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101 Things in 1001 Days: Who else might I have been?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Who else might I have been?

I was excited when I saw the prompt for this week because not a day goes by where I don’t lapse – however fleetingly- into a day dream of ‘who else might I have been if only…’.

The prompt also reminded me of a movie which came out in 1998 called Sliding Doors featuring Gwyneth Paltrow and John Hannah where a London womans love life and career both hinge, unknown to her, on whether or not she catches a train.

Which one of us hasn’t wondered what our lives would have turned out to be had we, or had we not, caught our own ‘trains’.

As a child of 8 up until the age of 15/16 my passion was for creating things – clothes, beadwork, jewellery – but my greatest love was for sewing. Once I had a piece of fabric in my hands and a pattern to work on I would sit at my sewing machine for hours, many times forgetting to eat, until that dress, or skirt, or blouse had been completed. I could get lost in my work. I dreamt of becoming a fashion designer – I just KNEW this was what I was going to do with my life. There was absolutely no doubt in my mind.

Determined to achieve my dream, I took Clothing and Textiles for my O’levels, getting an A grade without even trying. Then I found and applied to a fashion school in Germany - I was on my way. But, there always is a ‘but’ isn’t there – as it turned out, I was not to catch that particular train.

Being a 16 year old with no money in the bank to speak of, I had to rely on my mother for sponsorship. Sponsorship which she refused to give and to this day I have never understood why. I cried buckets, my heart was broken, I got angry eventually I conceded defeat and let the dream draw its last breath before letting it die. The relationship with my mother suffered tremendously after this but now, I forgive her. Wow, this is the first time I have ever written this down. I forgive you Mum.

Instead, I ended up studying for a degree in Business Administration – still trying one year into the course to switch to a degree in Textile design but university rules didn’t allow me to. But the dream never really died and the passion certainly didn’t go away. Through out my university days and in the first few years of my career I made all my own clothes. I still got a great buzz from turning a simple piece of fabric into a stunning (and sometimes not so stunning) creation.

Over the years I have wondered how my life would have turned out had I gone to fashion school, as I so desperately wanted to. Would I have been world famous – my brand/label recognised at first glance or a struggling fashion assistant? Would I have had my own shop or become a prêt-a-porter seamstress? So many questions I will never know the answer to.

I still sew but I don’t make clothes anymore. Living over here has spoilt me – it’s so much easier to walk into a shop and buy something off the shelf. Instead, I now make handbags and with each bag I make I feel the fire of my passion being stoked again. Nothing compares to looking at a finished product I have made from scratch with my own hands and I never seize to be amazed when people are willing to pay me for my work. I fee strange charging (and being paid) for what I love to do.

Looking back, perhaps my mother did a good thing by not funding my dream of fashion school. Just think had I caught that particular train, I wouldn’t have met my wonderful husband or had my beautiful daughter who makes me laugh each day with her cheeky antics and I probably would not have been sitting here blogging about who else I might have been.



Blogger DJPare said...

I enjoyed reading this! Also, thanks for your comment on mine.

And, yes, I think there always is a "but..." :)

Saturday, August 05, 2006  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Lovely story! And I understand about anger at people not supporting you when you need(ed) it. Am glad you're happy with your life now.

Saturday, August 05, 2006  
Blogger Jennifer said...

how great that this writing prompt brought forgiveness to your Mom. wonderful story.

Saturday, August 05, 2006  
Blogger The Tart said...

What a great story. Sweet about the note to your Mom. The road not traveled ... I bet we all have been there. But as you say ... look what you have now!

Big smooch,
The Tart

Ps. Great read!

Saturday, August 05, 2006  
Anonymous alyndabear said...

How wonderful that after all the confusion and changed paths, you are able to forgive your mother. And your life now seems wonderful, which is the most important thing.


Sunday, August 06, 2006  
Blogger MiandMiksmom said...

You sound so creative and talented. You can use those skills wherever you are...it may not have been what you initially wanted, but you sound happy and at peace.

Sunday, August 06, 2006  
Blogger Verity said...

Oh the heartache! I felt the wrench as I read. But I'm glad you still create, and you write beautifully too.

Sunday, August 06, 2006  
Blogger Pacian said...

I like the ending to this. If things always worked out as we wanted them to, what would happen to the good things we didn't imagine would happen?

Sunday, August 06, 2006  
Blogger melba said...

Thats the thing with "what ifs..."
if we are happy in our life now it is difficult to long for what might have been...

Monday, August 07, 2006  
Blogger Onada said...

girl you still have the opportunity to start creating your clothes now. No better time than the present. Speaking of which any updated on your olive girl things website :)

Monday, August 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

get out of here! Sliding doors is one of my favorite movies!

its never too late to achieve your dreams....

Monday, August 07, 2006  
Blogger jblack designs said...

Great post! How great that you've come to forgive your mother--that took real guts. I love this line: "I feel the fire of my passion being stoked again."


Tuesday, August 08, 2006  
Blogger kj said...

your post is so honest and real.

it hit me because i have written a book called Good Work! (currently shopping for a publisher) and in it i use a "character" named emily who is an office administrator longing to be a fashion designer.

it is still possible, you know....

Sunday, August 13, 2006  

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