SEA POINT, WESTERN CAPE –
The Winter was cold but she was colder.
The sky over the Atlantic ocean was void of seagulls, probably because they were all on the promenade threatening to take our food. The breeze had grown cooler & crueller in the months gone by & the need for outerwear that swallowed the human frame became more & more necessary to make it through the day in the mother city.
Coat: Chanel inspired no name. Top: Velvet bodycon mini dress from TopShop. Skirt: Cross over tweed with a flayed trim by MANGO. Leather Boots: Cosmo Paris. Bag: COACH
Those weeks in March jumping on & off flights were a distant memory now as the photography team & I made our way through Sea Point’s Main street looking for locations that complimented my outfit. A well deserved break from a windowless back-of-the-store office these sessions seemed to be.
I made my move to Cape Town in the middle of March to take on the role of Fashion Content Writer intern at a secondhand luxury fashion retailer & as much as I thought that was it, I was wrong.
As much as I adored the role, I grew intolerant of the unfulfilled promise of payment that kept being delayed to the detriment of my financial health. Having learned lessons about trust, boundaries & self-respect, I quickly began to question my choice to keep participating in that situation.
Things Came Apart At the Seams…
To throw bleach on a priceless, black garment; Cape Town went into a cash-strapping bus strike. It was the stuff of nightmares for a newbie to town – I was going to get to know the city a little better by force or by fire at the pace of the powers that be!
My lane had long disappeared as circumstances took me on the wildest joy ride I had never imagined.
The option to despair was there but I chose to look at what I could control and change – which wasn’t a lot at the time, still I fixed my gaze on what I could make out beyond the haze of the whirlwind of unforeseen circumstances. I cried so much I began laughing.
It was the reality that I had waited for Cape Town to happen my entire youth & had allowed other things to get in the way of me being here that kept me in this city regardless of how insanely uncomfortable it was all becoming.
Payments remained delayed & I began to lose my vision & my head filled with pressure from trying to keep my neck straight against the force of the whirl. Head down with a slipping crown I had earned through years of self discovery, a loss of identity was well on the way but life intervened & I snapped back into the reality of who I am & what I’ve always wanted to be. I took back my power & left the internship then took some time to recover.
… And Came Together Like An End-of-Year-Sale
After leaving, the good in my life was as clear as my desire for a limited edition clutch bag & here are 4 lessons from the experience:
1. Do a thorough background check on the people & company you’re about to work for.
2. If there are no available employee reviews, it’s a red flag.
3. You are the keeper of your well-being; the moment it is compromised by another’s choices you need to assert your boundaries & if that fails you need to leave & leave quickly.
4. Difficulty isn’t a reason to give up but an opportunity to renegotiate, re-imagine & redesign.
A Spring Breakthrough
Things are looking up: Summer is on the way, I signed to an international modeling agency in June, have collaborated with some incredible upcoming creative talent & I’ve started to get to know the city of my dreams & her people & it turns out she loves me as much as I have loved her.
From a cultivator of life’s pleasures,