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Eeek, I quit my job!

Photo Credit: Georgia Burns

Today is official launch day of Terian Tilston Interior Design! Ahhhhh! It’s such a surreal moment for me really. It’s been a long time coming and I am hugely excited to see what the future holds, but I would be a total bullshitter if I didn’t admit that along with that excitement, confidence and belief, that there is an element of fear (or actually, many elements of fear pretending to just be the one fear, but actually about a million fear particles just floating around). Fear of the unknown, fear that I’ve taken too much of a gamble, fear of failure…..the list could go on forever if I allowed it to.

I mean, I have a small human to support, a mortgage….(insert other mundane adult responsibilities) and essentially I have just quit a stable profession which I spent what felt like an eternity studying to get into, not to mention the 6 or so years I spent practising in the field. So why would I just quit you ask. Well here’s why…

From as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a creative kid and had a passion for design, always looking at how one could improve things, whether it be spaces, objects, you name it, I was always looking at how things could be better. I would spend hours as a child, drawing and painting in my room or designing furniture, or redesigning my parents house!

When I was in primary school I remember confidently declaring to my P5 teacher that I was going to be an Interior Designer, which was a pretty bold statement for such a little one, especially considering most of the other kids wanted to be doctors, or nursers or hairdressers, (or something people had actually heard of at the time!) but I suppose I’ve never really been one to follow the crowd. My teacher was amazing, and rather than dismissing me as some deluded kid, she was so encouraging and would often let me help with designing the class room displays.

So what happened to that confident creative kid who was so determined to be an interior designer? Well, she was always there, but when it came down to the reality of choosing a career going forward, the thought of telling my pretty strict West Indian parents that I wanted to go off to art school rather than be a doctor or a lawyer, or some other traditional career with good regular income, sort of filled me with fear. Basically, if you want a peaceful life, you don’t want to mess with a Trini mama, so I did my time at law school and the rest is history I suppose.

The creative in me was always trying to break free and I just never felt settled in law to just focus on being a lawyer. I constantly needed a creative outlet and was always rebelling in some way or another to squeeze more and more creativity into my life. I’ve been running a soft furnishings business for a number of years, whilst still practising law, which progressed naturally into interior design work and for the past few years I’ve not only been working solidly on designs for my own house (as you have probably seen on Instagram!) but also for friends and family and more recently I was so fortunate to work on a pretty big project for various clients, which I will tell you more about when I can.

Also, it turns out I’m dyslexic, which is something I only found out when I was tested whilst I was at university. Yes….. university….. I was that old! I don’t really tell people about this, for various reasons, but being dyslexic explains so much about my need to be creative. It’s engrained in me, literally. My brain functions completely differently to those who are not dyslexic and although many people may think it’s a disability, I view it as a blessing as I am able to view things in a completely different way to others, which has been a huge benefit when designing spaces.

Although I’ve probably bored a lot of my friends to tears over the years with talk of how I was going to leave law and set up this amazing interiors business and take over the world… (I remember telling my boss in Personal Injury that I was going to be the next Laura Ashley! hahaha…..(ground swallow me now!)) I didn’t really think that would happen for some time. I mean, like I said before, I have a kid to support and other mundane adult responsibilities, so it always felt a bit selfish to just chuck it in and follow my dreams. I mean, when you have kids, your dreams are put on hold right? Or so I thought. That was until September 2018, when my mum passed away quite suddenly after a very short battle with cancer, which has completely changed my life forever.

I’m not sure if I will ever get over losing my mum and I think thats okay? In a short space of time I have learned some pretty life changing lessons. Some absolutely devastating, but also some really positive things to take forward and which have completely changed the way I view life.

I think the most shocking thing about my mum passing away for me was the realisation of how short life is and how much I previously took for granted that I will just live tomorrow, or another 10 years and so there will always be “time” to do the things I want to do. I know people talk about it all the time, but until you are faced with it, you just don’t fully comprehend the briefness of life and how fragile it really is. To put things into perspective, my mum was only sick for 7 weeks before she passed away. One thing, which is certain, is we don’t have an infinite amount of time to “get round to things”. The time really is now. It is so important to me to live the life I have to the fullest I can (I mean.. calm your tits, I’m not going to be going around jumping out of planes or cycling down hills or shit like that…) that means being true to myself and doing something which I was meant to do, something which makes me unbelievably happy, not only being Terian, shit hot business woman (haha… I’m cringing, but yet I’m not deleting this… why?) but Terian the Interior Designer.

So that’s my story, for now. Quitting my stable job was probably one of most scariest things I’ve ever done, but actually the bravest and most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. Who knows what he future holds really, but I suppose all that really matters is today I’m giving it a bloody good shot!



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