I’m currently sat in an edgy organic café in Camden; life is good and the last few weeks have been intense. I’ve been in a modelling competition, a fashion and arts show in the O2, arranged a few photoshoots and I’ve dabbled in veganism. I’ve been hopping on trains, going to rehearsals after work that ran into the night and I’m absolutely fucked. It’s been great but still I’m unsatisfied, I long for more, bigger and better. It wasn’t until I spoke to someone who said well done for pursuing your dreams that it made me think how far I’ve come. She told me ‘I was a model when I was 13 then I had my daughter at 16 and my dream was over. I’m 37 and a lot has changed since.’ It made me extremely uneasy, I’m slightly naive and still believe anyone can achieve anything – no matter what, completely ignoring responsibilities. I think everyone should have the opportunity to live the life they want. It upset me that circumstances beyond this woman’s control had veered her life onto a new path (and one I found terrifying) and I thought the same could happen to me (obviously not the birth bit, but a life changing event). So I’m sat in the sexy Camden cafe for a stop check, to reflect. Just to sit and think about all I’ve achieved so far and to be grateful. I’ve taken so much for granted and it could all crumble and fall away tomorrow. I’ve worked myself into the ground and I’m destroyed. The late night rehearsals combined with the poorly timed descent into veganism has left me very tired and run down. So much so I nearly start crying on the tube – of all places. I don’t do crying. I thought my tear ducts had long ago dried up so I couldn’t believe what was happening to me. Not to indulge in self-pity, I told myself to ‘man the fuck up’ and quickly booked an appointment for tear duct removal. Problem sorted. So this time for reflection is needed.
I’ve bought a lantern light shade and an Indian wall tapestry from Camden Market to make my room feel more homely. It’s a sharp juxtaposition next to the books on transhumanism and symbolism and the collage on my wall of the industry’s top male models. But hey that’s me. I have many sides and many faces and no one knows them all and never will. I’d like to think that one day I’ll be hanging on some aspiring male models wall for it’s not fame and fortune that I want (well a little bit of financial security would be lovely) I want to inspire and a be role model. And to show people that by hard work and strength of character anyone can achieve anything. You can have a tough time and have poor roots and still manage to be great. Still manage to prosper. And to be a survivor, someone who can adapt and fight when needed, to never give up because they have a dream (there’s that dirty word) and they won’t be satisfied until it’s executed and more. I’d forgotten this and got caught up in the vanity of it all. The parties, the people double-taking me and saying you’re beautiful, getting caught up in the rush. I liked it at first, but it’s left me slightly cold, no one wants to know me, they just like the image and the perception of the life I live and they want it packaged and consumed. I’m over it now, my vision has cleared and my aim has purpose. It’s not the industry or the job that left me cold but people, human nature. How have we gone so wrong and where? I look up from my phone – I forgot to bring my laptop and I’m tapping this out like a madman on the note app. I look like one of those ‘phone people’ who are always tapping their lives away in their own virtual world. The organic mums sat next to look at the phone and then me with pity and then proceed to bitch about how huge Mandy’s arse was in yoga this morning. It’s fine though they’re saying with peace, love and light in their hearts. They don’t need to reflect.
For some reason the waiter is telling everyone that comes in that I’m his cousin and they should sit next to me. It’s a place where you share tables with people – shudder – and today is the weekly ‘I hate everybody day.’ Not a great combo, I’ve tightened my jaw and glare at anyone who dares to approach the table and successfully scare off a couple with dreadlocks; I’m no one’s third wheel.
My mate put me forward for a modelling competition and I entered it. I didn’t really think of it any further. Turns out I came third and met some amazing people. It was held in Brighton in the Grand Hotel – it lived up to its name and overlooked the sea. How I’ve missed the sea since I left home!
The rehearsals mentioned above were for the MyRunway Show. It was held in the O2 Indigo room and was pretty amazing. I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be performing in front of an audience of 1500 and the designers I walked for were edgy and will hopefully led to a few cheeky collabs.
I’ve also worked with some pretty cool photographers and the ideas and concepts that some of them have are ground breaking. There’s some teasers below. The image at the top is by Scott Mason.
The cafe is closing the waiter is looking tense, I lock my phone and put it in my pocket – the organic mums look relieved. I leave feeling lighter and a lot more hopeful and grateful. I came across a great quote which has helped me tremendously. ‘The circumstances that you are experiencing are not causing your upset but rather your false idea that they shouldn’t be happening, is.’ Go with the flow and work with them if possible. If suddenly everything falls apart tomorrow and the life I’m living ends, I’ll have no regrets, I’ll be devastated for sure, but I’ll have no regrets. No one could have tried harder or worked harder than me. I think that’s all that matters. As long as you can say you put in 100%, or you were up front and honest with someone, or you were brave enough to speak out, what comes next in response doesn’t matter. You’ve done the best you can and it isn’t possible to lament over how you could have done things better, because at that given time you responded and acted in the best way you could.
The sun is shining on my face and the light autumn wind grasps my hair as I stride down the street feeling like Samson. I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, but the thought brings a secret smile to my lips that I hide behind my hand (because heaven forbid you should be walking along a street in London and be smiling). I looked at the sky and laughed – I’m going to be alright.
Have an amazing week everyone and thank you for reading.
Oh and I nearly forgot, the agency who hosted the competition liked me so much they decided to sign me. Now the hard work truly begins and I’m more than ready for it. Stay real fuckers.