Despite having a variety of interests within both creative and academic spheres, I struggled during my latter teen years to figure out how I could channel my energy into making a successful career out of one of the encompassing topics. My experience at school was that of feeling pressured to find my passion – a single, boxed-in area that would lead me down an exciting and fulfilling path. The notion of choosing one interest so you “don’t spread yourself too thin” was commonly heard and became a constant pressure masked as a quiet voice in the back of my mind. The older I get, the more I see this idea as prohibitive, and it’s a social construct that I’m completely rejecting from here on out. After all, as a kid you haven’t yet been given the room to grow and understand yourself. How could you possibly decide on a course of action that your adult self would absolutely love or even be grateful for? It’s nearly impossible.
While growing up, reading blogs and watching YouTube became a significant part of my escapism. By being able to connect with different people who shared interests of mine, a sense of community developed that was only ever a few clicks away. I began to learn from other’s experiences, relate to the difficulties they’d faced, as well as having my eyes opened to a world that has now become one of my greatest passions: makeup.
As a past star-student who, despite the odds once stacked against me, achieved A*A*A* in my Geography, Business Studies and Psychology A-Levels, it may come as a surprise to people that makeup is such a big part of my life. Often this area is seen as vacuous, with many people having an innocent lack of understanding of the expanse, influence and importance of the beauty industry. In my early teen years, even though I wore makeup, I wasn’t particularly interested in it. However, after I started to get poorly at the end of 2016, everything changed.
When I was 18 I started to develop my first symptoms and was ultimately ill and stuck at home for around two years. Now that I’m better, looking back I can see how the debilitating nature of my condition drastically altered my view of, and attitude towards, life. While appreciating the importance of eventually choosing a career path, I began to recognise how time and patience were a necessity if I were to ever fully understand myself and what I wanted to do with my life. And I also recognised that your enjoyment, be that in respect to hobbies or people or work, should never be anything less than a priority. Throughout my health battle my skin started to suffer, and this is what drew me to the makeup world of YouTube – a world that I didn’t even know existed beforehand, but one which will forever have my heart. Through learning about techniques and different products, slowly but surely my confidence started to rise and I was able to cope better with my newfound set of circumstances. While I’m generally much better today than I was a few years ago, I will forever have to deal the consequences of my health. Makeup has given me an almost therapeutic tool that helps me to be creative and feel my best. Blogging and YouTube introduced me to so many people around the world who, like me, once needed that creative outlet, that area to escape to, but who have now grown in confidence and blossomed into who they were always meant to be. Near or far, being able to relate to people across the world truly helps you to feel a little less alone.
So, where did torivale.com start? During my time at home when I was poorly, I actually found myself learning a number of skills including photography, videography and editing, finding art-forms that I loved so much that I couldn’t, and still can’t, see myself ever turning my back on. In truth, building my own outlet where I could create a space on the Internet for others to relax in, learn in and to explore, felt like a calling. It felt as though it was a natural and necessary step to have an area where I could channel my creativity and academic interests, ranging from photography to reviews, and social-political issues to food and more. I’d known for years what kind of content I’d been searching for, and I thought back to what I would’ve wanted as a young teen going through the trials and tribulations of a kid growing up in the modern, digital-age world.
“Developing into a digital creator has been one of the most fulfilling processes I’ve ever experienced. I never expected to find an outlet where, from start to finish, every stage is exciting, positively challenging and joyful. And to have been able to combine it with makeup, as such a strong and important passion of mine, has made it all the more special. While I still have a lot to learn, finding digital creating has been a blessing, and is something I’ll continue to cherish with immense gratitude and hard work.”
After figuring out that I no longer felt comfortable within our society’s current educational system, blogging has also kept my academic spark alive. In a world where destruction and despair can be found within a moment of unlocking our phones and opening an app, I know I’m not alone in finding it difficult to navigate my way through our ever-evolving politically-charged lives. Sometimes it’s easy to just switch off, but I have a curious mind and always find my way back to reading and wondering. One of my aims for torivale.com is to provide people with a space on the Internet that’s reliable, safe and calm: Where you can find plenty of articles about brands, products and delicious recipes, I want my platform to also focus on the idea that we’re all learning about the world together. With no judgement, but rather focusing on the traits of consideration, compassion and respect, I hope to help make education as stress-free as possible. By improving our understanding of ourselves and one another, we can be mindful of how we can show support and progress towards a better life for us all.
At the time of writing, it’s December 2020, and while being snuggled under a blanket, tapping away on my laptop in a cozy, dimly-lit room, I’m momentarily immersed in the notion that, today, life as we know it has never felt so predictably unpredictable. Before, the future – while we couldn’t know for certain – seemed clear, full of hope, opportunity and freedom, whereas now we’re living in a time where tomorrow could bring yet another bizarre twist to this mind-boggling story. While many of us have regained our love for old pastimes or ventured into new creative journeys, it can’t be denied or under-appreciated how feelings of isolation and disconnection have infiltrated into all of our lives. From not being able to give our friends and elderly relatives the hugs that we all desperately need, to feeling alone and confined to the four walls of our homes, it’s essential that we protect the little pockets of comfort that are within our reach.
With all that in mind, I really hope that my blog can become an area for you to escape to, to have a moment of fun in a world which can often feel slightly crazy. While currently Beauty, Food and Learning Together are my three featured categories, I’m so excited at the prospect of expanding into fashion and travel, as well as giving a more detailed look into the work created within my family’s 30-year-old interior and architectural design business, Cheshire Furniture Company.
With love always,