No more vanilla @Jem_Bauer

jessica gough jessicagough | September 22, 2017

Posted in Blog, Front, Keep

I’d never inspired anyone to do anything they wouldn’t have done anyway until this year. Not as far as I’m aware anyway. Like many people, I’ve tried my best to fit in and be invisible. To work hard, be “successful” and get noticed for the results of my labor but not for who I am.

Until this year.

I went through an awkward breakup in May/June which triggered a process where I decided to figure out who I am and what I want to do rather than what the people around me tell me I’m supposed to do.

I used to hate speaking up. I only said things or posted things online that were pretty agreeable. As Marc said on the first day, our online footprint is there to stay and so I kept mine as clean as possible by not really saying much at all.

I’ve always wanted to write or start a blog but I never did because I was worried maybe I’d change my mind about what I’d said or maybe someone who I wanted to like me would disagree with it. And I wanted everyone to like me.

But this year has been a big turning point for me and I realized my fear of what people thought was seriously hindering my creativity. But this story isn’t a unique one. I do think that everyone suffers from this disease at some point, if not during the whole of their lives. We want to stand for something sure, in theory, but when it comes to actually standing up we can get a bit shy.

I guess my passion project had a lot to do with actually doing something. So many times during the process I was tempted to give up. At one point I even did when my dog was diagnosed with a splenic tumor and I spent so much time up and down to the vets that I had to forego the challenges I had planned for those days. But as many times as I was tempted to give up I pushed on and I guess I tried to make that challenge a part of my story.

The things I did in my passion project weren’t a big deal for some people but they were for me. I did things that I thought I was rubbish at and I got out of my comfort zone.

So yeah this year I got tattoos, shaved half my head, tried sports that I thought I’d be awful at (skateboarding and slacklining) and also got personal stuff that I’d written onto the internet in the form of SCABs.

And the biggest thing I learned from actually doing stuff I wanted to do is that people will be inspired by you if you’re disruptive and stand up rather than be invisible. Since this change, people I know have got similar haircuts and tattoos to me. I’ve got a couple of people into slacklining and most importantly someone I knew in school posted about how she was going to try something new every day. Which was my passion project. I don’t even really know this girl, she was a girlfriend of someone I knew when I was doing my A-levels eight years ago but she saw what I was doing on Instagram and it made her want to act too.

I guess what I’m saying is I’ve learned a huge lesson this year. Being yourself is the only thing that’s ever going to inspire anyone because it’s the only thing that’s genuine and true and everything else you try and be is just gonna be invisible. The more people who hate what you do, the more people will love it too.

Marc said on one of the first days never to aim for “good” and suddenly it clicked as to what’s changed in me this summer. Nobody hates stuff that’s good and if I ever produce work that absolutely nobody hates then it’s unlikely that anyone will love it either.

So this is me saying goodbye to good vanilla me who up until now produced good vanilla work that didn’t rock the boat.