On my first post I roughly explained why I was starting Talking About: Lifestyle. Now that you’ve seen a bit of what the blog is all about, I want to share the journey that brought me here.
As I mentioned before, I’m Colombian, actually half-Colombian, half-Spanish. I started studying Fashion Design in one of the best creative universities in Colombia, La Colegiatura Colombiana. I completed 2 years in which I excelled with creativity and enjoyed every single day. I always knew that my passion was Fashion, but to be honest, at that time there was not much choice, if you liked Fashion, then you studied Fashion design. When I was completing my second year, my brother, a law student back then, was on a gap year living in London and he said to me: “If I pay for your ticket, would you come to London for a gapyear?”. You can obviously imagine my answer… So I packed my bags, put my degree on hold and went to London.
By the time I got there, my brother was back in Colombia so one of his friends picked me up and let me stay with her for a couple of weeks while I figured out where I was going to live, find a job and etc. My family helped me with enough money to survive the first month, but after that I was on my own, so I had to move quickly. I found a decent flat in Fulham, sharing the room with a lovely girl from Spain. Started working as a Nanny while trying to find a more permanent job. That was when the mother of the children offered me a job in her company, a house for adults with learning difficulties. Honestly I didn’t even know what was that or what to expect, but as usual I said why not? and accepted the job. That was back in 2008, and I’ve been working there ever since.
It is a hard job, but with time it became something more than that, the clients became like my family, it was a place where I felt safe and supported, and overall it gave me the stability I craved so much for. Obviously, while working there I wanted to keep my fashion side active, so I enrolled at London College of Fashion for some short courses in Make Up, but to be honest, my main goal while being in London was to travel as much as I could, and luckily I saved and traveled a lot. Please do remeber that I came only for a gap year, so I had to make the most out of it.That year, became a year and a half in no time, and my mother submitted me back to Colombia to finish my degree. I did go back, but 2 months after I bought a ticket and told my mom I was going to do my degree in London.
And then it was a whole new ball game, not really. I got back my job and enrolled at university. Although I’m half Spanish, I still had to pay the international fee (huge punch on the stomach) as I haven’t lived in Europe for the last 3 years, so I wasn’t entitled to the special price, anyway, let’s not drill into that because it still gets me. I enrolled at LCF for Fashion Styling and Photography, and although I knew I should find a job in the fashion insutry, it was hard. Overall because most of these jobs are unpaid and they want you to commit to a full-time contract. Who or how can you do this? Obviously, I couldn’t afford to not have a job and more over to skip classes to go to work, that was out of question as I was already investing too much to not get everything I could out of my studies. Luckily, at my job, in the care home, they were very nice and help me to adapt my timetable accordingly to my studies, so I could continue studying and paying for my living.
I collaborated with many people and took internships while I was on holidays from university to expand my network, portfolio and knowledge of the industry, clearly this wasn’t enough. Any job in the industry, even at a graduate level requires you to have certain amount of experience, and more often than not they are barely paid. So it is kind of a viscious circle as you need a job to live, but the jobs you can get won’t allow you to pay for your living. That’s why I have stayed in my safe place for so long, which is sometimes a blessing and other times a curse! A blessing because of the experience and stability it brings me, but a curse as it is so not related what so ever with fashion.
Working in a care home is a place where you need to have your instincts on point all the time, dress comfortably and be ready for anyhting that can happen, so my stylish self feels very frustrated as I cannot wear my fabulous clothes, the make up is next to none and the nails pretty much is a waste to have them done beautifully as with all the house duties they will either chip or break!
So this is where the blog comes in, it is my happy place. Where I can dress up, talk about my passion and just escape. A place where I get to meet new people, to share my stories, my style, my passion for cooking and more! So thank you, as every Like, every comment and every follower enlightens my day, pushes me to do better and to keep going.