Realisation and Christmas ASK Italian bloggers dinner

This week began in the worst way. If you read my last blogpost I was about to go to my second interview for a job I really wanted. I felt like my style really reflected their brand and I had in my mind I had a good chance of getting it. Then… Monday morning I got the email that they had chosen someone else. Right back to the drawing board I go. I’m not going to lie, but I cried about it. That probably sounds sad but… I’m sure you’ve all wanted something so bad and when you don’t, it’s the worst feeling. Anyhow, I vowed that I wouldn’t change or get back on the grind of job hunting until 2018, unless… like a miracle something would find me. I quite frankly felt down about my design work.

On Tuesday morning, I woke up to a message saying I had won the competition to eat lots of pizza and drink cocktails with one of my favourite bloggers, Jessica of CocoaChelsea, you can check out her Instagram here. I’ve followed Jess for a long time now and absolutely love the content she produces. Her photo content is INCREDIBLE and her Insta stories are my faves to watch. So, to be given the opportunity to go for dinner with her, at ASK Italian trying their Christmas menus and disco ball cocktails, I couldn’t exactly say no, could I? I was so excited.

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Three people won, including myself, and one of the girls Hannah had arranged for us with Cat to meet before the event. It’s that thought of walking into an event on your own, that terrifies me. We grabbed a quick glass of wine, in the most rude pub. I’m not gonna go into that though. Then headed to the event.

We all went and met Jess and stood getting to know each other, asking questions and just getting used to the vibe. We were segmented on the side in our own little area and was presented with the coolest cranberry mojitio in a disco ball cup, I’ve ever seen. And my god, it was YUMMY. We then sat down and one of each of the starters were bought out. I instantly gravitated to the cheesy garlic bread because, who doesn’t love that? And it did NOT disappoint. Other options were bought out as well such as the Pumpkin Arancini that, according to Cat tasted like cheese and potato. I’m not THAT much into pumpkin so didn’t try it… only pumpkin thing I love is a pumpkin spiced latte from Starbucks October time, BRING ON NEXT YEAR.

 

 

We were sat chatting and I can honestly say, it felt like I had known these girlys my whole life, not just met an hour or so ago. We chatted ALL sorts of things and it was genuinely so lovely, talking to people who get you. We were also lucky enough to get some top tips from Jess too – yay! 

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We were allowed to choose what we’d like for the main and by this time I was feeling pretty jolly. Those cocktails – YES! I ordered the calzone pollo, and I had never had this before. I thought it was a pasta dish and not a GIANT pasty, but… my god it was so YUMMY.  It was filled with chicken, pancetta, mushrooms, roasted peppers, olives, tomato sauce and mozzerella. SO DAMN GOOD. So filled with the filling. If I get to go back before the Christmas menu disappears, I NEED IT AGAIN. ASAP. 

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Before our dessert came out we began the big quiz of 2017! There were different segments to the quiz… my fav was the CHRISTMAS SEGMENT! Whilst we were busy answering the questions, we were given desserts to try and… believe me when I say, I was SO confused when this first came out… SNOWBALL GNNOCHI??? RIGHT??? I was so sceptical about these but they were incredible. Tasted like little doughballs FILLED with Nutella. What more, could you want? You could also dip them into white chocolate and coconut and I was genuinely in heaven. They were incredible. 

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AND GUESS WHO WON THE QUIZ???? TEAM GLITTER BALLS DID! YES!!!!!!

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The whole evening was incredible and really and truly cheered me up. Towards the end of the evening I began to talk about the fact that I do graphic design/illustrations and have being toying for a LONG time now… must be a few years, that I want to start and Etsy shop. To create badges and tote bags and stickers and just fun things. Seeing the girls be so successful in what they do have made me SO motivated. I may even dabble in a bit of media kit designing, blog headers and buisness card designs for bloggers, that go as a pack together.

I will look into this a lot more and do some research, but could be something for the next year.

BRING ON 2018. 

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Life as a Graduate Part Two.

Around 5/6 months ago, I posted a blog about being a graduate, trying to find a job as a newly graduated arts/fashion student, the changes of living away to living at home etc. Now this time has passed, I just thought I’d update you all on what is going on now that I’ve well and truly graduated and so far away from what I knew, uni life.

I still, every single day, miss the independence of living away from home but I’m very much loving all the food, internet and alone/quiet time I get. I’m loving being closer to family and not waiting up to months or when I could afford to get home to see them. I miss the uni lifestyle more than ever. I’m missing the routine. Even if I only got up to sit in a computer room for hours with my uni friends and headed home for dinner and an evening of Greys Anatomy on the box, it was still something. I miss being pushed beyond what I thought I could be creatively. I miss being inspired by class friends and tutors. I just miss uni. If you had asked me this time last year, if I was looking forward to being out of education I wouldn’t of hesitated to answer… hell yes. It’s only now, I would do anything to go back.

Sadly, all in all, not too much has changed. However, I have realised and learnt a lot from the interviewing world. I’m not sure if I should put the number on here or not, but why the hell not? It’s real life isn’t it. Since July, I have applied for 238 jobs/internships. That number is a total from only two job sites I have used. There are at least 4 other job sites I have used, where I haven’t added the number to the total. 238 times I have been rejected. 238 times I have had my hopes up when either applying or interviews. Some I have even had trial days for. 

I understand that when you graduate, it’s probably advisable for you to go into an internship. Especially if your degree is in creative subjects. Internships, from what I understand are designed for you to gain industry experience, the company can help you learn and gain the skills for industry, whilst working in industry and prepare you for working in the big wide worldwhatever that is. So, when I’ve gone for design internship interviews to just get an email back to say they have chosen someone with  more experience than me, doesn’t that just defeat the purpose of an internship? I try so hard not to be mad at that… but I just can’t help it.

 

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(Image from Pinterest, love this type!)

We all know the world of employment is difficult to get into, whatever career path you take… but for a graduate, this is really and truly tough. Getting turned down every single day, no matter how hard you try for the job is so emotionally and mentally destroying. I know people are trying to help by saying there’s a job out there for everyone, keep going, don’t give up etc… however, sadly it just doesn’t take the emotional and mental side of being declined away. You still have to read the email you’re not good enough because of experience. You still have to deal with the thoughts of; am I good enough? Why did I do a degree just to get this constantly? Will I ever be able to be a girlboss in the career I’ve always dreamt of being part of? I think it’s just as important to address this side of job declines as it is to say keep going.

I do, however have some good news, or news that I hope will be good news in the end. I went to a job interview last week where I thought I had done the best interview I’ve done to date. Despite having a panic attack in the middle of the street in London, I went in and thought I had bossed it. I had created a whole campaign for the brand that I took additionally to my interview with my portfolio and the brand loved it. I was then told at the end to wait until the end of this week. That was one of the longest weeks of my life. The wait to hear back from job interviews literally turns me into such an anxious mess. From the experience I’ve already had… is there any surprise?

I finally got an email this morning to say I am through to the second interview with their creative partners and I am so BEYOND excited. However, I am so nervous… I am so nervous because standard interviews I’ve done a lot now. But have never done a second interview and I just want to do the best I possibly can for the role.

I need this job more than ever now. It would be the most perfect Christmas present. Please keep your fingers crossed. 

I’m looking forward to updating part three in another 5/6 months from now to see how much things have changed, if at all? 

 

Online friends, role models, bullying and a little bit of news. 

So, on the 29th October 2010 it was the first time I met one of my role models growing up, Dannii Minogue. Exactly, seven years ago today and I can remember the lead up to it so very very well. That feeling of not being able to sleep the night before out of pure excitement. Creating a card from scratch, which I had an argument with the card shop man about getting the perfect card… to then being able to give it to Dannii. I remember, watching Dannii on X Factor for years, walking into newsagents and seeing Dannii on magazine covers and buying them and collecting them (not ashamed to say I still have them). I never thought, that I’d ever meet the real lady herself.

Funny story about the actual day, whilst we were waiting in line to meet, Dannii walked down to where she would be signing her new book and it was literally the first time I had ever seen her, in flesh. I remember turning to my friends and saying ‘omg she’s real’ – how cute! 

As I was growing up I was teased a lot and made fun out of supporting Dannii and the other people I looked up to.

But what people didn’t know, was… watching Dannii on X Factor every weekend and the fact that she tweeted back took me away from the real life problems that was going on… for example – BULLYING.  I’ve touched on bullying on my blog before. It’s such a part of my life, although it is such a sad, horrible part, yet a big part… that I only really talk about it in context.

I was bullied right from year one at school to when I left in year 11. I would be wary and on my toes, every single day at school. A few times, during school, I was left on my own in break times and lunch times. I’d go into lessons and have the words ‘spongebob squarepants’ or just the plain and simple words ‘SQUARE HEAD!’ shouted at me, continuously until I believed it. I believed I had a square head, especially with the amount of people who used to remind me of it, every single day.

Even now, today… it has knocked my confidence so much. I’m away from the people who used to call me names, but their words have scarred me. I find it incredibly difficult to speak up about ideas in a work/education situation. I never did it whilst at school, because I didn’t think the class would be worthy of my answer. To them, I just thought I was a square head and that was it. To this day, I still don’t know how I put up with it for years and years. How did I let people degrade me and make me feel like that? 

I wasn’t scared as such to go to lessons, they didn’t scare me… it was just, the thought of being called it continuously, even when I was minding my own business and stayed out of people’s way..  sadly it didn’t make them stop. I remember, so many lunch times and break times you would never see me on the school playground or field. I felt more safe and secure being inside the school, even if I did annoy the teachers. 

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(Seeing Dannii seven years ago to this day – 29/10/2010) 

But, becoming a supporter (I detest the word fan) of Dannii and Kylie and all the other people I’m a fan of, I felt validated. Something I didn’t feel from my own age group in real life. I had Twitter before everyone else caught on at school, and through Twitter and Dannii/Kylie I was able to make friends. Friends I still have to this day. Friends, I will always, always be grateful for. I didn’t talk about being bullied online at school because I was scared. But these people made me feel like I had friends outside the few I had at school. Even if they weren’t right there with me. 

Through the friends I had made on Twitter and online, I felt listened to. People would reply to my tweets and made me feel like people cared as well as making me feel people wanted to talk to me.

And guess what? Not once on the internet or since school have I been called a square head. Not once. 

People may of teased me back then about looking up to a celebrity(ies) but what they didn’t know is, they helped me feel me again. They helped me make friends that I still see to this day. They have made me feel validated. 

I still struggle every day with self confidence issues and just confidence in general. 

In fact, I have my dream job trial day tomorrow (30th October) and because of my confidence issue of speaking out ideas, and believing in myself, if I am good enough… I’m terrified. But I’m gonna try my absolute best. 

I hope this post helps people out there. In one way or another. It was incredibly hard to type but I’m so glad I have.

Most of all, thank you to all the role models that I have looked up to, who have helped me make friends for life and for making me the happiest when I was the saddest. 

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”

 

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.