"Here's to the fools who dream, crazy as they may seem"
As I write this, I am sat soundly in my comfy bed feeling like I've just been through a huge whirlwind. I've just got back from two fabulous days at London Fashion Week - something that I wasn't planning on doing until the very last minute. And, despite not attending huge runway shows or being invited to masses of events, I, and the lovely Beth Elstone, managed to keep ourselves incredibly busy and have a bloody fab time whilst doing it.
Being amidst London Fashion Week, even for just those two days, really reminded me of how far I've come. And, I'm sorry, I know I write a lot of these kinds of posts, but I am just feeling incredibly reflective right now.
You see, a week or so ago, I also went to see La La Land. This film delved deep into my very soul (and I don't even believe in souls), it hit me right in the heart; it made me smile, it made me laugh, it made me cry - it made me feel, and it was that motion of 'feeling' that really reminded me to reflect, to look back and to see the journey I've come on.
I'm always someone who has been a bit of a dreamer, despite also being a total realist. I don't believe in ghosts, or aliens, or miracles, but I do believe in achieving and dreaming and doing. I believe that if you put your mind to something, and want it hard enough, then you can do absolutely anything you want to do. Ever since I was younger, I have pictured myself doing something out of the ordinary. I wanted to preform, be an actress, be a radio presenter, be a film-trailer editor - I just wanted to do something I loved. I wanted to live a passionate life - a life that would never bore me. For a while, I stuck to my realist ways (not that there's anything wrong with doing so, it just wasn't for me) and was going to just go down the traditional route. You know, go to college, get my a-levels, go to Uni, get a degree, get a job, etc etc. But, when I dropped out of college back in 2014, because of my health, it made me realise that I wasn't going to be able to live a life if I wasn't going to be happy living it.
EARRINGS - VINTAGE // DRESS - VERA MODA
"Here's to the hearts that ache. Here's to the mess we make."
"Here's to the hearts that ache. Here's to the mess we make."
I could have become more ill, things could have got much worse, and that's a scary thought. I had to start living again - I had to pursue something that I loved and that I wanted to live for. And, for a long time, I had nothing. I had lost all purpose. I didn't know where I was going, what I was doing and, quite honestly, I felt completely numb to life and I saw no point.
Gradually, things started to look up. Each tiny little step I took each day gave me that 0.1% of extra motivation to get back to being happy again, and then, one day, something sparked a thought in my brain. "A blog". I had created a blog back in the summer of 2014, before even starting at college, but I never really did anything with it. It was 'Holly Loves The Simple Things' and when I remembered that it was there, it was like all my purpose came flooding back.
I have spent the past 8 years reading blogs, watching YouTube and being completely and utterly obsessed with the online universe - now I was going to get to be a part of it all too.
Starting with photos taken on my Samsung Galaxy S6 (yes, really), I'd take cute flat-lay pictures and share them to Instagram. My Instagram had a theme and I used the same VSCO filter continuously. I wrote beauty reviews and spoke about products I was loving. I never showed my face out of fear of being judged or drawing attention to myself, but then, as more and more people started reading and following, I began to lose interest in the beauty side of things and this huge passion for fashion (a unintentional Bratz reference for you there) came flooding forward.
I'd always loved clothes, yet after such a long time of wallowing around in my pyjamas, I had completely forgotten what it felt like to put together an outfit and style myself up like I was in a 'make-over' scene of a RomCom. I posted my first, I guess what you'd call, 'outfit photo', with my face in, on Instagram on the 1st March 2015 and it got the same amount of likes that some of my posts do now (although, back then there was no shitty ass algorithm lol), which was just crazy!
That's when I threw myself into it. I wanted it. It became my new dream, my new 'want' in life.
When I think about that sad girl who used to feel lost and alone, and I compare her to the person I am today, I feel incredibly overwhelmed. I mean, look at how far I've come. At first blogging felt like a foolish dream and yet here I am. After working my ass off, I'm here and I genuinely feel like my life is becoming a dream come true.
I think about the day when I dropped out of college, or the day when I was diagnosed with Anorexia and I remember the hate I had for myself and the way I looked. I just wanted to love myself. And hey, 2 and a half years on and I'm a model and I'm probably the most accepting of myself I've ever been. This feels like madness to me.
That's what La La Land reminded me of. It took me back through everything I've been through and it squeezed me tight and it said 'Hol, look at this. Look where you were and look where you are'. And, I couldn't help but think of that whilst at London Fashion Week.
I've been through a lot of change, a lot of hurt and a lot of challenges, but I know that deep down, even in my darkest times, there was always that part of me that would dream - even if I was dreaming of better days, just a little bit, it's still dreaming. And, it feels weird to now be in those 'better days' and to be doing things that I never could have imagined. It feels weird to think about the days where I'd imagine bumping into bloggers I love on the street and what I'd say to them, and now I'm amongst all that - I bump into bloggers and we chat like we know each other and I'm attending events with creators that I've idolized for years. It really is surreal. And although, no, I wouldn't say my dream is accomplished just yet, right now it's slowly starting to feel like it's taking off. I feel like things are happening, there's movement, there's motion and it's so exciting.
I'd say it's the song 'Audition' from La La Land that really hits home with me (if you couldn't already tell from the title). The words in it just completely grab me and transport me into a whole different place. "Here's to the ones who dream, foolish as they may seem" (using a quote like this makes me feel like I'm doing an English Lit exam lol) hearing that line just strikes a chord with me every time I hear it. We all seem foolish when trying to achieve things. There are going to be people in our way, there are going to obstacles to get through, but if you dream and work and try, you will get there. I would never in a million years have imagined I would have a pretty successful (If I do say so myself) blog and be modelling and getting to do all the amazing things that I get to do. I spent so much time imagining myself in the position I am today, but it never seemed real... yet, look, now it is.
I think about the line "She lived in her liquor and died with a flicker, I'll always remember the flame" and there's something about that that just makes all of my emotion pour out. I think about the illnesses I've dealt with, the obsessions I've had and I wonder whether if I hadn't have recovered, would people remember the 'flame'? Was there even a 'flame' anymore to remember? And, then it reminds me that, woah, now I am a flame. (I feel so artsy talking in metaphorical terms haha) I'm doing good, I'm achieving things, I feel content, and this is the part of me that I would want people to remember.
"I'm letting life hit me until it gets tired. Then I'll hit back"
I so often use the word 'feel' but I never truly mean it.
I'll be honest, I've become pretty numb after all this time, but for the first time in a while, I've really began to feel some emotion. I felt those words in that song hit my heart with a big ol' punch and I looked around all the amazing fashion bloggers, photographers and stylists etc, at London Fashion Week and I felt excitement - I felt happy; I felt the hurt I used to feel and I feel the happiness I feel now. I really really felt it. And, at this moment in time, it's great to say that something has allowed me to feel again, even if it is just for this moment.
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