It’s another sweltering day here in the tropical coastal city of Durban and I’m doing my best to keep cool as I apply tinted moisturiser to my perspiring skin. I am about to leave for my second day at my new waitressing gig at one of Durban’s most loved watering holes and after almost two years of working for myself, I am slightly apprehensive about returning to the hospitality industry. I’ve been quite under the radar and haven’t written in a while; I suppose in between life’s stresses and future uncertainties, I haven’t exactly been in the right place, emotionally, to write and create content. Truth be told, I actually needed to focus my attention elsewhere and have only just begun to catch up with my thoughts to sit down and put virtual pen to paper.
Just before our lease ended in June, we sold/donated most of our belongings and put what was left into storage. Because we didn’t want to sign into another lease and spend the next year paying off someone else’s bond, we spent two months in an Airbnb until we figured out what our next steps were. Having since returned to our home town after a blissful two-week escape to the Cape, we are now living with my parents while we work to save money towards our ultimate goal of living and traveling in our campervan.
It was always the plan to leave Joburg; we knew from the start that it was not a place we’d call home for long. For a while, leaving Johannesburg was synonymous with moving onto better things, and while I can only hope that that is true, I’ve come to appreciate all that JHB encompasses and I’m grateful to have lived there. Johannesburg taught us a lot about ourselves and the people around us. It taught us to have low expectations but high standards and to never take for granted that people will do as they say. It showed us the ugly side of people whom we once loved and admired, and made us cherish the most unexpected of friendships. I’ll miss the constant sunshine and being able to dry wet clothing within the hour. I’ll miss my beloved China Town and being able to get authentic Asian food whenever I wanted. And basically being able to find anything, anywhere, at any time!
As much as it requires humility to move back in with your parents and start waitressing in your mid-twenties, especially when all your colleagues are a good few years younger than you, it’s tremendously rewarding when you remember why you’re doing it. Although it’s not the ideal job, it provides the flexibility and freedom (and instant cash, TBH) that we’ll need to build our dream mobile home. As we all know, life isn’t easy to navigate through and sometimes where you thought you were headed isn’t your destination. There are twists and turns, surprises and disappointments; new paths to be taken and and different goals to be achieved. And I suppose that’s the beauty of life too.
Working a more conventional job is also a chance for me to experiment with this blog without the pressure to make money from it. It’s difficult trying to cultivate your creativity and produce something beautiful when you’re constantly motivated by money rather than passion. In retrospect, I wish I had given this space time to grow naturally; kept it as my creative outlet, my personal space to play with as I wish, and used an external source of income to fund it until it had the size and following to generate it’s own rewards. I was so fixated on building a successful blog and business that I was unwilling to compromise my time and energy.
However, I don’t regret dedicating the last 19 months to establishing this blog; on the contrary I think that this is the perfect time for me to do something completely unrelated to my chosen career path, to mix with other people on a daily basis as opposed to days in isolation working on new content. I always thought that you shouldn’t sacrifice your happiness by working a job you hate so that you can afford a certain lifestyle. And while that isn’t necessarily what you should do, working a job that can sustain your living expenses while allowing you time to pursue your passion until it is ready to support you is probably the best way to go. If I can give you one piece of advice: don’t quit your day job. Not until you know for sure that your next project/job will be able to provide for you financially. It’s not worth the pressure. I’m not saying stick with your boring admin job that you loathe just because you wouldn’t be able to afford DSTV without it; you will need to make sacrifices. And while financial pressures may help you persist and work harder, it can become too much and you might end up disliking your passion once it becomes your job.
I still want to create and share content as much as possible, and hope the change of scenery will give me the inspiration I need to do it. I have so many ideas that I want to execute and sustainable brands that I’d love to work with, one being the new South African fashion brand, Me & B. I sat down with Kelly, one half of the brand’s mother-daughter design duo, early last month and was blown away by how friendly and attentive she was. This is a brand I have been coveting for ages due to their innate ability to merge the latest fashion trends with quality garments. From their gingham prints to their bold mustard yellow statement jackets, this brand knows that slow fashion lovers appreciate a burst of colour and design flair now and then! Working from their studio based in Woodstock, Cape Town, Kelly and her mother, Betina, work alongside a small, dedicated team of local seamstresses and garment workers to manufacture small runs of clothing pieces and accessories. Although they are less than a year old, Me & B has gained a rather large following and I can only attribute this to how well they know their audience. They know that a conscious shopper still wants to keep up with trends, and shouldn’t have to compromise their style to shop ethically.
This is a brand I have been coveting for ages due to their innate ability to merge the latest fashion trends with quality, stylish garments. From their gingham prints to their bold mustard yellow statement jackets, this brand knows that slow fashion lovers appreciate a burst of colour and design flair now and then!
I took their lovely linen Knot Top out for a spin on the streets of Cape Town a few weeks back, and I just had to capture the duality of sartorial elegance and whimsy that this blouse possesses. I suppose it translates to my current state of mind which is probably why I love it so much. I chose to pair it with my vintage suit pants and slides; smart enough for evening sun downers yet casual enough for an afternoon stroll. But I’m also envisioning it with a pair of skinny jeans or even a denim mini skirt (anything denim will work, really).
I’m determined to keep trying; I want this blog to evolve and improve, so it would be great to get some feedback from all of you who read it. What would you like to see more of? Which of my previous posts stood out the most or helped you in some way? Anything you’d like me to feature more of? I can’t wait to start sharing more travel on here, especially once the van is up and running! Would you like to see the progress? Or hear more about why we’ve decided to give everything up and move into a van? Comment below or send me an email. But for now, au revoir!0