashion Week.

I hope in the future I can attend more London Fashion Week events, they are so fun. And, thank you, once again Yanin, for making my dream come true. 

 

Dear Trich – Part Three, A year on.

It’s been a year, one whole year since I wrote my first dear trich blogpost. It was one of the most liberating feeling talking directly to trich through the means of the internet, for some weird unknown reason. I then wrote a part two shortly after and both posts got a very good reaction. A year on I’ve decided to write to the beast that will always live with me.

Here we are again, Trich. Hi. A year ago I was angry, so angry with you. You were controlling my life. You were making me stay up hours and hours at night, making me not forget you were there and forced me to keep pulling my hair. I will never forget these times, never. 

No matter HOW hard I tried to stop, you would not let me. 

Fast forward a year and you are still here. To be honest, you’ll always be here. You still creep up on me day to day. I have now began to accept you will always be a part of me. 

A year ago, you were still my little secret, that only very few people knew about and now every one knows about you. Even to the point that I have now got myself a digital marketing and social media intern to help other people with hair loss, due to talking about you at the interview. I am not ashamed now, when I’m sat on the train, sat in the living room watching TV or even laying in bed to say, don’t mind me… it’s just trich reminding me, it’s still here. 

I have learnt that there are ways to help control it, although not all the time these work. I have learnt that now, if I put coconut oil on the ends of my hair, not only will it give my hair a conditioning treatment, it will help my fingers to slide down.  I also have to thank you actually, trich, for allowing me to have acrylics every month. My nails look sassy because of you. 

I recently went to my hair dressers to get it cut. Both you and I know that hairdressers are not the place to be. Especially when you are trying to explain those bald patches throughout your hair when they lift your hair up or that there are shorter parts at the side where I’ve snapped it off. I was so so nervous before. To the point I made myself late because I just couldn’t face going in. But… I went in. I gave myself right at that last moment after friends had insisted it would be OK before, that it will be OK. This was the time I decided not to hide you behind the excessive bleach use (that I don’t do no more, but only said it because it was easier) and instead spoke about what trichotillomania was. How it effects me and what triggers you and I came out feeling so much better and proud of myself for going in – something I would not of done a year ago. 

This past year you have made me a stronger person. It takes a lot of strength to deal with you everyday. Not only does it drain the life and soul out of you pulling your hair out every single day, but it does get you incredibly down. I feel so alone when I’m pulling my hair as it does make you zone out. But when I get the chance to talk about you, i.e. my interview before, it makes me feel less alone. Even though  my arm to have unbelievable aches every single day, to the point sometimes it feels like I have a dead arm. 

A year ago, I thought I’d never of got this far, a year later I have. You won’t beat me completely. I will keep fighting you day in day out. Maybe if one day you’re kind on me, I’ll be kind on you? 

Maybe see you in a year? Who knows. 

Charlotte.

 

Illustration by me:
ILLO

 

 

Life as a Graduate Part One.

So… here’s my little insight for you all into the world of a recent graduate. Twelve weeks ago today, I handed in my final major project at university. Crazy! I miss the work load strangely, I miss the knowing that I was working towards something great and I miss seeing my friends almost every day as well as living with some. I also miss the independence uni gave me and how everything was so much closer to me down at uni. Since the uni days, I just feel like every day that goes by I can slowly feel my creativity slip a way a little more, or so I think it is.

I am losing my mind every day applying for six – nine jobs whilst simultaneously getting emailed replies from other companies declining job applications. Some not even giving a few hours and instantly replying saying, no chance. (I once got an email that said I don’t think this role is worth your application – great, loved that.)

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(Pic by my good friend Aisha’s dad – woo graduation day!)

Right now, I am currently in that stage of looking for a graduate job whether that be an internship that pays for at least my travel and food expenses or a junior graphic designer job.

The only thing with this is, many jobs require experience. How am I meant to get real life experience if people don’t give you the chance? That phrase real life keeps coming up. I’m over it. I do, however, have a real big issue with internships that don’t pay and especially now I’ve graduated with a decent degree. I personally feel they exploit new creatives with fresh ideas to build their company up and for what? Many of them… nothing. I know that completing at least even a week of an internship will ultimately become part of your CV.  This way, it can count towards experience every company wants you to have, but internships could also be unpractical if you have no money – like myself. For example, for me to get to an internship in peak hours it would cost me £600 a month on travel only, for free work

I’ve found that the interviews I’ve been to so far have also bigged you up and make you believe you are suitable for a role and then, sadly, will see someone else for an interview and they have better experience than you. Even if that’s just a tiny bit and you’re back to square one. Who would of thought that sitting at a computer all day every day refreshing websites for potential jobs, going to interviews and then restarting the process can be mentally and of course physically exhausting.

I’m also aware that I haven’t finished uni that long ago and I also know that jobs take a while to get but I’m feeling frustrated in this job search and ultimately, lost. Let alone the massive pressure to get a job in the degree you studied the past three years and spent a fortune on. It feels like an endless cycle right now and no matter how hard I try and think… if I don’t get this job or I don’t get that reply, it’s not the right one for me… it is disheartening. I find myself feeling angry that maybe I’m not good enough for the career I want to go into and the constant declines are making me believe it more and more.

When I first got my few replies back about job interviews/phone call interviews I was excited that I posted on my social media and let those really close know. But with the constant not getting them, even though I’m trying my hardest… I’ve began not to let them know. That phrase… build your success silently is coming to my mind. Maybe if I don’t shout about these things, it will work in my favour? I don’t know… my brain is weird.

I have really and truly hit those graduate blues and I’m not sure how many more days I can sit on my sofa, refreshing job applications and watching Netflix I can take before going out my mind. I’m just so so nervous thinking I’m not good enough for my career I want to take. It’s becoming more and more believable the more I get jobs declined.

I just want a chance in this real world, I’m almost over it, already… before things have started.

 

 

 

Final Major Project VS Mental Health #MHAW17

It’s been a while, a really long while. In fact, five months since I last wrote a blog post on here and it was the beginning of my last ever university project. It was all about confidence VS creativity and how I have a lack of confidence with creative work. If you want to read it, you can click here. 

We’re half way through #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek2017 #MHAW17 and I have finally completed my degree.

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As it is #MHAW17 I thought I would share you my struggles with my FMP, incase someone else is going through the same thing and to let them know, they’re not alone.

All three years are over and done with and I’m confused to how I’m feeling. I’m glad the pressure of third year has been lifted. However, there is still pressure of what grades I get at graduation, or even if I do graduate. As well as whether I get a job in graphic design and where it’ll be, or even if I’m good enough to go into industry. To be honest, I don’t think I am ready to leave education. But when will I ever be ready if I’m not now? I just kind of wish we had just one more project to do.

My final major project at university was a ride and a half. To start, I did a FMP (final major project) proposal in first semester of third year and it was for a sub brand for Lamoda of creating stationery for them. I had it all planned out, researched and was more than ready to go. When I got my grade back for the proposal I got my highest I ever got whilst at uni and this made me so excited. It wasn’t until after Christmas and we got going with the actual final major project I found, it really wasn’t for me. Nothing inside me wanted to open my computer and design for stationery. In fact, I couldn’t of thought of anything worse.

If you’ve read my blog before, you will know I suffer with a mental health condition called Trichotillomania. If you are new here, I’ll explain briefly. It is an impulse control disorder that makes you pull your hair out. No matter how hard you try, you just cannot stop. It is incurable and you just need to focus on ways to get through each and every day.  It is, however, personally for me triggered by stress, anxiety and depression.

With my ideas changing and people in my class getting things done, I felt behind. I felt like the more I saw them, the more shit I felt about my own work. This was down to their work being incredible and mine wasn’t even started yet. The question of was I good enough to even complete my third year, was all that was going through my mind. Every night I would wake up and brainstorm what I would do instead of a stationery brand.

It was around seven weeks into my thirteen week term, that I finally started to get ideas come together. The final idea was to create a zine which focussed on beauty standards of society focusing on women. I had recently done my dissertation in the first semester on this and researched a lot, so I knew about the topic. I went to class for lots of weeks running up to this idea and I kind of just got through each meeting – how? I don’t know.

It wasn’t until when I was sat with my friends and they started getting really into their projects and I hadn’t even started mine yet I panicked. I didn’t want to start because, I genuinely didn’t think my work was good enough. I was seeing my class produce work week by week and I adored all of their work, but there was something in me telling me – nope! You’ll never reach that standard of work. That’s when I called a meeting and I was given three solutions.

  1. I could terminate the term. I could do it at a later date, but it would mean I wouldn’t graduate with my course friends.
  2. I could get extenuating circumstances. My mind just wasn’t with the course due to one thing or another.
  3. Or, I could just get my head down, ignore what other people were doing and just focus on my own project.

I don’t know if any of you have anxiety or suffer from any MH issues, but the thought of going home and telling my family that I wouldn’t graduate until November or even later scared me. Genuinely, all I’ve ever wanted to do is graduate with the people I spent my last three years with. I wouldn’t want anything more than that. Anxiety did not let me forget those options throughout the whole course.

I can safely say, that chat really kicked me up the arse. I had 8 weeks to do enough photoshoots to cover a zine and a website with different content for each, illustrations to draw, editing of skills to show, film to be written, filmed and edited as well as create a website solely from scratch.

I had panic attacks after panic attacks, but they wouldn’t effect me in the day they effected me at night. Night time was when it really got serious. Nine nights in a row I had a panic attacks. To accompany them I had the most terrifying nightmares. They were SO bad. Not only was the panic attacks and nightmares the worst of it all, but when it did come to morning I was so exhausted from having to deal with that half way through a sleep, that I had no energy in the morning. I didn’t have time to go for a doctors appointment so looked in the local Boots and picked up the tablets ‘Kalms’ especially for night time. I was a bit sceptical at first using them, because I didn’t want to rely on them, but they literally saved my last few weeks at uni. They didn’t help me get to sleep, they help me not wake up in the night having panic attacks and helped me sleep through. If I could I would make a special acknowledgement to them in FMP.

Towards the end, people were producing more work than they needed to and to be up to that level I felt I had to do the same. At one point I had four days to complete a website, edit my video and do other extra work on top to build my CAT credits up.

In the end, my FMP consisted of:

  • A 32 page zine, all creatively directed photo shooted/edited by me. Illustrations drawn by me and the writing, written by me.
  • Five interview conducted for both the zine and the website.
  • A 20 something page website, with every single page developed and designed by me using Adobe Muse.
  • GIF’s made by me.
  • A video filmed, edited and styled by me.
  • Flyers/posters for campaign reasons created by me
  • A second 12 page preview zine for the next issue designed by me
  • A 64 page development book, completed.

Zine pages:

Website examples:

Sketchbook examples.

I’m not going to lie, I feel so proud that I created all of that in practically 8 weeks. Even though, my mental health really challenged me, as well as life, I did it. I completed the whole three years, with the people I had studied throughout the whole course with and handed together as a tag team.

If you are going through a similar circumstance and you need someone to talk to, to help get you going and a kick up the ass without being TOO harsh, message me. I will always be here to help you through.

YOU CAN DO IT. If I could do it, so can you. Believe in yourself and get your head down.

Remember, diamonds are made under pressure.

A special thank you to my friends, tutor and family for being a massive support throughout the completion of this whirl wind adventure.

Confidence VS Creativity

So, it’s got to the main crucial part in my whole degree… my FMP. An FMP is a final major project and it’s the last ever project I will do at university. You will then potentially show future employees after you leave. To me, that sounds scary.

I’ve been studying fashion graphics (which is basically fashion and graphic design combined) for three years now. I have enjoyed myself throughly on the course and I have definitely learned skills I never thought I had or could have. One of skills being digital illustration. My mum is very good at drawing and so is my uncle, so I’m guessing that’s where my creativity comes from. I love showing off the work I’ve created and proud of to people who follow me on social media, people I know and see day to day and professionals at interviews for work experience/freelance.

However, I am not that confident. To be honest it scares the living life out of me the need to be confident about ideas. I’ve never been that person in class that puts up their hand first to answer a question in a full class and I am definitely not that person who voices their opinions to a massive crowd. I have grown to be OK with that and accept it as part of me. This isn’t a blaming game but I do think school and the people who constantly used to tear me down and rip me apart have played a major role in shaping me to be this person. Of course, my anxiety isn’t exactly the biggest help either.

With my confidence not being the best, it effects the way I create for my degree and other pieces of work. I am never, ever confident with my ideas and every time I submit a piece of work I worry for hours and days about if it could of been better. I’m sure lots of people have this too but I will not rest about it. I always don’t think I’ve pushed myself to my full potential and this is probably the main reason why I feel this way. I want to ask for people’s opinions on things more and I want to ask for help if I’m stuck on something but my confidence just won’t let me.

I absolutely love seeing people do their best and do well. Nothing makes me happier and I am 100% routing for them. Yaaassss!!! But with everything I have, I just wish I could do the same for myself. Instead of sitting there for hours comparing myself to creatives I see/follow online and creatives I see on a daily basis, I wish I had the confidence to say “IM GOOD TOO!”

This lack of confidence is something I’m going to try my absolute best with in the last four months of uni – yikes!! I want to be able to leave my degree after being so proud of what I have achieved through my FMP and actually show my full potential and not hide back on ideas. Not to let my brain win when it tells me “don’t do that someone else would have done it better” or “your idea is rubbish, you share that everyone will laugh” I want to come out of this degree shouting my opinions around and not have those awful feelings after. After all, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.


At the end of the day, I am my own worst enemy. If it doesn’t change now, will it ever in the future? Will I get that dream job with no confidence? It’s time to make some changes

Follow my graphic design instagram if you’d like, it’ll be updated with my inspiration and development as well as personal projects along the way. Who knows, there could be more creative posts on here in the future!

Trich and 2017 plans

I haven’t blogged in a long, long time. This is because I thought, I was maybe taking it a little too seriously. I only started to write a blog to help people I know as well as people I didn’t know, understand what it is to live with such a debilitating illness that takes over your every little piece of being. I began to write to help people who are in the same shoes, know they are not alone. I started this blog to get people to understand, whether they have trich or not that it is an impulsive control disorder and even if you try and stop, it’s like an itch and you can’t… until that feeling has ‘passed’. Yet most times, the feeling never passes. I had a saying that if one person was to read this blog I would be happy. Suddenly, I was looking at numbers daily and seeing the drop in how many people was reading it, sadly got me down. I realised then, I needed a break. I was also wondering if what I was writing, pouring my heart and soul into and writing very very personally was a little… too much? I’m still not sure if I write too much into the personal side and if I’m comfortable sharing this with the whole world.

Since my last post, Trich has not been kind to me. Due to other things happening in my life and trying to deal with them day by day, trich has decided now is the time to show its presence. Maybe it’s because I’m feeling pretty weak mentally as well as getting every other cold under the sun at this time and it likes to take advantage. I have had numerous nights and days recently where I’ve just sat there and been SO angry that I could come right back to what feels like the beginning, again. This isn’t just something that I’ve just started dealing with either, 2017 marks around the 15 year mark of dealing with this. FIFTEEN YEARS out of twenty three I’ve lived.

It’s so sad to say, but it all feels way too familiar. The round and round in a circle feeling of the highs and most definite lows. The days and nights I sit there and think, can I even do this again? Can I even look in the mirror and think… my oh my why and how have you done this to yourself, which then changes my thoughts to I can’t go out to enjoy myself because of the way my hair looks. Can I even deal with the thought of people thinking (even though I’m sure they don’t, this is trich being irrational) that they can see a decline in the length of my hair and maybe even notice the very obvious to me, bald patches. Can I really and truly do this again?

That’s when I need to stop them thoughts, as hard as it is. In 2017 I’m going to try, again my hardest not to let the negative dwell on me and turn them into positives. Of course there will be times where I sit there and I will be in that zone of pulling and nothing or no one can get me out of it. Then five minutes later, I’ve managed to snap off yet another big chunk of hair. These times I won’t be able to turn them into positives. There are no positives. It’s just shame. The feeling of being ashamed and letting those people down who have been cheerleading me on. With these thoughts I need to let them be, then move on.

This then requires me to look back to the most positive time in 2016. In June/July 2016 my hair was ALMOST the same length and every time I looked in the mirror I felt HAPPY. I felt pretty and I felt like I could rock trich and show it where to stick it. I felt like I had so very closely BEAT it. Even if my hair stayed like that for a couple of months, I cherished it and still do. I still think back to them moments and cannot wait to get to that stage of looking in the mirror and feeling the best feeling there is.

I am, however, very very nervous for 2017 and I’m nervous for how my hair looks like this time next year BUT even on my bad days, I’m still as determined as that little girl who was dreaming for that all one length hair, to get there. Just now, I have a little help from my friends and family which I didn’t have this time last year, as it was still my own little secret.

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We can do this together, right? I promise I’ll make you (who cares) proud… even if it is a journey getting there.