At now my mid to late 40’s, I can safely say I have had a lot of jobs.
Back in the early 1990’s I joined the emergency services and took up driving ambulances for a living. A lot of dark blue involved (which was ok, it was a uniform so I couldn’t really complain.)
On my days off (which were few, irregular and usually bed ridden) being a Goth almost went out the of the window.
Well, sometimes, it does. Being a Goth for me is a state of mind. I can be all pastels but yet my mind is still in anguish over watching the latest Penny Dreadful (when it was on) or figuring out what the last Cure album was all about… It’s about being true to yourself inside. That, of course, is the ultimate juggle in this world. In life.
My jobs got worse over the years there after. I went from uniform to a suit. Traditional, old-fashioned and proud of my pen pushing years in county council. Black was creeping in with subtlety. Pull up my suit sleeves and glaring back at you would be a long line of Aha-esque leather thongs trailing up my wrists.
My roles in my recent years have become more and more corporate. As a PR Manager and (even worse) a high-profile Publicist, being Goth has become more of an occupational concern. I spend most of my time with my back against a wall juggling this and promoting that. Vision, image is everything. I work in the highest, most elitist of circles where everyone around me is young enough to by my son or daughter, where I am now an elder Goth, or just bloody old.
Yet, I have to admit, I am probably more the person who I truly am than I have ever been. The years which have piled up onto my face and energy have given me a ‘couldn’t give a toss’ attitude. Over recent years, I have embraced my Victorian obsession.
Now, I walk along the corridors of PR agencies and I can almost hear the 20 somethings recoil on horror at my Dickensian outfit. The more I have embraced my wardrobe, the more confident I feel, the better I think I look and the more influential I find myself being.
So, what’s the lesson here today? Wait until you’re in your 40’s before you can feel good? No, that’s not what I am saying. You don’t have to wait until your ‘passed it’ before you can become true to who you are. You can fast track yourself and do it much earlier than that. Confidence, for me has come from saying ‘this is me, I look different, that’s because I am different.’ In the world I work in, I am somewhere near the top, yet alone.
I seek out other Goths in my press circles but I can’t see any (must wear my glasses more often.) Most of the young PR-ettes these days are more Karen Millen than Helena Bonham Carter.
More chick flick than film noir.
More Bella Hadid than Bela Lugosi.
But that’s ok.
I know fashion wise, I don’t fit in, But then again I don’t think I was ever meant to. That’s why I sit in my corporate media world full of work pods, funky musak and coffee hubs and look like an extra from Northanger Abbey. I am there to cause ripples, create oceans of destruction and generally worry the middle class minded. It causes amusement, but I have to say, the laugh is usually from me.
Be the same. Cause shifts in your world. It’s your job to.
Love and Absinthe