This isn’t hyperbole: Lucy Goes to Hollywood really did change my life. In fact, a few years ago it didn’t exist. The idea hadn’t even crossed my mind. It seems so strange to think that one of the darkest times in my life helped me to create something I love so dearly, and go on to meet a community of many like-minded people. People that I’d happily call my friends. Never in my wildest dreams would I have pictured myself confidently publishing articles, attending events, etc. It’s all so surreal.
As it’s Time To Talk Day, I wanted to open up about the reasons I created the blog in the first place. I don’t want anyone to view this as a sob story, but rather a glimmer of hope for when things get really tough. Although I’m still struggling with some of the issues outlined below, I am in a much better place and I’m growing as a person every day.
When I graduated from University, I made the decision to leave my hometown in the north of England to move in with my boyfriend and pursue a career in the capital city. I had an opportunity lined up and was excited to get started. Unfortunately for me, after three months, I was let go. Though devastated, I decided to set up the blog to keep me occupied whilst I searched for another full time job.
Luckily, I found one a few months later and settled in nicely which caused me to neglect the blog and focus on my new career. It was fun while it lasted, I thought. I was under the impression this was a short term fix and it wouldn’t go anywhere. Maybe I’d post reviews a few times a year, something like that. But then I received more bad news.
One day I walked into my second job, and walked out with an official redundancy letter eight hours later. The news came as a shock and broke me, I remember coming home and sobbing for hours. This had already happened once… why had this happened again? Why me? I felt like a complete failure, I was worthless, I thought I couldn’t hold down a job because people hated me. All these thoughts spiralled in my head, tormenting me and forcing me into a deep depression. I didn’t want to do anything, I just wanted to lie in bed for hours. So I did.
My boyfriend did all he could to support me, but money was tight and I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt knowing he would be the sole income provider for a while. It made my feeling of worthlessness even stronger. Eventually I was able to pull myself together and got back onto the job boards, sending out my revamped CV. I received an overwhelming amount of rejection letters, interviews that didn’t go anywhere, and unanswered emails. Nobody thought I was good enough, and I believed it.
This feeling of worthlessness hung over me like a dark cloud and wouldn’t leave, and I knew I needed something to occupy my mind. I couldn’t sit on job boards all day, staring at the same four walls and crying into my morning coffee. There was more to life than this. And then I remembered… the blog. I set it up to help me last time, maybe that could provide the distraction I was looking for? It would be a cheap way to keep me entertained, I wouldn’t have to feel guilty about spending money on a cup of coffee just to get me out the flat. I could watch films here on Netflix.
So I did. I logged back into Lucy Goes To Hollywood and I started writing. I set up a Twitter account and followed other film blogs, filmmakers, people that interested me. I engaged in conversation, I read other people’s articles, I watched other people’s films. Eventually my time was divided equally between job boards and the blog, and for the first time in months, I found myself smiling again. My love for film was reignited, and I had a purpose. It didn’t pay the bills, but it made me happy until I found something that did. In the short term, that meant the world to me.
A few months down the line, I was offered a job and it’s the one that I’m currently in. I’ve found a way to effectively balance my career with my blog, because I didn’t want to abandon a community that brought me so much joy when times were tough. I have been lucky enough to grow my following since then, attend events, and collaborate with others. I can’t describe how grateful I am to all of you who follow me, for every single person reading this article today, and for those to come. You pulled me out of the darkness and continue to do so.
I still struggle with Generalised Anxiety Disorder and mild depression, but I am more confident than I have ever been before. A few years ago I would never have had the courage to build a platform and put myself out there for the world to see. But now I do it almost every day, and each time it gets a little easier. Sometimes big crowds at events can overwhelm me, but I am sure with practice I can overcome this fear.
It feels good to get all of this out, and to tell you the origins of my blog. I truly am thriving right now and I thank my lucky stars every day for it. Sometimes everything seems terrible and you feel like giving up, but I urge you to keep going. You never know when things will change, something amazing could be right around the corner.
I’m here to listen to anyone who is struggling, because I know exactly what it’s like. You’re never, ever alone and there’s always someone to help you through it. Maybe that someone can be me.