Last Day at Work!

Life Updates

My last day working for menswear has flown past and I’m left feeling rather nostalgic and a little at loss with what to do with myself. I remember the day I had my interview with my department manager and leaving the interview feeling absolutely terrified. Since then, I’ve massively grown as a person, in strength and in determination. Not without a few obstacles on the way, however! Nevertheless, it’s been a wild ride and one I’ll cherish for a long time.

Working for a high-demand fashion retail company isn’t easy when you’re literally running around the shop-floor all day. The one thing I was guaranteed was a decent night’s sleep after an 8 hour shift. Working for menswear was also an entirely new and exciting experience for me; I’ve learnt to style men for occasions (kinda still getting my head around that one) and help co-oordinate outfits both merchandising-wise and for customers. With regionals coming down every couple of weeks, this job has been simultaneously the most stressful and enjoyable retail experience.

The customers were a challenge, I’ll happily admit that. With men shouting at me for not smiling at them, throwing clothes on me, demanding I run up 3 flights of stairs to find them a jacket etc, it was exhausting. When customers didn’t speak a word of English, they’d start getting furious with me for not understanding them. Also, from called an “asian persuasion” to being insulted and harassed for refusing to give me phone number/ my name, I can only look back and laugh at the nature of half the arguments there’s been in menswear.

However, this job couldn’t have been as wonderful as it has been without the people I’ve met and grown to love over the course of the few months I was there. From the cashiers to the stockroom assistants to the security guards, it felt like one big family and I’m grateful to have been a part of it. I learnt the art of sass from my floor manager and how to control my tongue when men became particularly aggressive towards me and my merchandiser taught me everything I needed/ wanted to learn about merchandising – something incredibly invaluable. Their relentless support and encouragement made the experience evermore enjoyable – without it, I don’t know where I’d be. It was an absolute pleasure working with such wonderful ladies. And finally, my boss. I don’t think I have ever got on so well with a manager before. Our relationship was an odd one, though – one minute we’d be laughing, the next minute screaming in each other’s faces, at times literally hitting each other. I think 90% of that stemmed from my inability to understand what he was saying most of the time, but I’m immensely grateful to have worked for a really amazing guy. He transformed me from the timid little 19 year old at the interview into a no-shit-taking, thick skinned 20 year old. The love and respect I have for him I cannot put into words. All I can say is thank you. For absolutely everything, but most importantly for taking a chance on me and making me cry/laugh at the same time.

I looked forward to coming into work these last four months, so thank you to everyone at Croydon for giving me memories I’ll cherish and friends for life. It won’t be the same not coming down those escalators and seeing your faces again!

All my love,

Anisah x

I Am Me, at Eighteen

Original Writing

Likes boost our self-confidence and naked pictures prove our love and desire for one another. We accept a love we think we deserve – perks of being a wallflower, no? Girls follow the intense beauty rituals of a wealthy, sickly sweet inspirational figure in an attempt to look good, no matter the cost. Boys will follow vigorous exercise rituals in an attempt to achieve that perfect body. But who defines ‘perfect’? There is no such thing as perfection and there is no stopping us once we reach our goal, because we are driven by obsession.

The art of communication is lost because we’re too busy looking at our phones instead of each other. Facial expressions are replaced by emojis. Love letters replaced by sexts. As our generation develops and progresses on, we lose the values and virtues of the previous ones, the ones we ought to hold most dear.

I miss being a child, do you know why? I didn’t know what pressure was. I didn’t have to look good for him or her. I didn’t have to adopt a certain character to fit in, nor did I have to conform to anyone or anything. The only stresses I experienced were deciding what game to play with my dolls that evening. Although I am incredibly proud of the person I’ve become, the writer I’ve become and, hopefully, the future poet I will become, I miss being in touch with my naivety and youthful happiness/negligence. Mental health issues were a myth to me. Love only existed in fairytales, and heartbreak was non-existent.

Growing up is tough, and I can admit that still, at the age of 18. But luckily I can also say that, at the age of 18, I have already made it. I have accomplished what I never thought possible.

I am exactly who I want to be. And I am not a product of my time or society’s offspring.

I am me. Anisah. 18. Somewhere between an artist and a writer. And a poet.