Way back in summer 2016, I started to realize I needed a change. Well, to be honest, I had actually started to realize in summer 2015. But you know how we humans are. You continue along, make a few half-hearted efforts at feeble change, keep hitting your head against the same walls. Over and over again. Seriously, how can we be so dumb?
So after struggling in vain for over a year, I decided to take a break. It was summer, clients seem to always vanish, the heat was oppressive. I travelled, I thought, I struggled some more. The break started to extend into autumn.
I remember at one point that my brain was like a hundred radio stations going at the same time. None of which were properly tuned, just an incessant noise that would not let go. There was no work and I had recently stopped smoking. To say that I am a workaholic is an understatement. And I’d been smoking pretty consistently for the past 13 years. In other words, two things that were constants in my life were sorely missing.
The turning point was early one morning in November. I went for a run in Montjuic as the unrelenting radio stations were at an all-time high. As I sat to catch my breath at Miramar, my eyes wandered in desperation over Barcelona and the sea. There is something about leaving the city behind, seeing everything tiny below you.
Instead of trying to stop the noise, I just sat there. I stopped fighting as tears and snot streamed out of me. (I am a huge fan of having a proper cry; it’s always such a relief.) Out of the heartless noise, a crystal clear question started to surface: who are you if you’re not working? Who are you if you’re not smoking? It is a horrible moment to realize that you have been defining your entire self with external factors. In my case, work and cigarettes. Gosh, it sounds so ridiculous out loud.
But that is the crazy adventure of life. The uncomfortable stuff that no one seems to want to talk about. But I want to talk about this stuff, I want to dig deeper. I want to understand. And so began the long stretch of work to define and discover what the next steps would be. It was been incredible and tough, magical and horrible at times. But it’s always worth it.
Things will be a little more personal now, a little more emotional. A little more weird and, sometimes, downright freaky. But that is who I am. I pulled one of my best friends on-board, the talented graphic designer, Griselda Marti, to create a new identity for this next stage in life. It is now the moment to present “A tu Vera” to the world. A simple phrase in Spanish that means “By Your Side”. It’s a sentence that people always say to me when I first tell them my name. (Thanks Griselda, I’m so proud of you and everything you do.)
I’ll still be working in communication but I’ve decided to be really selective about the projects I take on. My focus has changed now and I’m going to study: floristry and gardening. Nature is one of my passions and in the past year or so, clients have been asking for more natural elements in photo shoots and branding. Which I think is marvellous. The idea is to eventually focus solely on natural elements for production and as well as work in events.
This has all become a bit long-winded for a re-introduction so I’ll leave you for now. There will be one post per week, as I don’t want to burnout like I usually do with a blog. I also need to take my own professional advice to clients and not be too ambitious. Better to start small and work up from there.
The world is in turmoil and the news is more and more grim every day. So this will be a space to disconnect, to be emotional, to search for the beauty in life. The type of beauty that makes you ache inside. It won’t be traditional, it won’t always be obvious, it might get strange at times, but that’s OK.