Hello my loves,
It has been a long time since I have updated the ‘journal’ section of my website, and that is mostly to blame on the madness that 2021 has brought about.
In an effort to be as honest and openly vulnerable as I can be, I’m dedicating this post to a life update – it feels wrong to kick off my goal of updating this blog more frequently with any other style of blog post.
The past months have been mentally chaotic. Winter and early spring this year were wonderfully exciting for me; I moved apartment and secured the best and biggest client base I had had since the start of the pandemic – it drove me to create some of my best work. But ever since the end of the second lockdown, things abruptly deteriorated. I find it incredible that so many people do not know what life is like as a self-employed person right now, particularly in a terribly hit sector, because I just cannot imagine what that freedom must feel like at this point time. My life has always revolved around my work and ability to create – I have, perhaps wrongfully, relied on my career as my main source of happiness, and for people like myself, it feels as though the pandemic stripped away a focal point of our identity.
For the past couple of months, I’ve watched clients and fellow business owners struggle with the consequences of lockdown. It broke my heart and severely impacted my mental state to work in an industry in which I was surrounded by likeminded, passionate founders who were giving up the businesses they dedicated themselves to for years and throwing themselves into survival mode. I miss the optimistic, hopeful new founders at a time when COVID was not a thing. The people who took risks and brought life and entertainment to this limiting island – today, I am surrounded by grim, fearful faces that await the inevitable increase in restrictions.
My work is no exception. Just three months before the introduction of COVID-19, I quit my full time job and took the greatest risk of my life to pursue a business model based on promoting small, refined brands in the hospitality + fashion sectors. With their demise came my own – a ripple effect that, in truth, has left me with this feeling of dread on the daily; constant uncertainty on what my next step may be. Nothing is guaranteed with self-employment, it’s a risk we all take when dive head first into our very own business ventures. But in a pandemic? With so many businesses on the brink of shutdown and with no budget allocated for marketing, us creatives are hardy pulling through.
Make no mistake, the illness is an awful one and I don’t wish to be insensitive to those who have suffered its effects – but the restrictions are what have led to the suffering of so, so many. When will anyone of authority step up and realise that one’s physical health is highly dependant on their financial status? How healthy can you truly be if you cannot afford to put food on your plate? And when will anyone acknowledge and address the looming mental health crisis? Does anyone truly believe that it is of any less significance than the coronavirus?
And so, I ran off to Paris for a two-week escape. Actually, it was booked a while before the business environment worsened here in Malta – and I am rather grateful for that as I probably would have opted for the wise decision of not booking any holidays if I had known now is when the toughest times would commence. Paris regifted me the ability to be inspired and hopefully inspire; to feel alive again at a time when all activities were killed off. It gave me a little nudge towards the right direction – in fact, here I am, writing for no reason other than to write, feeling energised enough to create without the constant concern of how financially fruitful my latest creation could be.
And here are my most recent photos, shot in Paris by my darling boyfriend, hours before our flight back home. I was limping around with a sprained foot and sporting nothing but the most comfortable attire – this is probably the realest side of me you’ve seen in a while.