Four Things To Know Whilst You're Waiting...

Carnaby St.
My fingers hover over the keyboard and there is a silence in my room that wills me to write.. something, anything. But I simply do not know what to type. I could write about postgraduate depression I think. No, not yet (although I do think it's a topic I should touch on - especially given the outpouring of messages and emails I've received from people who are struggling after finishing their various degrees.) I don't think it's quite yet the time and I want to write about it fairly objectively and with some form of a happy ending (which is coming... that I have faith in). It's quite hard to find something to write about lately, there's only so many times I can say 'hey! I'm still applying for jobs' and it's even harder not to allow it to be the foci of my life right now, but it is, so I must make lemonade out of these lemons and hope that this post helps someone. So here are four things to know whilst you're waiting, in this case, the focus is more so on a job/career/ big break more than anything else.

1. Do SOMETHING.... Anything.

If I stay in the house for more than two days in a row, I guarantee that I will feel awful. Staring at my laptop or phone in bed for hours is counterproductive and for the most part, I'll be scrolling through Instagram and twitter comparing myself to other bloggers when I could be using that time to create content or think of topics to write on. A few times a week I will usually try and meet up with friends who also work from home and we'll encourage each other over coffee whilst making sure we do all the work we need to do for the day. If everyone is busy then I'll carry my laptop to my local Starbucks for a few hours and work there, there is something in getting some fresh air into my lungs and seeing other people - even strangers, that makes me feel that little bit better about how things are. Get out of the house if you can, I know money is obviously an issue whilst job hunting, but even if it's walking to your local park once a week - Do it. Staying cooped up indoors is THE WORST - At least for me, it is (even as an introvert!).

2. Take Care Of Yourself.

Self-care is paramount in these waiting stages. One of the best pieces of advice I've received is to treat myself how I would if I were a small child. I would be kind, forgiving, warm and loving to myself if that were the case, so why not now as an adult? We can be so harsh on ourselves sometimes, and a good thing to remember is that by guarantee, you only have yourself in this world, so we should make ourselves our number one priority and take care of both our physical and mental health. I sometimes have Mental Health days where I allow myself to just 'be'. I usually put my phone on do not disturb, turn my lights low and do whatever is it that I need to recuperate which is usually just sleeping off whatever bad feelings I'm feeling and for me this is the best way to cope with bad MH days. Make a habit of focusing on doing whatever you need to do to keep yourself happy, sane and in a good place mentally. It'll help so much in the long term.

3. Hard Work Isn't Everything My Friend...

I really neglected my MH in the summer and I kept burning out day in day out, I'd end up in frustrated tears on a weekly basis. I'd work late into the night sending off application after application, obsessively amending my CV, redoing my portfolio over and over again, watching youtube videos on how to 'get the job' and not understanding why my hard work wasn't showing any results. Coming to terms with the fact that it's just how things are was one of the hardest, but best things I could have ever understood. One of the biggest things untruths I learned in university was that hard work is all you'd need to get to the top in life, maybe I'll expand on this in another post but once I understood that some parts of this process will, unfortunately, be beyond me, I started to take each rejection with a grain of salt. Things just *are* sometimes, and as hard as it is not to take things personally, I'd say it's important to work on how you take rejection, if not the road ahead may be quite painful. I look back on some of the companies I've been rejected from and realized that it would not have been a good fit at all for the both of us and now I'm much more picky with the practices I apply to making sure that their ethos' aligns with mine and they're much more than a practice that focuses on £££.

4. Consider Alternatives.

A few weeks ago after what seemed like intense interest in my CV and portfolio from a practice I'd have really loved to have worked for, there was as always is the case... Silence. I slurped my lukewarm coffee, wiped the remnants from my lips and with a loud sigh I closed my MacBook, jumped into bed and watched episode 31 of Bleach. Hours later I awoke from my nap, opened my laptop once again and this time I typed in 'volunteer abroad', driven by a mixture of extreme frustration with my situation and at the world, I knew that there had to be somewhere I could put my skills to good use. I didn't quite muster up the courage to continue with my volunteering abroad applications, however, I did find some charities I could lend my interior design and social media expertise to which felt great! The most difficult aspect of being out of a job for me is not having things to do, by nature I am a woman who loves structure, I love having clear tasks that I need to do and I enjoy the feeling of doing things for others in a professional capacity, so, for now, volunteering fills that void, and it also allows me to get out of the house and meet new people whilst doing something good. Although this isn't a long-term alternative, it is something to do for the time being whilst I slowly continue my job search.

“Wildflower; pick up your pretty little head, It will get easier, your dreams are not dead.”  - Nikki Rowe

What I Wore...

COAT c/o boden | ROLL NECK c/o boden | SKIRT | c/o boden | BOOTS c/o boden



A Hair Update: Goals, Setbacks & Products.

As I type this from The British Library, my hair is haphazardly sitting in braids under a very secure wig. Protective styling is the name of the game at the moment due to my own sheer laziness and mistreatment of my hair this year. I'll be honest, throw my hands up in the air and proclaim that I am very lucky that my hair is resilient and grows quite quickly, for I have absolutely abandoned any form of a strict regimen that I once had, and I just left my hair to do its own thing (aka becoming a dry matted mess - oops!). But this post will be about getting back on that wagon and enforcing a simple wash, condition, moisturise, braid and do whatever after regimen. 

I'm blaming university and job hunting stress for the amount of hair that has fallen out of my head these past few months. In July it was quite literally falling out in CLUMPS! On top of that, it was feeling super dry, uneven and just not as good as it could be and I'm making it my goal to stay in protective styles such as wigs and buns more regularly. Although I'm loving the 'Lob' (long bob) my hair falls into after a braid out or twist out, I still want it to be healthier and I still want to continue with my growth journey - aiming for a solid waist length straightened by December 2019. I'm currently just scraping bra strap length in the back which is an achievement in itself as my hair has never grown past collar bone length in the past!
Appropriate products and good hair practices are the way to go for healthy hair which translates into retained growth in the long run. A mixture of protein, moisture and gentle manipulation is what I'm doing to nurse my hair back to health. Palmers Coconut Oil Conditioner has been incredible for detangling in the shower, I will say that I don't think it's moisturizing enough for an actual deep conditioning treatment but it's good for a quickie detangle. In a bid to amp up my growth, I searched high and low on youtube for DIY oils for scalp stimulation and I came across an interesting video by Curly Proverbz on Ayurvedic practices for long term hair health, growth and retention which led me to my local asian grocers for fenugreek powder, henna, castor oil and jasmine oil which i mixed together and let sit for approximately 48 hours in an glass spritz bottle before using. I'm delighted to say that the mixture works and it works wonders! My edges were quite literally snatched during my graduation back in june because of the crochet braids i had installed, and my regrowth can definitely be attributed in part to the fenugreek oil mix. Definitely check out this video on growth oils too if you're needing a boost in that department. Following on from more natural homemade hair solutions, i've got to give a quick shout out to bentonite clay - IT IS THE BEST at clarifying, and i mean a solid deep clean from scalp all the way to your ends. I use a bentonite clay 'shampoo' between once and twice a month as a clarifying treatment and to get into the places where my usual shampoo cannot. I've been very into French Pharmacie for my beauty needs lately and for daily moisture, Kloranes' Leave In Cream with Mango Butter is a solid staple at the moment, it's a little pricier than my usual leave in's but a little goes a long way and i simply adore the scent. It's particularly great if i'm wanting to wear my hair heat styled as it doesn't make my hair fluff up (high concentrations of glycerine, which is a humectant does this fyi!). A good cheapie panic buy that i'm also loving for my braid outs is Boots Curl Creme which is a steal at £1.99! It's obviously not as good as the Klorane leave in but it's great find for the price i think.
I'll be back with updates and a few more in depth reviews on products that are killing it in terms of reversing the damage i've done to my hair. Hope some of these help! 



Word Vomit, Encouragement & Another Midi Dress.

alice teal floral midi dress
"You've gone MIA again!", a WhatsApp message from Emmy flashed up on my phone at about 15:04 pm on Tuesday. I yawned, rubbed the remnants of that morning's mascara across my face, pulled my feet into the warmth of my bed covers and finally messaged her back. It was my usual "Sorrrrrrrrrrrry" "I've been soooooo busy!" plus a few love heart emojis sprinkled in for dramatic effect). I have indeed been very busy, so busy that my eyes are burning with warning that I should probably put down this cup of coffee and go to sleep soon. The thing about job hunting is that it is something that feels never-ending. All of your conversations come back to ways you could improve your CV or portfolio of professional work. Friends and family alike (with the best of intentions) mention the top times to apply and even suggest manually dropping off your applications to practices (To show that you're 'really serious'). And after hordes of well-meaning advice and pushes to do this, that and the other, it became exhausting and I didn't want to talk about it, or even think about it so I submerged myself under a cloud of annoyance at the world and frustration at not doing a normal project for sixth year. Eventually, it got worse and worse and now that we've almost come to December, I have a confession to make, I stopped. I threw in the towel.
gola mustard trainers
alice teal floral midi dress
Maxwell scott bags
You see, after some choice words from family and friends in regards to how I was coping with life post-university (i wasn't coping at all despite trying to be ok), I decided to cut my losses as it were, and throw myself into anything that would a.) keep me productive and b.) do some good in the world. So in between helping friends launch projects, giving a talk to teenagers on staying hopeful in life, serving at my church, forcing myself out of the house to meet new people and doing volunteer work for a charity, I've been chugging along like a little steam train. It has been a blur of Oyster card tapping, coffee slurping, note jotting and handshaking these past few weeks and I'm still not really sure where I should be or what I should be doing, but I feel a little more at peace with my brief break from applications. I recently got back to applying after re-reading my thesis and looking through my reports and feeling proud of the work I produced and marvelling at the graphics that I managed to put together on photoshop with such little sleep under my belt. So I haven't thrown in the towel altogether, I realised I've studied for way too many years only to trip at the final hurdle, and instead of quitting the race, I suppose I've just been taking a little time off to heal before stretching my legs and running again.

Everyone keeps telling me to just keep at blogging, but I've always written on this blog as an aside to architecture, so I don't have much to write about at the moment except well... that I'm still hanging in there applying for jobs and keeping on, keeping on. I'll stop talking about the job situation now because I will combust if I see the words 'application' or 'job' again in this post! There are worse things in the world after all! I've been trying to refocus on gratitude and servitude during this period of waiting and figuring things out and it has drastically altered how I'm dealing with things.
alice teal floral midi dress
alice teal floral midi dress
alice teal floral midi dress
alice teal floral midi dress
Apparently, our minds are hard-wired to focus on the things that aren't going the way we'd like them to as opposed to the good things that are happening all around. My task for myself and for you this week is to write out a list of all the incredible things you've achieved so far this year, they could be anything from finally purchasing your dream home, to getting out of bed on days when you really want to hide from the world. Read through the list with a warm drink or an alcoholic beverage if you prefer (I'm going to crack out the mulled wine..), and really take in each achievement, savour each word you've written and digest with it the thought that you've made it through your best and your worst days and you're still here to tell the tale, with many more seconds, minutes, hours, days, months and years to fill with more achievements. This is just the tip of the iceberg for what the world holds for you.

Just. Hold. On..... 

What I Wore...

DRESS - sugarhill boutique | BAG - maxwell scott | TRAINERS - gola | LIPSTICK - mac 'ruby woo'


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