The world was a fast changing place and I knew the importance of a successful image. At the age of 27 I had created a successful online brand for myself. My personal brand was as important as my business brand. My father was a renowned businessman and I tried to distance myself from him as I forged my own path. I had a fire in my belly and a need to prove myself. I was the first born in the family but my father wanted a son. He arrived two years later, my younger brother. Throughout my life my achievements always paled into insignificance when compared to my brother. I won medals and trophies but my brother was lauded for the simplest of achievements. A distance grew with my parents as I felt no matter what my achievement it was not good enough.
My father had always groomed my brother to take over the family business empire and I was almost relieved to be able to find my own path to success to know it was due to my own intellect and innovation. No matter what my public image the anxieties and doubts were hard to hide from myself. As I built a brand I relied on marketing experts to run my social media accounts and my real personal life was hidden from the public.
I had begun dating Russell 12 months ago in a “whirlwind” romance. We met while I was on holiday in the Caribbean last summer. Russell was the CEO of a fortune 500 company and he looked like he walked straight off a runway. He would be considered the ideal man for most women but all I saw was the potential for my online brand. He pulled out all the stops to charm me and after a little resistance I gave in. He was ideal for the photo opportunities and the projection of a successful business and personal life but soon it was hard to hide the emptiness of the relationship.
Sex was an obligation once a month and Russell was obsessed with contraception. He always wore a condom and I once found him filling our used condom with water to check it had no holes. He always made me take the pill even though he was wearing a condom, his obsession with contraception was bordering on the insane. I never took the pill and I only ever took it in my teen years to regulate my periods. I hated the idea of a man trying to control me in such a way. I was no one’s property and I was never going to belong to a man or be controlled by a man. But for my brand why else would I be with a man like this?
21 was a big year for me as it was the year I graduated from University after successfully completing my qualification in computing but there was bitterness as soon after my graduation my father became gravely ill and suffered from a stroke. I had a job at a leading company but my family priorities took over. I had to take over the family business from my father and I felt the sacrifice was necessary. I did not want my skills to go to waste and I used them to bring the business into the 21st century. My father had been a jeweller and I worked in the family business from an early age but in this new age it was about image and tried to utilise social media to my advantage. Our small store began to gain some attention and I was proud of our achievements.
The likes of Sonia Patel were leading the field in this respect and she was an inspiration to me to have a built a successful brand but everytime she posted a picture I felt I could see an emptiness behind her eyes. I could not believe she was dating a tool such as Russell Cooper. He was the epitome of privilege. Their relationship seemed the typical social media driven fake relationship.
At the age of 30 I wanted to settle down but I could not find someone that appealed to me. A lot of the girls that I met wanted someone that would take care of them without any ambitions of their own. They just did not appeal to me on an intellectual level. Most successful career women would not consider me as suitable as I did not have a career of my own. Despite the fact that I ran a successful jewellery business they wanted someone that worked in the city. I wanted what I could not have.