Thursday 28 June 2018

what does success look like?

Lazy Unwin in front of shelving at Mon Pote Home North Street Bedminster Bristol

What does success look like to you?

It's different for us all, can change throughout your life, and isn't necessarily an end point.

Nearly 10 years ago, I had to drop out of uni because I was extremely fatigued and anxious all the time. I didn't know what was wrong with me for a while, and I felt like a failure watching all my friends graduate and work towards their careers, while I was constantly unwell. Having been to a grammar school before college, it was drummed into me how important university was, and no other options were laid out. What the hell was I going to do now? 

I didn't make life plans anymore, because what was the point? It seemed impossible that I could ever stand on my own two feet. I was so frustrated with my body and mind for holding me back. 

My dreams of going back to uni and graduating faded away, and although I continued to draw and sew, I didn't think I could ever make a living out of it. It was more of a therapy for me. I couldn't think of anything that I would be able to do as a job, but I started my blog as something to pass the time and share what I was making. 

Yoga Brunch Club at The Forge Colton Yard Bristol candles on windowsill

A lot has changed since then. I now have three part time jobs that I enjoy, and that I'm good at. It's been a long and complicated road, but I've constantly tried to push myself out of my comfort zone, little by little, and now I turn around and can see how far I've come.

It took a few years of ESA, volunteering, therapy, support, working for free and changing jobs, but I finally feel pretty happy about where I am with my career - if you can call it that! It certainly isn't an overnight thing, I've faced a few battles as well as my demons, but it was worth all the hard work and pushing myself.

I'm still blogging, and making some money out of it when I can. I don't see this as "selling out", because I am making money from something I love! Some posts are paid, yes, but I try to be honest and authentic, and most of what I post is still completely heartfelt and unpaid.

I have been working in a vintage shop for a little over a year now, and despite a few wobbles along the way, I'm really happy there. My favourite job is doing the window displays, and I love chatting to customers and being surrounded by interesting things.

More recently, I've started working for a gorgeous homeware store too. I work one day a week in store, and I also do marketing and other online things for the shop. It's dangerous working with so many lovely things, but I love it.

Some people prefer one Monday to Friday job, but not me. I love the variety, and although I have some kind of structure, I enjoy how flexible and different each job is. Plus, my weekend is on a Monday & Tuesday, meaning everywhere I want to go is nice and quiet!

Vintage 70s pattern window display rhubarb jumble vintage shop north street bedminster bristol

Don't get me wrong - I still have days that I feel like a failure or don't know what I'm doing or where I'm going, but right now, this suits me. I'm very content, and I feel like somewhat of a success, especially when I look back at where I came from.

Life is a learning curve; recovery and the journey to good health are never straight, parallel lines; success is whatever you think it is.

Don't let other people tell you what you should do - whether that be school, university, careers etc. Don't worry if you don't want to go to uni, want to drop out or change courses. Don't worry if you don't know what you want to do for the rest of your life. Most people are just making it up as they go along anyway.

Find your own way. You'll get there.

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  1. As a fellow university dropout who found her way eventually, I salute you! x

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