It’s coming up to that time of year again where I’ll be flying back to The States in preparation for the Victoria’s Secret casting so I’ve been feeling very nostalgic. Looking back, it’s so crazy to think that in January 2014, I was rushing around New York, visiting apartments in between castings looking for a place to rent for a year. It was so stressful and I didn’t have a lot of money but I was determined to move to New York and really give America a try. I knew that in order to progress my career and be successful I would have to leave behind what I knew and where I was comfortable and dive right in.
I’m a proper London girl, no other city compares in my eyes and New York had always been a hard place for me to take in. But as much as I loved my city, in 2013 I realised that I had gotten too comfortable. I remember speaking to Jourdan Dunn and although she might not remember this conversation, it was one that stuck with me and really helped me in my decision to move. She told me that if I could move to New York that I should really take the opportunity as it was the place to be, especially for models of colour. Deep down I always knew that but I was scared to really commit to New York, despite having my work visa; I didn’t want to leave my life in London. I already hated the fact that I always had to spend my birthdays alone doing Fashion Week in New York every year and had missed an epic summer with my friends to be there so the idea of missing so much time from my friends and family filled me with anxiety. What if I moved and I didn’t get work? What if I don’t make any friends? My stomach was literally turning every time I thought about the ‘what ifs’ that come with relocating at the age of 20 but I remember thinking to myself one day “Do I want to be great? Do I want to be successful?” and I knew the answer meant that I had to move.
I had literally no savings after I paid my taxes (lol was and still am learning the ropes) but I used the last of my money for a deposit for my two bedroom apartment in Harlem; I knew the only way I could feel comfortable and happy was to have my own space and not have to share or rely on anyone for anything. I had done the whole model apartment thing during Fashion Week before and it was tough. Living with all these personalities and sharing your personal space is not something that I could do for a long period of time and I knew to do well in New York, I had to stay. It was freezing cold and I only had a bed in the whole apartment which was quiet hilarious but eventually I started getting regular work with great clients and was seeing how great the opportunities were if I just worked really hard and stayed committed and it worked!
We all have our safety zones in life, be it a city, the people in it, your home or bedroom- we all have spaces we feel the most comfortable in. It’s easy to ignore an opportunity because it takes you too far out of your comfort zone and you sit and convince yourself how much harder things would be if you took that step out your box. I urge you to ask yourself “Do you want to be great? Do you want to be successful?” like I did because the only way you can really achieve your dreams and aspirations is by getting a little bit uncomfortable. It may be the harder choice to make but these are usually the most rewarding- no one became successful taking the easy route.
Shot by Adrian @_visionaryshit