Last week, I put my 9-5 job on hold for two days, to take on the role as an #NZFW Backstage Blogger. My sartorial dreams came true as I interviewed designers and their glam squads, sneakily touched the clothes on the dressing racks and sat in the back, middle and front(!) rows at New Zealand Fashion Week. In those whirlwind 48 hours, which felt like forever, I found myself dazed and confused, shy and little, then fab and articulate. Although I was backstage, I definitely wasn’t “in”, and it was a little bit daunting being surrounded by so many industry greats. Somewhere between hour 2 and 4, after a few sweats and shivers (so not #fashion, I know), I gave myself a wee pep-talk, pushed forward and wrote a reminders list.
Being a new girl at an all-girls’-school was where I met Karen: last name Walker, and of the fashion persuasion. Five years of high schooling opened my eyes to the world of Walker, as I was literally going to school in it: ‘Karen Walker’s School for Young Ladies’ would have us aptly named. As the years went on, the amount of mini bow earrings, love heart rings and daisy diamante bracelets amongst us almost outshone our academic scores. By our last day of high school, we had enough silver to fashion a life-size Runaway Girl monument and enough KW tees and jerseys for her to wear a different outfit every day of the year.
Never did I ever think I would be the tagalong to a ‘Boy’s Trip’. Going to a ‘Boy’s Night’ that lasts a few hours is already intense enough, and it’s very, very rare I dabble in one. But four days and three nights with The Boys? Save me. I’m already envisioning the booze, banter and badness. Sadly, there was no getting out of this one… I was going on my first ever Boy’s Trip, which was also (dun, dun dun) my first ever work trip!
The worst rejection I ever had went something along the lines of this: “Sorry, I’m so sorry, you were really, really good but you’re unsuccessful today”, and the whole conversation lasted under one and a half minutes. After an enlightening job-hunting chat with a new colleague, I found that I wasn’t the only one that had been given that very same, very vague, very apologetic, no. How is one supposed to respond, apart from wallow that you are one step further back from being employed? I don’t know about you, but in most situations, I appreciate closure, feedback and constructive criticism. And in this situation, I really wanted something more. A message like that leaves me frustrated and confused… thank you for telling me that I didn’t get the job, even though I was really, really good. Guess I had to be really, really, really good? Cue my bed, chocolate and Netflix, remedies for the #worstdayever.
But the best rejection I ever had left me feeling positive, empowered and special, #bestdayever! I know, who would have thought rejection could feel so good? The phone called lasted about 15 minutes, and after the initial pleasantries, I was told I didn’t get the job. There was no mucking about. However, in the following minutes, my could-have-been-but-never-will-be employer explained to me what they liked about me, why I didn’t get the job, who did, and offered me some priceless feedback and general loveliness in (what would typically be) an unlovely time. All because I asked for a little feedback about my interview.
Ordering the Oreo cocktail maybe wasn’t the best move to make. I instantly got called out: “well now everyone knows you’re the youngest Lennie”, and “we’re out with a child here”, followed by “I now feel so old please leave the table”. We were out to celebrate two birthdays, both colleagues reaching numbers that although were still in the twenties, were a little scary to me. I felt young, but at no point did I regret my drink choice. While everyone sipped their boring beers and wines, making fun of my life choices (“is there even any alcohol in that milkshake?”), I was relishing the sweet drink in my hand. Joyously, it came with a side of Oreo and a bit hit of liquor (yes, there was a lot of alcohol actually, and yes I dunked the Oreo!).
Last winter, I was an Otago undergraduate student, eagerly counting down the days until I could strip away that title and leave the little town of Dunedin behind me. I had a dream, of finally being ‘Lennie, the yo-pro’, living it up in the big smoke, living up large. This vision was the light in every dark I-can’t-believe-I’m-pulling-another-all-nighter tunnel and/or I-have-no-money-and-ASOS-is-having-a-sale moment, and it was also the (very imaginary, very non-existent) warmth getting me through those damp, dreary Dunedin days. This vision has now materialised, and it is officially my first ever winter as a yo-pro. For the record, it’s probably the warmest one I’ve ever had too- thank you Auckland.
Fashion has always been a passion of mine, and I know many of you can relate. As a young girl, I owned 3 barbie dolls and 5 outfits between them. When I decided that they needed to stop committing the crime of outfit repetition and copycatting, I took to the scissors, scrap fabric and sewing needles and made up my own mini ensembles. As I grew older, I advanced into a sewing machine and made more mess than I did as a child. I made myself two ball dresses and a few skirts, cushion covers, curtains and aprons (as well as started a countless number of other projects!)
I am a proud Wellingtonian, born and raised (although some people do not believe me- that’s a whole other story). I don’t use the word proud lightly, as for those of you who have had the privilege to meet, or befriend a Wellingtonian, you can tell that we love (absolutely, positively, love) the city we live in. Remember when John Key called us a dying city? Well at that moment, we had never felt more alive, as our hearts beat faster in anger, pain, anguish (#emotional). If we used the metaphor for passion as a flame, how Wellingtonians feel about Wellington would probably burn the place down (you know, strong fire, strong winds).
I previously wrote about the lack of response I received from prospective employers. Job applications where I would invest time, sweat and tears into selling my skills, personality and soul (ok, I never quite got that far). Anyway, long story short: I applied for so many jobs and I just never heard back from the majority of them.
But something surprising happened today. Way back when, on March 23rd to be exact, I applied for a job. I had that positive, warm-fuzzy feeling that I was the perfect candidate, and as I pushed that send button, I thought I was sealing the deal. Days then weeks passed as slowly as they could, and I went through the whole range of emotions when I realised I wasn’t hearing back. I moved from feeling upset, frustrated, confused, to just completely forgetting about it. And then today, I received an email regarding the role in my inbox, at 11.43am. A response, rejoice! But a response, a total of 82 days after sending in my application.