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life lately: the ‘forward slash’ career & hoping for the best

Long time, no blog.  My little corner of the internet has been rather neglected lately and for that I… don’t apologise because nobody is that invested and it doesn’t matter.  After (almost) 6 years of blogging there are bound to be times when you feel less than inspired, so taking a break is better than forcing rubbish, right? 

So, life lately!  Right now it’s a cold, rainy Wednesday June afternoon (oh to live somewhere with actual summers, eh?) that isn’t remotely inspiring, however I spent the morning chatting to interesting folks at a meetup for local creatives and am feeling like I suddenly want to write again.  These kind of events confirm to me that I’m very much an extrovert – I get my energy from being around people and feel way more inspired than after a Pinterest browsing sesh, no matter how pretty the pins or helpful the tips.  Part of the event involved a talk on self-care, however most of the time was spent introducing ourselves and our brand/business then chatting away about all sorts.  I wasn’t sure exactly what to introduce myself as (creatively – I didn’t forget my name), which pretty much sums up my life at the moment tbh.  Winging it, would be the quick answer.

Right now I’m a lifestyle blogger (although not the most reliable one these days), knitter, occasional photographer, sometimes freelance social media, and of course part time student and part time model, too.  Despite scaling back my studies to part time, revision still managed to take most of my time for the last couple of weeks because the content was hard and I had nobody around for guidance, but Monday’s exam is over and I didn’t die in the process.  It’s a weight off my shoulders to think about again come October.  A full post on my Open University/distance learning experience 3 years on is on my to do list, for anyone who’s considering it or just nosey.

At the ripe old age of 21 I’ve found myself with a classic millennial ‘forward slash career’: fingers in many pies, no two weeks the same, and hard to explain in a sentence.  Or a ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’, depending how you look at it – you probably wouldn’t be wrong there!  I’m by no means an expert at well… anything, but I’m trying my hand at a few and hoping for the best.  All of the above roles complement each other rather nicely, what with many involving a camera in one way or another, and I genuinely enjoy all of them.  Just being in this position is a real privilege, I’m well aware, and to enjoy what I do is an added bonus.  I can’t imagine not sharing my life online in some way or another, even if I sometimes resent the Internet’s very existence.  I can’t imagine not being involved in modelling shoots, even if it’s an industry I’ve only known for a couple of years.  I certainly can’t imagine not knitting.  I can’t imagine not being a science student, or not being a student full stop, for that matter.  Right now that’s what makes me feel like it’s OK to be bumbling along without a clear career – I’m still a part time student, so it’s fine – at least that’s what I’m telling myself!

Not having one defined career seems to be the way for many folks these days, and it’s not without its difficulties.  One minute can feel like you’re absolutely bossing it – usually on the days your inbox is full and long-discussed plans begin to come to fruition, or when you eventually get paid, let’s be honest.  Freelance life can be oh so rewarding when you have only yourself to pat on the back.

On the other hand, the next minute you can fall down the ‘WTF am I doing with my life?’ hole.  The hole that involves copious overthinking, attempted list making and planning, and time wasted stressing that could actually be spent doing something useful.  Sound familiar?  Being one of those plate spinners without a ‘normal’ job can leave you feeling like you’re trying to do too many things at once, with no real focus, a lot of time procrastinating, and succeeding in not a single one of them.  Choosing one avenue and focussing solely on that seems tempting, until you realise that giving up on the others would be terrifying, because what if you give up on something that could’ve been super successful?  Or waste all the time you’ve already invested?  Oh the dilemmas.

Anyway.  For now, I’m happy with the unpredictable (remind me of that on a day I’ve refreshed my emails 83709 times), and have some exciting plans *hopefully* in the pipeline so all is well.  More blogging is definitely on the cards for this summer too – I think a break was just what I needed.

Alongside the above work-y stuff, I’ve been re-living my childhood with ballet and tap classes at a school hall once a week… spending more time behind the camera taking portraits and photographing a wedding (no pressure!)… and finally caving and watching Love Island.  I am now rather too invested in the lives of very tanned people in new love triangles every day, but oh well.  It is what it is.

PS. Am I a millennial? Gen Z?  What am I???

Lily Kate x

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