Sunday, 22 May 2016


This post has been taken over by Taylor-Jayne Tytler of GingerSnapsVintage. I first met TJ online, in the
same way that most bloggers meet each other. Back then I knew her as the bubbly sass-queen on YouTube
who had far too many shoes; and now I know her as the bubbly sass-queen, in real-life, who has far too many
shoes. Here she talks about making those big career choices and laying down the foundations of your future
through learning a discipline of your choosing, whilst sometimes breaking your own rules.
I am T-J, I am twenty-three, I am fat, ginger, tall and struggle with my own mental health on a
daily basis; but I am also so much more. I am a creative and have been properly blogging for the
last two years. I find that I have gained so much positivity from blogging and social media on a
daily basis; I have made true friendships with incredible like-minded people all over the planet,
and most importantly I have found how to make this crazy little thing called life work for me. 
I found in the final few years of school you become very malleable to any suggestion that makes it
seem like you have your life path sorted out. Various trips to University open days, lectures and
talks from everyone promising you that if you followed this easy formula that you would get onto
a degree, complete said degree and then move into full-fledged adultness/hood/ the real world. I
followed the recipe, despite hating two out of three of my subjects and now looking back not
receiving the right type of support from my tutors around me, I got myself three a-levels which
secured me a place on the course I had chosen. I remember even now five years later so vividly
crying on the day of results because I didn’t get my predicted grades. I was on my course, student
finance was sorted but still this wasn’t enough there needed to be more, I needed to be better, I
needed to achieve better.

I started getting this feeling during that summer; it started in the pits on my stomach as just a
flicker, but by the end of summer it was a giant unforgiving rumble which told me I wasn’t on the
right track. Everything I was told lead me to believe that I was lucky and I was onto a degree
which was difficult to secure a place on. I was ready to go, but I couldn’t shake this feeling (and
believe me I tried). Going with the options I had been told about in school was what I was
supposed to do, it was the right thing - but it wasn’t. Then I took a huge leap of faith in myself
and contacted the university and withdrew my application. That was it I now had three A-levels
and no plan. In school we had only being shown one very small angle of what was acceptable as
the next step but I didn’t believe that this could actually be my only option. I did my own
research, this was my future and I would be damned if I didn’t do what was right for me. I decided
upon taking a year to complete my art foundation with BMC. I can honestly say that this year was
probably the biggest reality check I needed, the people I met both pupils and tutors,despite not
featuring much in my life now, really helped shape everything I have done since. 

This proper aha moment was exactly what I needed, once I had completed that year I moved into
a Fashion management degree, I have always known that my life will involve working in fashion in
some capacity, it is my calling. Now I will say proudly that I am incredibly head strong and I know
myself and how I feel and I did find I came up against several struggles during my degree. I think
what a lot of people don’t grasp fully is the money that is involved with a degree and there were
times during the degree when I definitely questioned if this was the right decision for me. I think
what is most important is to ensure that you are making the most of your time at Uni or college or
doing whatever you decide to do. University as it is portrayed in the media isn’t often how it
actually goes and you do have to understand this in order to get the most from your time there. 

I think it is crucial at any stage in life to trust that little feeling you get in your gut to steer you in
the right direction, to me that is the definition of being your own boss. Taking control of
any aspect of your life is easily the scariest thing you can do. It is so easy to want to take what
feels like the easier option and follow along with what you are being told is best, and what you
have been told time and again to work at. Just because a path doesn’t obviously exist doesn’t
mean that it isn’t a totally valid option. I think the crucial aspect when making any decision is
what you put in is what you will get out, the more time and effort you put into making a decision
usually the more informed you become. The more informed you are the easier you will find
making a confident decision. Once I knew that I definitely wanted to head into a career in fashion
I had to work out what aspect would best suit me. I love the creative side (primarily illustration)
but I knew that I wanted to experience as much as possible to ensure I knew were my preference
lay. I decided that I would do a fashion management course because I felt like this would let me
experience the most and help inform my future decision making. Coming out the other side I
definitely know that that was the right course for me I learned so much within three years. 
A big part of my life both during my degree and in just about every aspect of my day is my mental
health issues; I think all too often mental health is seen as a weakling character to someone’s
personality instead of it just being a part of them. I have always strived to be very open because I
feel that it is the best way to break any stigma that I have come across over the years. It
definitely took me a long time to get to the place I find myself in now where I feel like I can
achieved a balance and won’t let it control me; but trust me when I tell you there really were a
lot of times when I felt like it was going to be the dominant part of my life. I find a huge
correlation between how I feel and how well I cope with things in life, and I find the best way to
help me unwind when things feel like they are getting on top of me is taking myself out of the
situation and finding time to just do me. In the works of one Ru Paul, “If you can’t love yourself,
how in the hell are you going to love anyone else.” The path to being your own boss is believing
that you can, no one knows you more than you and I think all too often we are told not to trust
our own feeling. Choosing to get up and get out can seem like the biggest struggle but you will
find that the biggest struggles are usually surrounding decisions that have the biggest reward. 
I began GingerSnapsVintage in 2011 because I felt like I didn’t have an outlet, by their own
admission my friends weren’t as into fashion as I was and I found that I had to seek a new
platform to explore this. YouTube was shiny and new at this point and vloggers wasn't yet really a
coined term, everything surrounding YouTube seemed so exciting because you felt like you were
discovering it all at once. I made content which mimicked what I was seeing but I found I could
bring my own spin and essence into my content as well. I really enjoyed the first couple of years
on YouTube and still enjoy reflecting on this time, even though I don’t have my videos public
anymore as I don’t think that T-J then is the same person at all as the 2016 edition. I made the
transition into an actual blog many times over the years, trying and failing to create content that I
thought would work. I created content which is what I felt people wanted to read and although
the response was always ninety nine per cent positive I knew I wasn’t being myself. At the
beginning of 2015 I put out a post describing my lack of New Year’s resolutions and why that was
my resolution. I honestly can say I have never ever been more nervous about clicking the publish
button in all my life but I knew that feeling was not worry but sheer excitement. I finally felt that
I was showing the truest version of myself and the response was incredible. I received so many
messages from people I have known in my everyday life and also girls and the occasional guy who
didn’t know me but was able to take something from that post to help them. 

This opened my eyes to the fact that the content I put out to every social platform should be true
to my own beliefs. Being a bigger girl my whole life I felt for years that that wasn’t something
that was openly talked about. It was only through discovering so many incredible girls mostly via
blogging and Instagram who I finally felt that I related to that I felt it was important to reflect
that back in my content. I feel like it is only in the last maybe two years that I have created
this mind-set for myself, it took a lot of work, determination and most importantly mistakes to
find myself at the point I am happy at now. I think mistakes are the best part of it all because you
grow so much as cliché as that seems you really truly grow every time something hasn’t worked
for me I scrub down the drawing board and begin again. Allowing yourself to do this is crucial to
achieving anything in life, you are not defined by the mistake you make you are defined by your
response. Response is everything, I know personally there have been a huge number of times
where I haven’t responded to a situation in the best way but I now can use that and learn from it
and grow. I make the rules for everything I do therefore I can also break apart of redo the rules
for me. If something hasn’t work then make a new way of doing it so that it does, it is not an easy
journey nor do I believe it should be but being your own boss doesn’t just mean in a work related
field, but in everything single aspect of your day. Find a formula that works for you and go with it,
don’t be scared to change or adapt as it more rewarding knowing that you have made those
decisions for yourself. Discipline is about attitude you are a boss in control of your own life and
you have to learn to cherish everything experience both good and bad as it will ultimately help
you on your path. 

1 comment:


Nice jacket and coat :)
Maria V.

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