Monday 22 April 2013

A4: S8 - Tempting The Future

I've been spending so much time in The City lately.

I feel like it soothes my soul. For some reason I love the sounds of the traffic, the bricks, mortar and pavement, the architecture and buildings, the rush of people and fast pace of everything. I guess it's because The City has purpose. On a daily basis I feel myself reciting Perfect Future in my head, I even went ahead and made a mood board of how I imagine my city apartment to be. 

It's becoming an ever-closer reality.

The other day, before we were set to attend the Cosmopolitan Magazine Social Media Masterclass, Ariella and I decided to go to London and look for flats. Together with Florentine and Monika, a fellow blogger who writes for the same online magazine that I do, we decided that before 2015 we would be living together in The City. Come hell or high water, we knew were we all belonged.

The Actress, The Writer, The Playwright and The Fashion Blogger. It was a match made in heaven.

We gave ourselves this picture to work for, with the promise of a 3-year plan. We even decided that once we do move, we're going to create a blog and YouTube channel about our adventures of us four young girls moving to The City to make our dreams come true. It would be so very perfect.

I hadn't seen Ariella for almost a year when we met up in London. And the beauty of it was, it was like we'd never parted ways. The moment I set eyes on her, I was suddenly all up in a flurry with her arms around my shoulders and her squealing.

It was unbelievably good for the soul to see her again.

Ariella is a rare kind. I've never met someone with such a strong, wise and courageous head on her, for someone so young. She's only 17 but sometimes I feel she is more mature than I am. I don't think I've ever met anyone like her. She looked absolutely drop dead gorgeous in her unique way, having completely shaved off all her hair for charity, with a bald head, the sharpest features and cheekbones to die for and bright red lipstick.

The four us together had decided that the place we needed to be was Shoreditch. Coming from near Brighton, the winding narrow streets and bountiful array of street art, markets, live music venues and vibrant bars made it feel like home away from home.

The first thing we did was head over to Brick Lane and scout out some possible living locations.

Everywhere we looked seemed to just be perfect. The four of us were so lucky to share the exact same vision of what we wanted, and all around us, there it was, our dreams materialised. The sun shone down on us as we strolled through Brick Lane and Shoreditch High Street, and we talked and laughed, filling in everything that happened to us in the past year. Lovers, liars and various liaisons.

The feelings of reminiscence were running so strongly through me, but didn't fill me with sadness as they sometimes do. It filled me with joy as I remembered Summer 2012 with my Sisters in Silver, strolling through  Chelsea art galleries and Camden Lock Market, going to the Olympic Stadium to watch the cycling and the Paralympic Closing ceremony with Ariella, and of course, Mr X. Then Ariella said something which surprised me, saddened me slightly but then made me very happy.

"Y'know, I was so scared I'd lose you again."

We sat in the late afternoon sun on a picnic bench outside 1001 cafe in Brick Lane, sipping our Strawberry Ciders. "After your first year change, and then how amazing last summer was... I was really worried about you going back." I smiled at her sympathetically. "I can't tell you how happy I am that you're still here." She smiled at me.


At around 6pm we reluctantly left our new found home and headed over to Queens Street to attend the Social Media Masterclass. I didn't really know what to expect from it, but I was excited. (Mostly in part because I was going to get to meet Cherry Healey.)

We were given free champagne on the door and led through to a waiting hall, which was absolutely rammed to the rafters of...clones. Every single person there, in an effort to express their individuality, was wearing the same vintage clothes, the same Topshop blazers with the same dip-dyed hair and red lipstick. I couldn't decide if it was funny or tragic.

"You know what's terrifying?" I said to Ariella, "Every single person in this room is after the same on job. We're all in one big competition." I whispered as the girl beside us glared at me.

Finally we were led through to the main auditorium where we given INCREDIBLE goodie bags full of all sorts of amazing free beauty products, and took our seats. 

The Masterclass was pretty interesting, and it definitely made me more determined to get work experience in London for the summer. It excited me to hear all these professionals talk about how they got their careers in the media industry, and I was inspired with some bloomin' ridiculously awesome ways I could get their attention in a crowd. (I would love to write them here but Y'ALL BE JACKING MY SWEET IDEAS)

But one thing which really hit me about the conference, was nothing to do with the panel or what they said. It was actually the audience. Looking around me were hundreds upon hundreds of girls, all with notepads, cameras and iPads at the ready, and it was kind of... harrowing. The Media industry in so cut-throat, and 80% of the girls in this room were going to get nowhere. 

...It scared me. 

What if I have this whole dreamy future so planned out in my head, but... I don't get anywhere? What if I'm not in that successful 20% which I seem to have convinced myself I already am, and I'm just left in my bedroom in my parents house, rejection letter after rejection letter piling up by my letterbox?

Because there was one thing that was blindingly obvious about the all of the girls sitting around me. There was a very thin line between dedication and desperation, and some didn't seem to understand where that lay. 

But then I thought, 

Do I? 

I exchanged glances with Ariella and I could tell that she could feel it too. 


When the conference was over, I felt myself mentally reeling; it was definitely food for thought. One of the good things about it however, was that I managed to get chatting to a very lovely girl called Grace Owen who aspired to be a TV presenter, and she linked me to her channel, which you all should definitely all go check out. Plus, she's mates with Benjamin Francis Leftwich!

Ariella and I strolled lazily through London for a bit before we decided to get some dinner, so we had a delightful little dinner date together in Pizza Express. 

We didn't end up leaving til past Midnight, much to the exasperation of the staff. 

It was so refreshing to listen to her stories, thoughts and feelings about people and things. Do you ever have those friends who you can just talk and talk and talk to, and never seem to find an end, you could genuinely go on until you fell asleep? Like every sentence opens up a thousand news avenues of digression and you find yourselves discussing the entire world with them? That was Ariella. 

Finally, we forced to part ways if there was any hope of us catching our last train's home, and she disappeared back to my hometown, while I disappeared back to my uni town, both leaving the town which would soon be known to us both, and all, as home.

A few days later that I discovered my dear blogger friend from overseas Lara Parker will be coming to London for a year and arriving in August, and it just pushed me over the edge. Her enthusiasm is infectious. I am head over heels in an illicit love affair with the City of London.