Category Archives: Lifestyle

New year, who dis?

2016 was a strange year, but it was undeniably lit.

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WIN WITH GRATITUDE: SPONSORED BY CIRCA HOME

To say that this past week has been intense is an understatement. Between uni, work, and my social life, things got a bit hectic and I felt very overwhelmed. I realised that sometimes life goes by so fast that we forget to stop and appreciate how far we’ve come, and who has helped us get there. Sometimes we just forget to be grateful for the lives we’re living, grateful for the good and the bad that we experience.

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With Mother’s Day coming up, it’s even more so a time to show appreciation to the ones we love and care about.

Now, you guys have the opportunity to win a limited edition gratitude gift pack for you and someone you love with Circa Home – just in time for Mother’s Day! All you have to do is click this link and tell Circa Home what you’re grateful for!

This range has a honeyflower and sandalwood fragrance with undertones of cucumber and vanilla, which when lit can literally remind you of a hug from your mum!

Also in the range you can get

Honeyflower & Sandalwood Fragrance Diffuser
Honeyflower & Sandalwood Soy Melts
Limited Edition Electric Wax Warmer

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Dumbledore once said “happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light” This is so relevant because lighting the candle and inhaling the amazing scent can actually bring you happiness…

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but for real though, Circa Home’s Gratitude range and competition really makes you think about all of the things that we should be grateful for, and honestly, we truly are lucky for every little thing that life throws at us; even the things that we wish we never had to experience have forced you to grow as a person, and that in itself is something to be grateful for.

 

Thanks for a fab year, 2015

Where do I even begin to describe 2015?

2015 was the year that I met amazing people and made friends I know will be around for a long time.

2015 was the year that I worked my ass off and reached my goals.

2015 was the year that I got a taste of the real world and thrived from it.

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Prue Chilcott: The influential voice behind Melbourne’s iconic Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival

There are an endless amount of misconceptions about the infamous fashion industry. It is perceived to be a never ending stampede of exquisitely dressed people who are willing to trample anyone in their way in order to get their dream job. Luckily for those hoping to join the chaos, according to Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival’s digital marketing executive, Prue Chilcott, it’s not nearly anything like what we see in films, and for the first time, the reality is a lot better than what we thought.

Imagine you have the power to speak on behalf of a major organisation that not only hosts a nationally renowned fashion festival, but an organisation that heavily influences the Australian fashion industry. You would have a dramatic influence over a variety of people simply through social media. The new age of fashion marketing has changed the way a digital society stays in the know. Now, with the touch of a ‘share’ button, anyone can send a photo viral, revolutionising traditional fashion media, tripling the success and awareness of an event. Anyone can do it, but not everyone can utilise the skills of traditional marketing strategies and combine them with social media to create an influence that speaks to different audiences on different levels. In the case of VAMFF, Prue Chilcott is the person who has this power.

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Firstly, Prue presents herself in an incredibly friendly light. She radiates a genuine nature and has an admirable aura of confidence. Dressed comfortably but looking ever so stylish, she proves that she most definitely is “cool enough” to be the voice of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, even on a freezing Melbourne morning when you would rather be in bed sleeping, and not at work in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. For aspiring public relations students, take note of Prue Chilcott, who has come a long way in her career in a short time.

Prue began this stage of her career with VAMFF in November 2014, once she returned to work from maternity leave. Her job as the digital marketing executive leaves her responsible for all online communications involving VAMFF, including all social media, the VAMFF website, emails, and their blog, In Detail, which she helped to launch at the end of 2014. Prue is also a features writer for the acclaimed Australian blog, Melbourne Girl. When not at work she is busy enjoying motherhood and helping her husband with the financial side to his business. Is there anything that Prue isn’t doing?

If there is one thing that Prue says gets her through her busy days, it is the passion that she has for her work: “If you’re driven by doing what you love then it’s not work”, she said. “I really love working here, I love writing for Melbourne Girl, I love being a mum and doing simple things like making dinner every night and reading a magazine. I don’t want to miss out on any of those things”. The fear of missing out is proving to work for this busy Melbourne mum, as she runs through her daily routine of waking up at 5:30am to write before her baby wakes up, she makes it seem almost too easy to be able to balance a family life and a successful career in the Australian fashion industry. With students hoping to get into the same industry, Prue makes it obvious that the best way to find your self in her shoes in the future is to work hard and consistently: “[The fashion industry] It’s really competitive, no one is going to tell you that anyone who works in fashion just waltzed in”. Emphasising the importance of nailing the hard skills of marketing and public relations, Prue recommends that you always follow your passions, but keep in mind that it’s not always possible to get the job you want straight away. Prue got into public relations work through an internship as a receptionist at a PR agency following her studies, and then eventually got promoted to a PR assistant “it’s a round about way of getting there, but if you have an ultimate goal, scrabble your way to get there!”

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Prue graduated from Monash University in 2009 and since then she has worked for some highly reputable companies in their PR and marketing departments, such as The Style Counsel, the Coles group, and George Patterson Y&R. Within these roles, Prue managed to expand her experience in the broad marketing communications industry. Following in her example, she advises that students should “never think that they are too good to do anything”, after all, it was these particular experiences outside of the fashion industry that got her to her position as VAMFF’s digital marketing executive.

Although fashion communications is competitive, judging by Prue’s personality and experience, our impressions of the unbearably chaotic fashion industry are far from the truth… “There’s a preconceived notion that it’s a fluffy industry, but some of the smartest and savviest people that I’ve ever worked with have been in the fashion industry”.

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It’s important that students remember that any progress within marcoms is progress towards your ultimate career goal; Prue advises that you “find passion in what you’re doing… If you’re marketing electrical tools, make them the best goddamn electrical tools the world has ever seen”. As a graduate working for the Coles group, Prue was apart of the product development department, and during her first week, she had to cook around eighty different sausages, testing and preparing for Coles to launch a new brand of sausages… “I had never really cooked before because I had been living at home, and I thought ‘I did not go to university for five years to be cooking 80 sausages!’”

All of Prue’s hard work has brought her far in her six-year career, and now Prue continues to use her traditional marketing skills to bring the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival to life in the months between the main events. She continues to write for Melbourne Girl and juggle all of this work with a family, and she manages well, after all she does “have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyoncé”.

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Photos courtesy of VAMFF’s official Pinterest, Instagram, and Melbourne Central.

A special thanks to Prue Chilcott for her time and for being so supportive and helpful, and for managing to inspire and motivate me and anyone looking to go down the fashion marketing path!

UPDATE: I’m back!

Hey everyone!

I am so, so sorry I haven’t posted in so long. My life has been ridiculously crazy lately. I have been working heaps and then when I do get a day off it’s the only time I have to catch up with family, friends, and run errands.

I do admit, I was beginning to get really, really frustrated with how everything was panning out, especially considering that I didn’t have time to write about all of the things that have been happening recently. Then, when I did have time, I was too tired to properly write and edit things in time to post them.

To be completely honest though, at the moment I feel like it’s in my best interest to work every day that I can, because that way I can achieve my goals a lot quicker. Sometimes you have to sacrifice something in order to get something else. At the moment, my main goal is a Euro trip.

As exciting as it is, it’s also extremely stressful because I have a lot of saving left to do, and therefore, need to work my butt off to get to where I want to be, which is cruising through Europe without a worry in the world.

With that being said, though, I am slowly but surely getting back into the blogging mentality, which I don’t think I completely lost, I just needed a break somewhere in my life, and as much as I love blogging, it was probably the easiest thing to take a break from; but never fear, because I am back and I have so much stuff to post that you’ll probably end up getting sick of me!

EMILY CIANTAR X THE FASHION JOURNALS NOW AVAILABLE ON SOCIETY6

There has never been a collaboration that works so effortlessly.

Let me introduce you all to Emily, she’s some girl from Melbourne who happens to be really good at graphic design. You might recognise her from some of my past posts like this one, this one, this one, and this one.

Emily, being the creative and innovative person that she is, decided to surprise me with a late birthday present. This present was not only thoughtful, but it’s so personal.

Let’s be real too, it’s freaking awesome.

THIS IS TFJ BEING BROUGHT TO LIFE!

 

 You can purchase a range of different TFJ things like mugs, art prints, iPhone cases, and iPod skins here

I’m also going to be having a give away soon so stay tuned!

#EMILYCIAXTFJ

Feminism vs Gender Equality: Do you know what you’re standing up for?

“Feminist: A person who believes in the social, political, and economical equality of the sexes”

No where in this definition is the statement that solely women are feminists. No where does the definition mention that feminists believe in the superiority of women. There are so many misconceptions about the term ‘feminism’ that confuses what the actual meaning is.

I personally like to consider myself a feminist, but not in the way some people do. I think that women deserve the same rights as men in business, relationships and in society, however, I do not think that women deserve more power than men in these instances.

Why do we assume that suppressing one group will empower the other? Even if it does, why is this a good thing? Why is taking the importance from one side and giving it to the other the right thing to do?

It’s not.

If you want fairness within the two groups, you need to enforce equality, rather than fight for a shift in power.

There’s nothing wrong with a woman earning the same wage as a man in the same position, and there’s nothing wrong with a man doing the house work while a woman is working. Still in this day and age we have an emphasis on gender roles, and the ‘traditions’ that were once socially acceptable, but aren’t any longer. House work traditionally was a woman’s role, as was staying at home and devoting their lives to their family on the basis that the house was clean and dinner was provided. In turn, it was a man’s job to go to work and earn a living for his family, then come home expecting to be treated like a king.

Like those traditions, I’ve grown up in a family where there are expectations placed upon both the women and the men. There are three generations of people living in my house. My dad who was born in the late 40’s and grew up in the 50’s and 60’s where these traditional roles were established (think Pleasantville), my mum who was born in the late 60’s and grew up with the female revolution, who sees the world more openly than my dad but still respects the ideas and traditions that he believes in. Then there’s me. I believe in feminism and the power of women, but I also don’t think it’s fair to undermine men and classify them all in a certain way.

Like family gender roles, there are so many stereotypes placed on men which aren’t true, and the majority of these stereotypes are placed on the generalisation of men by the popular majority of female feminists.

Not all men are power sick perverts who will underpay a woman just because she is a woman. Not all men abuse women or objectify them just because they may have more strength than a woman does. Yes, it is undeniable that there is a large portion of men who do, but it is also unfair of ‘feminists’ to just assume that all men are like that.

What people forget as well is that women are allowed to want to make their husbands and families happy. I was in a conversation not long ago where someone said “Beyoncé is derogatory to women because she sings about sexuality… have you heard her song ‘Blow’?”. I’m not just saying this because I love Beyoncé, but because what people who don’t take the time to listen to her music don’t know is that she is all about empowering women (Who run the world? Girls!) but she also loves her husband and enjoys their intimate relationship, and what’s wrong with that?

Also, haven’t you heard her song ‘Flawless’?!

I’m going to bring up a point I made in my Kim Kardashian post, and reiterate that women globally loved the show Sex and the City, which is easily one of the most openly sexual programs that is based on women. Why can people support a show like that which at times can be very derogatory but they hate on one woman with a few songs about the same topic? It makes no sense.

One of my favourite TV shows ever is That 70’s Show, which is obviously set in the 70’s, a time where equal rights was a social practice in the making. Woman fought desperately to separate themselves from the expected social conventions of the past, and from there were able to set the standard of equality that we know of today.

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 My favourite episode was in season 7 where Donna wants to go to a feminist rally, and Eric goes there to surprise her and says “Women should be able to walk through this park without being afraid. In fact, some day I hope that I can walk through this park without being afraid.” [queue laughter] Then, Donna decides that they should make out in the park’s bushes, and Eric accidentally pulls her hair, and Donna says “Ow, Eric get off”. The feminists then hear this and chase Eric, capture him, and strip him of his clothes and write humiliating messages on his body. It was funny but it was also really unfair that Eric wasn’t asked any questions, and that he himself was violated because it seemed as though he was violating Donna’s rights as a woman. Yes, in the instance that he actually was, then this reaction is totally acceptable, but in a lot of cases, men are wrongly accused of harassing women just because stereotypically, if they were seen in a situation at the wrong time, that’s what it can look like; but even that, who said it was okay to wrongly accuse someone in the first place, and secondly, humiliate them publicly without any questions asked?

Why is vilifying someone okay just to accredit someone else?

Sometimes we have to realise that a man’s pride is something that has been embedded in them so strongly that questioning it can result in situations that can be derogatory to women, but not every man is like that.

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I am so sick of seeing Facebook statuses like “Over guys, they’re all the same” but they’re not, it’s not every man’s fault that you are attracted to that type of man, or that your actions as a woman don’t have the same consequences that his do.

I personally am over seeing this happen, and if asked, I will say that I am a feminist because I do believe in the rights of women, but I will never be okay with slamming all men just because of the mistakes of some men. More than that, I think it’s more important to believe in the equality of the sexes, rather than debate over which deserves their rights more.

These are my confessions

Just when I thought I said all I can say my chick on the side said she got one on the way… 

No okay seriously, over the past year and half that I’ve been writing The Fashion Journals, I’ve had quite a few emails from readers asking me random questions. Recently, these emails have been coming in by the truck load so I decided that I will compile them and answer them all in one big post! I have also condensed and conjoined them into 10 questions because they were all very similar.

What’s your worst habit? 

Firstly, I leave everything to the last-minute. I know it’s bad but I can’t bring myself to change it. I should, but I can’t.

What are you like as a person in real life? On the blog you seem supes blogger like… 

“Blogger like”? I think I’ll coin that phrase, I like it! To start with, I have an abundance of confidence, but I choose who sees it and when I show it. I don’t think it’s necessary for absolutely everyone to know every little thing about me, although I do enjoy sharing with the right people. In ‘real life’ I’m a lot more quiet and I don’t mind keeping to myself. The Fashion Journals is my version of Beyoncé’s ‘Sasha Fierce’, and I like that on the blog I can be fully based on materialism and all of the little things that I blog about, but I also like that I can have actually meaningful conversations with people. In ways I am your typical Capricorn: I evaluate every little thing like situations, actions and reactions, and even purchases… I don’t like making mistakes. I think to some people I can come across as cold or timid, but it’s just because I prefer when people make the effort with me, and once they do I come out of my shell almost instantly. I like doing things by myself because I like to control everything, right down to the last detail.

I guess I can be “blogger like” in real life because I do get excited about the things I blog about, and I do enjoy photographing my life and organising things to use as content on the blog. I guess it’s a hard question to answer directly because TFJ is not just a fashion or beauty blog, but it’s also lifestyle which means that TFJ spills into my life, and vice versa.

What is your actual day-to-day style like? You blog about so many different styles and stuff that I’m not really sure

I don’t think anyone is going to see my actual style for a little while because I can’t really afford my actual style. I don’t have an exact style, but I’ve always preferred to wear jeans, and at the moment I’m really into more of a sports-luxe look because it’s really chic and comfortable at the same time, especially at uni or to and from work. I love bold lipstick, specifically reds, and I find it hard to wear anything other than black and white monochrome. I love my white Nike Thea’s and I’m really into my super comfy Country Road slides. Since I wear simple outfits, I always add heaps of jewellery; you will never catch me without a necklace, at least two rings and a watch. This season I’ve really embraced rose gold and I love silver, but I always choose my jewellery based on the hardware of my bags!

Why don’t you post many selfies? I think that when you do it makes this blog seem really personal. 

I’ll definitely start adding more personal photos, it’s just so hard because my life is always such a rush! I just have enough time every morning to straighten my hair, get dressed and put makeup on, and aside from the fact that I’m fussy, I skip breakfast for time reasons too, so I don’t always have time to set up the camera and take photos! I’m also not a massive fan of mirror selfies unless the background is good, and if I want to take photos, I need good lighting and a good backdrop, which I don’t have! I will, however, be investing in a professional photography set up soon, so that’s definitely going to be a massive help!

What are you like naturally? I’ve read that you’ve got curly hair and you mention things you call ‘flaws’ but you cover it well. 

I must admit, I don’t really hide all that much! I do straighten my curly hair, but my makeup is pretty natural looking usually, and even so, you can see blemishes and such anyway. My hair colour is my natural colour and I don’t have much patience so pretty much what you see is how it is, only with a bit of concealer.

Do you have any regrets?

Only that I let some people go too easily and now I sort of miss them, but then again I’m not sure whether I should consider that a regret because it wasn’t me who cut communication so other than that I regret the things that I don’t buy during mid-season sales and I also regret not eating breakfast every morning.

What are you trying to get out of this blog? seriously. 

I was kind of waiting for this type of question, and seriously I think the real question is what haven’t I gotten from this blog. To answer the question though, I’ve built a platform for myself to express my opinions and to give advice to people with the same interests and situations as me, therefore, I am trying to reach an audience in my own unique way. This blog is the start of my career so I guess I am also trying to get a self-made career out of it as well. Problem?

I really like The Fashion Journals because you’re really honest, and you’re also a normal person (I mean you are average in a good way) but I want to know how you built up the courage to be yourself on social media?

Well thank you, but I honestly don’t really need all that much courage because I don’t second guess myself when I make posts or write about truthful things. The way I see it is that there are probably a lot more people who can relate to me than they can relate to someone like Kylie Jenner so being honest is my way of being able to properly style and give advice to the large majority of people who want it, in a realistic and achievable way. If I blogged about only high-end products and brands, and every post was an OOTD featuring a new designer handbag, while wearing a Dolce and Gabbana gown to brunch, I don’t think many people can relate to that, and will then lose interest. I am skeptical about social media because you only see what people want you to see, which is the cool things they do or that one on point outfit that they actually wear repeatedly. I used to get really caught up in other people’s lives, and at times would get envious because they would have something that I wanted, but at the end of the day I realised that my life, just like a lot of other people, has great things too, and I don’t have a need to validate them with an Instagram post. Of course I do post often, and do glorify things, that’s just because that’s how the world is now, and I, like many other people, do conform as well, but because I am aware of it, I try to be as honest and modest as possible.

Is blogging your job? What else do you do… do you got to school or work somewhere else? 

I consider blogging to be a job, mostly because of the effort that I put into it, but I’m creating a portfolio of work which in the future I hope to either continue to build upon on my own (and make blogging my full time career) or use to get a magazine editorial job. I do have an actual paying job too though, I work for an Australian brand called Mimco. I also go to university and am doing a bachelor of media and communication, majoring in public relations.

How do you have time to do everything for the blog and have a social life? I’m a blogger too but sometimes neglect the blog because I don’t have time for it!

Honestly, I find it hard to juggle everything mostly because I want to make sure that everything I do is done well. When it comes to blogging I create drafts of posts as soon as I get an idea, and then edit and add to the post until I think it’s good enough to publish. Sometimes I don’t post for a little while because I didn’t have a chance to properly edit anything, so I’ll quickly post something from Polyvore or an OOTD, just because it’s quick but it shows that I’m still active. The best thing I have done though is incorporate my life into TFJ, so that means that some things I do socially, I can make a post about (as long as they are relevant to the blog). I also go to sleep really late and usually work on posts while I’m in bed until I get tired, and schedule them for the morning or early afternoon. It’s not the best way to go about it, but at least I do get things done.

 

 

Some of the questions have been edited for grammatical purposes.

Uni Chic

So tomorrow I have my first day of university orientation, or as everyone except me seems to call it “O-Week”. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little nervous, but then every time I think I’m nervous I remember that I don’t actually have any classes, and just have a “welcome lecture” and then I’m finished by 11am…

One thing that has been on my mind since I got into university is that I need to buy things specifically for uni, such as basic tops, another pair of jeans/pants, and maybe another jacket or two, not to mention a pair of black converse and flat boots…

So far, out of that whole list I have purchased a black Agent Ninteynine tote bag from General Pants, and a Marc by Marc Jacobs cosmetics case… I obviously needed a plain tote bag for school considering i’ll need a bag that’s big enough to carry books, my laptop and an iPad, while also versatile enough to use every day with any outfit. The cosmetics case on the other hand was an impulse buy after deciding that I needed a case to carry essentials in the event that I needed to touch up after a long day or if I was in a rush and didn’t get a chance to put on/finish my makeup routine. I work at David Jones for Mimco and therefore am located in the contemporary handbags department, and various Marc by Marc Jacobs items were on the counter and after a long shift, I couldn’t help myself!

In the edit above I have tried to be a little creative with potential outfits that I can wear to uni; who says that school attire has to be boringly casual? Did we learn nothing from NYFW street style?!

Okay so maybe I over reacted just a little bit…

Today, I had a good hair day. I know, a mere 48 hours after writing my last really negative post.

I also really don’t want my front fringe back.

Once I got to styling my hair my way, parting it differently and experimenting a little, I didn’t actually mind it, especially on Valentine’s Day, when I decided to embrace the whole “classic V Day” makeup look (for my three hour shift at work…)

Then, last night I went to the One Direction On The Road Again Tour show at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium and realised that I didn’t just fluke a good hair day on Saturday.

Sometimes over reacting is a good thing because when you realise that you were being unreasonable you appreciate what you have (a little) more.

I’m still not totally in love with the look but I don’t hate it and it hasn’t haltered my confidence, just ask the girls who were giving me dirty looks while I was dancing and singing at the concert last night if I stopped…

Anyway, I thought I should update because I feel like I was pretty harsh and I didn’t like that I was encouraging narcissistic behaviour and made it seem that the world was falling down just because I didn’t adjust well to a hair cut.

So, with that being said, there are worse things in life than a negative run-in with vanity and you may cry when you cut your hair so short that it seems like you’ve got nothing left, but it will grow a little bit everyday and soon enough the problem with solve itself.

Plus, I finally lived out my dream from when I was 15 years old fan girled like there was no tomorrow at the One Direction concert with no regrets!

Strictly Ballroom The Musical!!!

There isn’t much more to love than an iconic musical, directed by an Australian artistic legend, with an incredibly talented cast, captivating numbers, along with breath taking costumes designed by said Australian artistic legend’s equally legendary, four time oscar winning wife!

I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to attend the Strictly Ballroom The Musical media call! This meant that I got to watch (and record) three numbers from the show, meet director Baz Luhrmann and his wife Catherine Martin (costume designer) and speak with the cast! I was also given a backstage tour and got to have a look at the [enormous] set pieces and gorgeously detailed costumes!

I feel as though I should also mention Phoebe Panaretos and Thomas Lacey who play Fran (Just Fran) and Scott Hastings, who after running through three numbers twice like ninjas, stuck around to chat to us! Not only were they open to questions, but they seemed genuinely passionate about what they were doing with their interpretations of their characters and weren’t fussed that we lined up for photos!

Director Baz Luhrmann said that “I can honestly say this, for no other reason than it’s the truth. This cast started great, but they have never stopped evolving their performances, developing their instruments, pushing detail, trying to be everything they possibly can” and this is evident through their performance!

For a world renown director to also say that he is “so damn proud” [of the cast] for “not stopping for a single second in trying to make those performances everything they can be” just means that the cast and crew of Strictly Ballroom The Musical truly will blow you away!

Here’s a quick run down of the long history of Strictly Ballroom:

Strictly Ballroom started off as a musical in 1984 before it’s film adaptation in 1992, both pieces were acclaimed for their unique story, character development and creative direction. When Strictly Ballroom was first shown in Czechoslovakia, it received a 30 minute standing ovation!

Now, Strictly Ballroom has returned to theatre, and after closing in Sydney, it has opened in Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre!

Take a look at my favourite numbers from the show!

Time After Time: Strictly Ballroom The Musical!

Strictly speaking, make sure you catch Strictly Ballroom The Musical before May 3rd! You can book tickets by clicking here

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#StrictlyBallroom #StrictlyStage

2014: Nothing but a stepping stone to harsh realisation

“Yo, 2014, I’m really happy for you, I’ma let you finish, but 2013 was one of the best years of all time!”

2013: Probably my favourite year of my life. Why? I was 16, abundantly confident in myself and my abilities, I went overseas, I was incredibly happy, and I had my whole life plan sorted, everything, from where I would go to university, and what I would do there, to having any resource I needed at my fingertips. I had the confidence to forget about my problems and I had the motivation to succeed, and nothing could stop me. I had made incredible friends and had strengthened the relationships with the friends I already had. I also found my passion: blogging.

2014 arrives and i’m still blogging. I turned 17 on the 6th of January, and celebrated with the people who meant the world to me. A very modest gathering, but nonetheless extremely reassuring and fulfilling. I started my final school year with goals and motivation, and tackled every task at hand with ease. Then, for an unknown reason, “tackling school with ease” became difficult. My stress levels were going through the roof and I noticed that it was having an extreme toll on my body and my mind. The only thing that could clear my mind was blogging. In March, my mum had an operation that wasn’t very serious, but obviously crucial to her health. This was fine and everything went well, but thats when I experienced my first panic attack. It was ruthless and made me feel like I had no control. I then realised that I had a crazy, annoying, and irrational fear of hospitals that needed attention. This episode scared me, because thats when I realised that I could very easily lose control of my emotions; something that had never happened before. In April one of my closest friends (who I had made in 2013) came to Australia and it was so lovely to feel that 2013 feeling again, and it brought me back down to Earth, which was something I really needed.

Then, just as I thought I was getting the hang of the whole “controlling your emotions so that they don’t control you” thing, I received news that really, really affected me. My Dad was diagnosed with cancer. It was a very low-grade cancer and we really should have been thankful that it wasn’t as bad as other cases, but still, the C-word is a very confronting concept to deal with. Meanwhile at school, the work was getting tougher and the competition was well and truly on. Academically, I wasn’t doing too bad, I was doing very well in tough subjects (hi History Revolutions) and I had acted in, designed and sourced costumes for, as well as contribute to putting together a production of “The Venetian Twins” with my theatre class. It was a really rewarding and exciting thing to be apart of, and it distracted me for quite some time. Still though, at the back of my mind, I was always worried about what might come next; could things dramatically change? Was I prepared for that to happen? The answers to those questions are yes and no. Yes, circumstances can change in an instant, and no, in the event that they did, I was definitely not prepared, not emotionally and not mentally.

Ask any year 12 student and they can tell you how difficult they found the year to be. Not only are classes full on and demand every second of your attention, but recess and lunch breaks were also becoming hard work. I don’t think I have spoken to anyone who finished year 12 last year who didn’t encounter trouble within their friendship groups, and I was definitely absorbed into a ridiculous mess. Decisions that I wasn’t prepared for needed to be made, and fires were ignited with a small drop of fuel. A serious domino effect happened and one problem followed another, no matter how hard I had tried to contain it. For a while I endured the tiring task of “staying in the middle” and “keeping the peace” which was an absolute waste of time. After a while I learned that you cannot make everyone happy, no matter how hard you try. You can try to stay out of a problem but expectations are placed upon you and making decisions becomes inevitable. Although it may seem like it, I do not regret one decision that I made, and for every person that I lost, I regained a sense of myself.

One thing that I realised was that I would rather have three incredible people around me, people who inspire and motivate me, people who encourage me to be a better person; rather than one hundred people who I have to pretend with. Saying goodbye to someone who you once had a history with is difficult, but ceasing communication with them without closure is a lot harder. It’s not because I wanted to go out with a bang, or have my two cents, but I feel like there were things that needed to be said, which that person will never know. Not once have I stopped respecting them, however, i’ve noticed that this lack of closure has made them stop respecting me. One of the most annoying situations you can be put in is trying to have a group conversation, when one person just ignores you completely. Another annoying situation is hearing that the same person is willing to talk about you to your best friend. Even worse than that is hearing from multiple people that this one person has made you seem like the wicked witch of the west. Sometimes, trying to avoid trouble can backfire, and even though you try your hardest to build an environment for yourself where you can prosper, it’s not enough.

Then, after going through all that because you genuinely feel that you can no longer fake a friendship, people who you really care about begin to question your genuineness. The most ridiculous thing I experienced in 2014 was that I desperately tried to peacefully resolve things, but no one else did. I lost people that I didn’t want to lose. I have never been so disappointed in how things turned out. Regardless, I let everything slide because I just didn’t have the energy to fight for things anymore. My priorities had changed, and I preferred to focus my energy on my family, and didn’t bother justifying anything to anyone else. If there’s one thing about me that hasn’t ever changed in my entire life, it’s that my family is and always will be my number one priority, and anyone that can’t understand that doesn’t have a place in my life.

I told one person outside of my family that my Dad has cancer because I believed that no one has a right to place a justification on my motives. More than that, though, was that I didn’t want any sympathy from anyone, and the last thing I wanted was people to feel obligated to continue a friendship with me because they felt bad. I don’t regret not telling anyone, and I also don’t regret my actions, because now I see who is really there for me regardless. I didn’t know how easy it was for people to just forget about other people, but i’m glad that I know. I am, and will continue to be a very sentimental person; if I consider you to be one of my friends, my expectation is that we will be friends for life. I’m willing to go the distance, and i’m glad that I can see who else is too.

I’ve learned so much from 2014, and as difficult as it was, and as much as I hated it, I needed the kick in the ass. I needed to be shocked out of the dream that was 2013. I needed to learn that if you want to be happy, you need to make your own happiness, and drive your life. You can’t depend on anyone to make you content, it’s all up to you. You need to take initiative to surround yourself with the people who are going to help you bloom, and with people who you can in-turn support as well. I will not say that any of this was worth it, because I really hated going through all of it, but I do appreciate what i’ve learned.

I’ve devised my own list of commandments, and I want to share them with you. You, my lovely readers, have been with me through it all, supporting The Fashion Journals in every way that you can. My following has increased by an overwhelming amount in 2014, and I’m so grateful for each and every person who is subscribed, so thank you! 

1. Thou shall prioritise their own wellbeing, and make decisions that will make you a better person.

2. Make sure that thou won’t regret any decisions that thou makes. Ensure that it’s a life goal, that you will have the ability to reflect on your life and be proud of the decisions you made.

3. Find closure. Whether its with relationships, a bad test score, or a mistake you think you will never let down. Remember that you will never feel at peace with it until you talk it through, or at least establish an understanding between yourself and who ever else involved.

4. Appreciate everything and everyone you have around you. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and a large majority of that time it’s so that you can learn. Make the most of those fun summer nights, make the most of times with your friends, and cherish the quality time with your family, and be grateful that you’ve had a chance at life. Things can change in an instant, and the last thing you want is to look back and shudder at the thought of a missed opportunity.

5. The most cliché of them all: Learn from your past, and ensure that you are well equipped to handle things that may arise in your future.  I know, it’s a lot easier said than done, but why would you go down the same way twice if you realised the first time it was the wrong road to take?

So my list of commandments is half the size of original one, but I think this covers some things that stray from basic human rights and laws.

So, now it’s 2015, welcome to the new year, everyone!  I hope that you can begin the new year prepared for, and welcoming changes. I hope that you can learn from me and understand that life can be difficult, but once you hit what you think is rock bottom, there is no where to go but up! That’s my plan for the new year: to make 2015 better in every way than 2014 was! To find a strength in a weakness, and to persevere a negative to make it a positive!

Now, I have just turned 18 years old, I have finished school, and feel a lot wiser than I did in 2014 (and age has nothing to do with it!) I don’t have my whole life planned out, and I don’t know where I’m going to go to university, or what i’m going to study. At times I feel really overwhelmed and I can’t pin point why, but one thing is for sure, and that is that the same confidence I had in 2013 is still with me, and I know that one way or another, 2015 will be good to me. How? you may ask. I’m going to make it good, no matter what.

Happy 2015! Sorry to overwhelm you with a massive 1800+ worded article!!! Congratulations on getting through it!

xx DS