Last week I spent Monday to Friday working at Heat Magazine in London and it’s took me the whole weekend for it to actually sink in enough for me to sit and reflect for a blog post! It still seems like one big dream so I’m gonna try my best to put it all down into one (probs v rambly) post!
*Quick disclaimer, the first half of this post is probably going to be me being proud of myself and rambling on about how shocked I am I actually did it… so if you’re just interested in hearing about Heat feel free to scroll downnnnnn to that bit haha*
When I applied for the weeks placement in London it was totally on a whim, I knew I obviously wouldn’t get it and even if I did, which I wouldn’t, I’m wayyy too much of a wuss to go anyway, I was just bored and didn’t think much of it.
I then, after totally forgetting I’d even applied, received an email while I was on my way home from the Go Glam Gala in London offering me a place the following week! The fact it was so soon was probably perfect, it was just about enough time to get travel and accommodation sorted but not enough for me to freak out and call it off!
The day I booked my train tickets I had a scheduled CBT session (you can read more about CBT and why I have it here) which I almost called off so I could get sorted but I am SO glad I didn’t. I told her about the week placement I’d been offered and she went through so many different things with me. I’d explained that it all happened very fast and that I had agreed to go without really thinking about it and now I was terrified and regretting it because obviously I couldn’t survive in London alone, never mind doing something soooo incredibly out of my comfort zone like working at Heat. That session was the best one I’ve ever had, the therapist worked really hard at changing my thought process from negative to positive – a problem a lot of people who suffer with anxiety deal with, thinking of everything that could go wrong, rather than what could go right. And I left with a weight lifted off my shoulders.
Before I knew it Sunday came round and I was on my way to London, still surprisingly relaxed (I think this has a lot to do with the CBT) however this wasn’t the case come Sunday night. Luckily I have a friend and a cousin who live in London so I didn’t have to stay in a hotel for the week, which was great at taking my mind off my nerves until I attempted to get to sleep. I felt so terrified, not in the slightest excited, and to be honest just didn’t really want to go at all. I know most people reading this will be thinking, eh? It’s such an exciting amazing experience? It’s not scary? But I could not settle the nerves one bit, I did eventually drift off to sleep but not for very long before I was awoken to the terrifying sound of my alarm.
Again, I didn’t feel excited one bit, the whole journey to Covent Garden, where the offices are located, was a very stressful one. I was already feeling sick with nerves but mixing that with my slight fear of the underground and a VERY busy rush-hour journey was not fun (I’d also left my earphones in my case…go me). The 45 minute commute seemed to last forever and I was still an hour early so after following my maps for quite a while trying to find the office I set myself up at a little cafe a few doors down and attempted (but failed) to eat.
I waited til 9.45am and decided to head over 15 minutes early, half because I wanted to make a good impression, and half because if I had sat there any longer I’d have sacked it off and went home! The floor Heat is on is shared with Closer and Grazia too so I was greeted with some other nervous faces who were on work experience with those two magazines too, this kind of settled my nerves seeing other people in my position (probs feeling a little less stressed than me). Then I was called through by Darryl, whom I would be shadowing for the week.
The atmosphere in the office was soooo surprisingly chilled out, it was nice and bright and airy with big windows (thankfully as I was terrified that it was going to be a stuffy claustrophobic office) and everyone made me feel soooo welcome instantly. The first day was so much fun and I left feeling so calm. Then came the most disastrous journey EVER.
I used citymapper to find the route I needed to take home and unbeknown to me clicked the wrong place, asking the app to take me to somewhere that was in fact the opposite direction to my friends house I was staying! I didn’t realise until the tube had began to move so I quickly hopped off at the next stop, Charing Cross.
Let’s just say I’d managed to get off at the main spot for everyone going to the Trump protest (that I didn’t even know was taking place) and I left the station amidst thousands of protesters, gridlocked traffic, sirens, police and absolutely no phone signal. I felt so panicky and stressed and just wanted to cry but I had to find my way back (obviously). After a lot of asking random people, holding back tears, and just straight up stress I got back in one piece, although it did take 2 hours rather than 45 minutes!
For anyone who suffers with anxiety you will probably know what I mean when I say, instead of being relieved that I was home, I was just instantly filled with panic for the next time I had to travel on the tube (which was obviously the next morning) and the fun day at Heat was clouded with fear and anxiety surrounding the tube. This is a big moment for me, in any other situation the minute I feel like this I just avoid it all together, so, had I been at home I would’ve probs just cancelled the rest of the week and then felt really rubbishy and crap about it. But I didn’t, I felt one of the most anxious I’ve probably ever felt, again couldn’t eat or sleep, just wanted to go home and/or cry, felt all of this and then I got myself up the next morning, went out and got straight back on the tube… and I was fine.
Nothing bad happened, I managed to get myself there AND back, it was super busy and crammed and I did feel anxious but I put my earphones in, closed my eyes (probs fit in with the rest of the anti-social commuters) and I took myself to a total stress-free place, and low and behold it actually worked! For the first time EVER I felt like I totally got control of the situation and pushed the anxious thoughts from my brain, something I never used to think was actually possible.
Now that I’m home people keep saying to me “you’re so brave for going to London alone!” and “I’d never have had the guts to do that!” and that is just craaaazzzyyy to me that people are calling ME, the stressiest, wussiest person EVER brave!!
Now, on to more interesting and exciting stuff like what I actually did at Heat!
I was very prepared to be making tea all week and doing boring tasks, they even sent an email out that said don’t expect to be writing stories, etc. But while I was there I did some amazing things, wayyyyyy more than I ever imagined I’d do there as just a work experience girl (or ‘workie’ as they call them). So here’s what I got up to:
<3 Gave out the post every morning
<3 Made regular trips to the courier room to bring up deliveries – they get sent alot!
<3 Used a website to find out the address of companies to send sample returns back to and packaged them up to be sent off
<3 Packaged and labelled Heat mags to be sent to lots of different people
<3 Transcribed interviews with Joey Essex, Aaron from Geordie Shore, Ferne Mcann and the Celebs Go Dating cast
<3 Popped out to buy a certificate case to be sent to Jake Wood (Max Branning) for receiving Heat’s Weirdest Crush award three years in a row hahaha
<3 Photocopied and filed pages from the magazine
<3 Trailed the web finding funny quotes from various celebs
<3 Bumped into Amy Childs in the office!
<3 Sat behind Lucie Cave the whole week…I promise I didn’t fangirl THAT much!
<3 And the best bit, wrote 8 articles that were ALL published on Heatworld YAAAY!!!! 😀
I had the best week ever and I’m SOOO glad I did it, even though at the time it seemed like the scariest thing ever! I’ve proved to myself that even if pushing yourself seems like the most terrifying thing in the world, it can be the best thing in the world too. I just wish I could go back in time and tell 17 year old me who was having panic attacks alllll the time and feeling like I’d never be able to do anything because I was too much of a worrier and panicker that I CAN do it I just need to push myself.
So if you’re reading this and you’re putting off doing something out of fear of stepping out of your comfort zone take it from me that if I can do it then you can too <3
Thanks for reading,