05 February 2017

Growing up to be the woman you always wanted to be

The cute kid who wanted to be smart & fabulous
Something struck me yesterday I as I was getting dressed. I threw on my favourite jeans (a Nine by Savannah Millar pair if you must know), my staple Adidas Superstar trainers, a navy jumper, a coat that coat me about half a month's wages and a Mulberry scarf. I went to lift my Louis Vuitton bag and this thought just came over me - I grew up to be pretty fabulous.

When I was a little girl I used to love to gaze at fashionable ladies in Belfast city centre. I think I loved street style from an early age, particularly a very beautiful coat. I didn't come from money - my mother raised me on her own and often has told me of the times she would spend her money on buying me meat so I would would get iron & be healthy whilst she would go without. However, my grandmother and grandfather who were and still are, my heroes, always loved to dress me like a little doll in fur coats & shiny shoes. I was a little Shirley Temple to them and I wanted to grow up to be a fabulous grown up lady like the ones I saw buying bright red lipstick at the Chanel counter in Debenhams. 

Our lives continued to get better as my mum worked hard to climb the career ladder and with that came many treats in the form of fabulous holidays. Style was always a huge part of our holidays and even as an adult I really enjoy the thrill of buying new holiday clothes & laying out my outfits to wear each day. Again on holiday, I loved gazing at the holiday style of posh ladies in their one piece swimsuits and giant Elizabeth Taylor sun-hats.

The greatest of my style spotting moments was my first trip to Harrods as a child. My mother's friend worked in London and when I was about 7 or 8, we went to visit her close to Christmas time. I remember just being awe struck by the choice of brands and the rate at which people were buying things. I instantly fell in love with Louis Vuitton bags as I asked my mother about the bags & her response was that they were bags for 'rich ladies'. My trip to Harrods made me very determined to grow up to be those ladies I loved... and to afford a rich lady Louis V.

My whole life there have been glimpses of the woman I hoped to be one day. I have always had sheer determination. I used to tell my mother I would pass my 11+, go to my local grammar school then go to Queen's. And I did. I did everything I ever wanted. Don't get me wrong, it has been a bumpy road. Illness and operations really hindered some of my teenager years but this feeling of not getting to be the person I wanted to be really pushed me on. It's not that I was ever ashamed of where I came from or that I didn't value the lot I had been given, it's just that I knew in my heart that I was destined to have a good life after all of the pain my mother had endured. I think partly I wanted to be the woman I grew up to be for her so that one day she would know I could look after her like she looked after me. 

It's an extremely odd moment now realising I am that woman. I'm 25 so I'm no longer a child, in fact I'm now even older than my mum was when she had me. My journey is far from over - I still have a house to buy and I hope one day for a family of my own. But the girl of my dreams didn't have those things - the girl of my dreams was smart and wore fabulous coats & carried a Louis Vuitton bag.

And I am that girl.