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.
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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