Who am I?
Hello, I’m Sparkles. I started The Style Disco back in 2009 as a place to document my adventures, for when I’m too old and senile to remember them all. Unfortunately I’ve been quite slack in posting for the last few years. The day job getting in the way is the only excuse I can come up with. I had the adventures, but no time to post about them. So I’ll have to use my Instagram as a back up for the missing years.
Where did I come from?
I was born in Tottenham, back in the good old days of the ‘80s. 1985 to be precise, and lived there until I was three. My memory of this is understandably patchy – my first real memories start when we moved to the countryside. A child of the ‘90s: a weird and wonderful decade to grow up in. To make things even weirder, my parents decided to move to Papua New Guinea with 3 young children (I was the eldest) when I was nine years old. We moved from a tiny Bedfordshire village to the other side of the world. It was the first time I’d ever been on an aeroplane. After a terrifying first couple of weeks at school, I went on to spend my formative years in an amazingly beautiful and culturally diverse country where I was very happy. I am so grateful for my time there. I saw things that I never would have been exposed to back home. Sometimes things were scary, it can be a dangerous place to live for ex-pats, but being young, I took everything in my stride and focussed on making some of the best friendships of my life. I am still very close to my best PNG mates; sadly none of them live less than a long-haul plane ride away. When we moved back to the UK in 1997 it was a huge shock to me. My childhood friends were strangers to me: only interested in the Spice Girls, Take That and make-up. I was completely clueless on all of this but luckily I’ve always been a quick learner and did a pretty good job of getting up to speed in record time. Anything less would have been social suicide, which didn't sit well with me.
Where did I go?
Fuelled by a desire to get the hell out of the sticks and an idea that London was destined to be my home, I decided that it made sense for me to study there. To my amazement, I got a place at the London College of Fashion, where I had applied on a whim – and moved to London at the age of 18. I didn’t look back for fourteen years. I partied, I moved house 12 times, I lived in Camden during the wonderful Indie years, I dutifully migrated East, and I made the best group of friends anyone could ever hope to make. But in the latter of those 14 years, I began to feel the pressure of the city. It was taking its toll. I was tired all the time and I never wanted to do anything after work. I bailed on friends’ birthdays or any sort of social occasion for about a year. I needed a break, so I quit my job. I took the summer off and lived off the small amount of ‘savings’ I had (I’m not sure you can call it this when you also have 14 years’ worth of debt), and waited to feel better. But I didn’t. Knowing that the little money I had was dwindling rapidly was always at the back of my mind (I was paying London rent, with no London job). I had worked since I was 15 and I’d come to rely on money. So I tried to find a new job, one that might not make me feel like sleeping all weekend, but after a month of searching I was nowhere. I’d completely run out of money, and had no choice but to move back home. During one of my last days in London, a friend mentioned in passing that she needed some marketing help with her business. I jumped at the chance to help her and decided to set up my own Digital Consultancy.
Where am I now?
It’s been about 2 months since I made the decision to go it alone. My commute is now from my bed, about 2 metres across my bedroom, to my desk. I am sleeping better (I had insomnia for about 10 years), my anxiety is waning, the pollution has nearly left my lungs. I have got used to not having any money, I’ve become responsible with my spending. No more Netflix, no more Spotify Premium, no more Deliveroo (they don't have it here anyway). I go to London once a week for meetings, and make sure that I catch up with my friends whilst I’m there. I don’t bail on anyone, in fact I see my friends more than I have done in a long time. My next step is to find somewhere to live that I can be happy and afford on a start-up salary. I will always love London with all my heart, but right now, I have to take a break.