You hear over and over, “follow your passion, be true to yourself”, and frankly I am done with such phrases. What if you don’t yet know your exact passion? What if you don’t yet feel that you absolutely know your “self”, and you’re not convinced that it’s even possible? Because your “self” is always growing and changing, and you’re pretty sure that you were channeling Jessica Rabbit yesterday but have woken up this morning 100% Coachella-chic? It is difficult to be in limbo. Even if you’re failing at doing something, well – at least you’re definitely doing it.
What I know for certain is that I love fashion, truly, madly, deeply, and that as I stare hopelessly into glossy mag editorials and at online snaps of catwalk looks, I am my most inspired. But it’s all very vague. Where do I go from here? At my graduation, as I shook the hand of the university chancellor on stage in front of hundreds, she asked me, “What do you plan to do with your English degree?” My answer?: “Fashion!” Oh, Yasmin. How do you do fashion? She summed it all up in her reply, “That’s an interesting development”.
My work experience at GLAMOUR was one of the steps I took in trying to pinpoint how exactly I was going to “do” fashion. I’ve always read GLAMOUR, and the chance to become a part of the UK’s number one women’s magazine cannot be topped, so, I jumped on the opportunity to temporarily join the team. And the time I spent with them ended up being a much-welcomed eye-opener.
GLAMOUR creates for their reader, first and foremost. They don’t throw whatever they fancy in; they are always considering their audience. This has forced me to look at my own ambitions from another viewpoint. The question isn’t “What do I want to do?”, it’s actually, “What do I want to do for others? What can I offer them?” I don’t mean you should compromise on your vision to please everyone else. I’m saying consider the wider perspective. I’ve realised I will never find fulfillment if my purpose is directed nothing but inward. “I want to create for myself” versus “I want other people to recognise and be effected by this creation”. Which one will take you further?
Sitting in the GLAMOUR office, observing the team, and partaking in their creation of a magazine for the outside world, a world that rushed obliviously past their huge first-floor windows, was quietly inspiring. My experience with them, short but sweet, shook me a bit from my anti-climatic, “just-graduated” stupor. The copious amount of mail, product samples and event invites that the team receives each day is just one example of the fast pace of the industry. As I handed each parcel and envelope out around the office, as I transcribed interviews with globally successful actors, writers and icons, I was reminded that there is a lot more going on than totaljobs.com, perfecting our CV’s and making ourselves as “employable” as possible.
Although I haven’t exactly set myself up as a girl to take life-tips from, can I suggest: don’t worry so much about identifying your passion, or your “self”. Spend your energy ensuring that whatever you’re doing gives you a purpose that you believe in. It doesn’t have to be curing world hunger, however, if that is your purpose, please go head forth as soon as you can. I’ve done my best to quit the mindset that I am in a “limbo” state, and instead repeat the words of poet Ahunnaya, “I’m not lost, I’m on my way”. GLAMOUR was a stop off along that way; I had a wonderful time there with a wonderful team. To all struggling fashionistas, beauty product hoarders, writers, artists, unfocused and frustrated drifters – you are not lost, you’re on your way.