Hand Over Heart

2014 New Year

The past couple of months have been a shock to my system, and as a result, my blog has suffered. Christmas has come and gone, which is a bittersweet relief. As the year comes to a close, I find it necessary to recap and get it all out on the table, before I acknowledge it and move on.

So my 2014 started off pretty rough, and despite my best efforts, it remained that way for a good portion of the year. I quit my job late last year in order to pursue further study in fashion at the Whitehouse Institute of Design. While I was accepted into the course, I realised pretty early into the new year that the financial cost would no doubt prove to be too much of a burden, so I opted out.

After a few months of casual work at Sportsgirl and endless days on the couch, I decided to get back into visual merchandising and held a short-lived job with a European fashion brand in Melbourne. What did I learn from the experience? Never assume a job will match its description, under no circumstance put up with passive-aggressive bullying from a work peer and ALWAYS ask how much you’re getting paid.

Luckily, I had kept my Sportsgirl job as a backup, and am forever grateful to have worked for such an amazing company. When you’ve been to the bottom, it makes it a lot easier to appreciate what should just be a normal standard.

In July I travelled to Europe for 5 weeks and experienced an insane amount of personal growth. I think being put out of my comfort zone was one of the best things I did this year and I was continually challenged to be honest through my interactions with people. After Europe, I lost touch with a close friend. While I believe a lot of people, myself included, would interpret this loss as in fact, a decision I made, I realise only now that there’s nothing I could have done to stop it. I don’t think I ever really knew you. And I don’t think you ever lived up to being the friend I thought you were.

After arriving home I spent a couple more months desperately waiting for the stars to align until finally something in me clicked. Not feeling like I had a purpose career-wise really took its toll on me for the majority of the year, so I finally decided to take a chance and do what I always said I’d do; get out of my hometown and move to the big city. So I started applying for jobs in the industry once more, determined to find a good fit. I think being prepared to deal with whatever circumstance could be thrown my way really helped me to stay focused.

I applied and interviewed for a multitude of jobs and was incredibly fortunate to be offered an in-store visual merchandising position with Forever New at one of their flagship stores. Dare I say, I absolutely love it. I wake up every day excited to go to work, knowing I will be challenged creatively and in charge of the execution of something I am passionate about. After a hard year of struggling to figure out where I belong, I finally feel like I’m in the right place. After I accepted the job I moved from Geelong to Melbourne and have been here for about a month. I’m proud to have done what I actually said I’d do,  if you’d asked me at the start of the year where I think I would’ve ended up, the chances are it would’ve still been in my hometown. I proved myself wrong; take that former self!

Finally, right around the time, I started my new job, my long-term relationship came to its final end. After 4 and a half years, we had grown so much together, but I guess in the end we both recognised that we weren’t the right people to grow with anymore. It was a hard realisation and one that took me a long time to acknowledge, but now that it’s over, I’m so relieved that I’ve let go. I fell in love, which is one of the best feelings in the world and I’m so grateful that I get to do that again. The experience has only made my relationship desires more poignant, I now know what I’m not willing to settle for.

What an incredible year of growth 2014 has been, even if it has been bloody painful. Life, hey!

Wishing you all the best in 2015, if you’re still reading, thanks for sticking around. See you next year!