SHOT BY JOSHUA BRATHWAITE
Shirt and Trousers: Vintage, Shoes: ASOS, Bag: Zara
I am itching to write a post reflecting on this summer as I have so many fragmented thoughts about it, but I am yet to put them down in a coherent manner. It’s bizarre, as pre-summer I had been thinking about how after all the activities I had planned for the next few months, a majestic, growth-filled, atmospheric post-summer piece was going to catapult out of me like a power shower in a 5* hotel, the water filled with relatable analogy, insight, and a hint of awkward humour. In reality, my inspiration to write such a post is more akin to the shy, tentative drop of water that escapes your weak eye during a staring competition. At some point I will write this *supposedly* wonderful post (that as a result of the hype my starry-eyed mind has fabricated, will undoubtedly be way less wonderful than ever imagined), but for now, please accept the following un-edited incoherence.
This summer, I’ve had periods of time where I’ve felt so sure of myself and other times when I’ve never been so unsure of myself. I’ve spent a lot of time around people. I’ve answered the questions “So, what do you do?” “What are your plans?” “How much do you charge for X?” with numerous variations on an extravagantly worded elevator pitch. I’ve answered them with an egocentric flair, and a sense of certainty that suggests my bank balance is x5 higher than it actually is. It’s tiring. And icky. Why am I acting like that? And partaking in the kind of conversations that I resent the most? I have been busy. And I’m not entirely sure that all of it was the good kind of ‘busy’. I’ve spent a gross amount of time on social media. Literally, gross in all senses of the word. A large and disgusting amount of time. The usual boundaries I set with the internet have been obliterated by a giant tipex machine. I would’ve preferred a giant eraser machine – at least that way I would’ve been able to trace along the faint remains of what was required for my sanity and digital identity to amicably co-exist. This bloody horse-sized tipex machine had no mercy. I’m tired. I’ve been ‘switched on’ to the outside world, probably from around my graduation on the 14th July until today. As a result I have been switched off to myself. It caught up with me earlier this week, when the heady smell of a stagnant Shope damn well nearly knocked me out. The lack of growth is magnificent, lol. It’s so magnificent I can only follow up such a realisation with an over-used abbreviated piece slang, because boy, this summer it feels like I have been climbing up a downwards-moving escalator. I’ve been trying to think of a few words to succinctly describe my relationship with self this summer, and even consulted thesaurus.com. However, I soon realised I only needed one: Non-existent.
Maybe that is a little harsh. But I can just recall the zest I had inside of me a few months ago, it was potent with self understanding and effacacious in igniting a willingness to learn. I am yearning to get back to full form. Admittedly a lot of that is tied into my distinct lack of self-care; my 1-month-absence-from-the-gym-2-month-absence-from-my-smoothies-and-green-powders-3-month-absence-from-meditation-journalling-and-banning-the-internet-from-my-mornings-and-evenings self should not be so surprised that I’m out here floating around, feeling so ungrounded. Don’t get me wrong, this summer is best described by what I imagine to be Thomson’s Holiday’s mission statement: fun in the sun. I have travelled to Copenhagen, Croatia, Milan, Paris and Madrid. I’ve managed to get a few more video’s up. I’ve had graduation parties, bbq’s, discovered so many amazing new restaurants, and have probably averaged 4-5 glasses of rosé wine a week. I’ve met and been inspired by so many people. And met a humbling amount of people who follow me online. But for real, I need to get my life together. In two days I’m trotting off to business school to begin studying for my Masters Degree, and armed with a partial scholarship, and a mentor, I should be OK. I will be OK. (Talking to the loud voices in my head, that in the midst of feeling so ungrounded, I have forgotten how to silence). And if I’m going to be hanging with, and learning from all of these techy-investor types, best believe I’ll be back to my disciplined self shortly.