When I was 15 I took it upon myself to contact Dolly Magazine seeking an opportunity for work experience. To my amazement, I was accepted. I was going to have the opportunity to see how photo shoots went down, maybe spot a few of my favourite models and experience the everyday runnings of what was then one of my favourite Teen Girls magazines. In reality, I probably would have just been making coffees all day and running to the post office, but who cared?! It was a chance to see the behind the scenes daily runnings and perhaps catch a glimpse of the IT girl of the time. I was so excited. I just had to get permission from my school and I was good to go.
Unfortunately, my shortsighted and dream destroying career advisor refused to let me go. At my school work experience happened on a particular week each year and the Dolly Magazine opportunity was scheduled for a few months before. Surely they could have bent the rules, but apparently (and quite sadly for me,) no.
I was devastated. I ended up being assigned a week at Wollongong Council in the Architectural Department. They didn’t know what to do with me. It was mind-bogglingly boring. Their jobs seemed boring, they didn’t even ask me to make coffees or fetch the mail. I ended up drafting already built toilet block designs off.
Blueprints that already existed.
In hindsight, apart from the fact that things happened for a reason (although I’m still to work out the point of the blueprint copying), this showed me that I knew what I wanted a long time ago and not fitting in ‘their’ box is just who I am.
Photo: 16 year old me with my camera.
Sure I’ve taken a different path than I perhaps would have if I did go to Dolly, but essentially my interests are the same. Photography, modelling, art, fashion, girl power and inspiration. It is amazing how when we are young the passion inside us is untainted and real, yet along the way we get cut down and told to do the sensible thing, the required thing, the thing that is best, but best for who?
When I thought back to this time in my youth recently, I felt inspired to share this story with you and remind you to take the time to remember who you were at 13, 14 or 15. Of course, you have grown and learned so much, but I bet that true essence of you is still there. Hold on to this! Return to it by all means necessary, nurture it and let it thrive. There is so much truth in our young selves and reconnecting with that is a powerful and glorious thing!