The things I’m thinking about this new year

I’ve often watched an episode of Ugly Betty with slight embarrassment. A sense of dreadful recognition in the way her life plays out with an even greater sense of gratefulness that my daily wardrobe isn’t displayed on the company intranet – thanks to Marc and Amanda her colleagues. Betty’s fashion sense has made every episode absurd and funny but she is in many ways a bit of an icon in her own right. For instance her socks and sandals trend took to the Catwalks. Although I don’t have braces and I’m not exactly a Daniels’ personal assistant and my daily wardrobe doesn’t look quiet as challenging as Miss Suarez’ I do sense that I get a similar amount of smirks. I, dear reader, work in one of the biggest fashion chain stores in Africa – at least that’s their new mission. I work in the marketing department, part of the public relations team and although working the phones and trying to give the company a caring; best customer service face doesn’t necessarily require looking like a fashionista, being surrounded by people who live and breathe it makes it really hard to ignore. I must also admit that on somedays I walk into that office thinking ‘what am I wearing?’ on their behalf. Any given morning starts with hitting the snooze button for an hour and then getting up an hour late. I rush into the bathroom and brush my teeth and then rush back into my bedroom that needs a good declutter before I brave my over stuffed, cluttered wardrobe. I flop down on the black sofa box thing piled high with throws and  open the tiny two door wardrobe which truly doesn’t have the capacity for all the clothing and then I try and make myself feel good by putting on two or three different items before I very graciously am told by my loving, patient, yet very unsympathetic fiancée that I’m going to be late – again. And all this happens before I throw the lukewarm tea down my throat that he lovingly makes me and I try to make my way to work via the very crippled unreliable metro system of Cape Town. Thank you by the way for a good few weeks of travelling during the soccer world cup. We should do it again soon. One episode that I love replaying is when Gio a past love interest – notice how ugly Betty with braces and bad fashion sense is never without a male companion for long – tells her that she is getting comfortable at Mode magazine and that her position is not what she dreamt of doing. It doesn’t matter that she’s been sent to London bloody fashion week! Her BLOG is what she should be concentrating on. I feel guilt. My job too was supposed to be my stepping stone and shouldn’t be my life path but three years on I’m still just doing this job. I don’t totally hate my job. It’s fun from time to time. It’s essential to the business even if they don’t take it seriously enough and it’s only me running the operation for the whole South Africa and the flagship stores in the other African countries but it’s always been my safety net. Mostly I use the importance of this mundane job to explain why I haven’t done anything since my return from Europe and I miss the driving force in my life. During a time when I had nothing to lose I had the courage to quit them (the company) and travel through Europe. Yes, there were extenuating circumstances to the move thanks to my missing driving force – but I was finally doing something that mattered even if only for a short while. At that point I wanted to become a journalist. An investigative journalist no less. Thank you Special Assignment! Best South African viewing if you own a television set. It seems strange that for three years I haven’t owned a television and so missing such inspirational television programming was probably the final nail in that dreams’ proverbial coffin. I’d also started doubting whether having a family and risking my life for worthwhile stories would be the best idea so I quit my studies altogether. I’ve come to love public relations though. Event organising too because I still get to work with people but I get to organise and put amazing things together and I get a buzz out of the thrill of it all but writing … that’s what gives me the greatest joy. I love losing myself in the words. The lovely trance of other worlds and other personas and lives that are worlds from who I am. That’s what I love about writing. Just like with Betty – the fashion industry has kind of been good to me but I feel that for such a huge, powerful and not to mention influential industry the bottom line is still the most important part to it and that leaves me with a slight disgust for it. It doesn’t change the way I feel when I walk in to the office somedays but I remind myself that shallow is mediocre and I’ve never been that nor should I aim to be it when there are so many others vying for that place. There isn’t much traffic on the road less travelled and even if I’m on the wrong path now, at least it’s a path right? Now my question for 2012 is this … what happens when you don’t even know, when you’re not really sure – what that path is?

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