When I was younger I dreamed big. I was going to be the editor of Vogue (watch out Alexandra Shulman!), drive a BMW (I don’t know why) and have the most amazing clothes. Suffice to say, none of this has happened. Well, I have some lovely clothes but my car is no BMW. But, along the way I changed as a person – I learnt that I had to adapt and with that my dream did too. I worked in fashion for years in the centre of London and it was everything and nothing like I thought it was going to be. Sooner or later, life had to come first and I had to make the tough decision to move out of the big city and compromise my dream job.
Someone told me not long ago that you don’t have to lose a living person to grieve. You can grieve a loss of all sorts of things and a dream is one of them. Letting go or moving on from something you held onto so tightly is one of the hardest things we have to do sometimes but it doesn’t have to be as painful as we think. It took me a long time to ease up the pressure on myself. I tried to make my dream work wherever I was and the end result was always the same – frustrated. Once I’d moved on and accepted how things were, I could appreciate what was in front of me and create a new sense of what I wanted to achieve. Now I have new goals that I’m working towards instead of forcing something that wasn’t going to happen which is a much more exciting place to be. Here are a few things I learnt along the way…
HAVE A PLAN
A new plan. Ok, so things haven’t worked out the way you thought they would, it doesn’t mean you can’t work from the ground up to something better. Start from the beginning – research, see what’s out there, be inspired, dare to be different and live your dream through fresh eyes. I always try to have a five year plan – it gives me something to work towards and focus on but adapt to it, if it changes along the way, let it – being rigid will only lead to disappointment.
One of the biggest things that rocked me when I gave up my dream lifestyle was the fear of the unknown. Self doubt can be crippling so nip it in the bud as soon as you can. Don’t be tempted to take the easy way out, if there’s something you want, be prepared to put the work in because the results will be better than you imagined.
EXPLORE ALONG THE WAY
Once you’ve started researching it’s time to learn around what you want. If it’s a dream job, start to look into internships, part-time or freelance work that will let you experience it first hand. I did 8 internships in fashion in a year and it was the best thing I ever did – it gave me a hunger to finish my degree and get out there for real. And who knows, you may find a slightly different pathway on the way.
Some of the craziest and simplest ideas are often the best. So, if you have a concept or notion that you think no one will buy into, do it anyway. If everyone didn’t bother seeing through their ideas our world would be a very different place. They may be big dreams but the sky is the limit and nothing is out of reach.
IF YOU DON’T SUCCEED, DON’T GIVE UP
Let’s not sugar coat this – things may not work out again but that’s fine. The most successful people are the ones that failed along the way, it’s what makes you earn your position in the end and allows you to appreciate it more than ever. We’re only human and it’s Ok to feel it but remember that challenges are what make us a stronger character. Regardless of the pitfalls, you can still live your dream.