Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A New Beginning

SunRise7777777

I guess I owe you guys an explanation...
My blog has been quiet of late, in fact it has been quieter than usual for a few months now, maybe even the last year... Not because I have lost interest or don't want to do it, but because sometimes life gets in the way.
My blog is fashion & beauty related but as I consider most of my readers to be my extended circle of friends, I thinks its ok to talk to you guys as such, so here goes...

The first and biggest issue that has caused me to stop posting pictures on my blog is a very superficial one, one that most people wouldn't believe... but I have been incredibly insecure in myself this past few months, not in myself as a person but in my physical appearance. Its a ridiculous problem when there are people starving in the world, but when you are experiencing it, it is very, very real.
I guess it all started when my skin became really bad... at 28 years of age this is not a problem I thought I would be dealing with, I thought I had left it all behind in my teens but no, it reared its ugly head and returned with a vengeance. I tried everything - lotions, potions, doctors visits, changing my make up, my skin care routine, you name it and I have tried it. It is something that I wish I could tell you I have conquered but I'm still struggling to get it cleared up. It has affected me so deeply that when I take blog photos, I have felt that they are "ugly" or that they highlight the problem and I just delete them without posting. This insecurity has also progressed into my entire body image causing me not to like what I see when I look in the mirror. Dieting, stressing about what I eat, feeling guilty when I eat that bar of chocolate... I do not have an eating disorder but I sure as hell can relate to people who do. I do not crave being skinny, I crave being confident and this is harder than any weight loss programme. Some of you have mastered it regardless of your size, some are still struggling, but we are definitely our own biggest critics. 
As I sit here and write this, I already feel more confident and stronger in myself... not because the problem has disappeared, but because I am sharing it with you guys. I am guessing that at least 90% of girls and a high percentage of men can relate to what I'm saying and to how crap a lack of confidence can make you feel, particularly when you do put yourself in the public eye by blogging. I can only hope that by showing you guys that even bloggers who post hundreds of pictures of themselves looking confident online can feel insecure. In fact I would go as far as to say that even Victoria Secrets models have parts of their bodies that they hate. As one of the biggest advocates for body image and feeling beautiful in yourself, it pains me to not practice what I preach but I am only human, I can only feel what I feel. We all need to learn to ignore the body shaming losers on social media and in magazines, to stop comparing ourselves to others and to learn to love ourselves.
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The next and I suppose the biggest distraction for me in regards to my time management has been my Fashion & Textiles course. I finished up a few weeks ago for good and although I enjoyed every second of it, it was two of the hardest years of my life.
11535822_391619657710813_7662053834907899185_nI was doing something I genuinely loved but due to this and an incurable perfectionist streak, I wanted to excel. I spent every waking minute working on assignments and striving to achieve top grades in every one of them, so much so, that other aspects of my life simply had to take a back seat. In the wake of losing my beloved Grandmother, perhaps this wasn't such a bad thing, it gave me a distraction and kept me going through my grief. I finished with 15 distinctions and an overall distinction for the course, I have two fashion collections completed, have shown my work at several big shows, won many awards and achieved everything I set out to achieve... but when it was over, there was a nothingness, a catapult into the grief that I had been pushing to the back of my mind and a vicious crash back to reality... and so everything struggled, including this blog.
When it comes to the grieving process, I don't think anyone really understands what anyone else is going through. You can sympathise, but never fully see what goes on in the depths of someones mind.  To society, there is a time limit for grief and then you are expected to jump back into the everyday... return to normal and never shed a tear. Life does go on, but it goes on very differently... that is where I have been struggling. 
IMG_2288With the death of a grandparent - few people seem to understand the connection that you can have with them, unless they have experienced it for themselves. If one more person had said to me "awk but she had a good life" or "she had a good innings", I think I may have punched them in the face. It seemed as if this was a viable excuse to forget the grief and rejoice in the fact that she lived so long... but no! Her living longer meant me loving her longer and each day with her makes each day without her even harder. Time doesn't heal, time just teaches you to live with your sadness.  There will be good days and there will be bad days... on the good days I struggle with feelings of guilt - is it ok to laugh after losing someone that you loved so dearly? Is it ok to feel happy again? I know that along with myself, many of you will relate to this and wonder the exact same thing, but the truth is that yes its ok to feel these things. Its ok to feel sad when you are sad and its ok to feel happy when you are happy. I still struggle with this everyday but I am learning to feel what I feel and accept that that is ok. Always remember that there is no rule book to life and no rule book to grief - it just is! Its crap and it sucks and if I didn't have a younger audience I would use a few more choice words to describe it but its part of life and just because one life ends does not mean that yours should too. You are strong and so am I and we can do it - I promise you! xx

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It is only today, my first proper day off since Christmas, that I can sit down and reevaluate my life. I have sat for a very long time today thinking about writing this post and I have written and deleted it so many times. Today is the first day that I feel confident and content - (maybe because its the first time I have had a full nights sleep in a very long time) but I feel better in myself and more ready than ever to achieve world domination - or at least to get back to my blog - baby steps and all that.
I have an amazing family, a wonderful boyfriend and many fantastic friends. I am very lucky to have my health and although I have lost a huge part of my life, I have also gained... 
gained faith, gained strength and gained a new outlook on life. 
My career as a designer is taking off and through the support of my readers - all of you, I have already achieved so much, but still have room for more.
I am sorry that I have let all of these things get in the way of bringing you guys the content that you enjoy, but I am back... excited and raring to go!
I invite you to rejoin me on the journey that is The Sequin Cinderella...
Just don't forget to be home by midnight! :) 
<3 <3 
Nicola xx

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