Today I went through my hard drive. There, digitalized in a tiny red plastic object (how amazing is technology?) were folders upon folders of stuff — photographs, letters, designs, movies, school work, shows, etc. It was a trip down memory lane, no, memory boulevard. When I opened my design folder I found things ranging from projects for friends to .jpgs I uploaded to my Tumblr. But one in file particular grabbed me.
While in school I was surrounded by design. I studied it. I did it for fun. Making simplistic desktop wallpapers for friends was something I did when I was procrastinating. Typographically depicting quotes of songs was a pastime when I was bored. Hours upon hours of photo editing was tiring, but so satisfying once I had a set of pictures I really loved. I used to eat, breath, and sleep art.
And now, almost two years out of college, that creative drug seems to be flushed out of my system. No, this wasn’t a realization I came across today, but something that has been like a marquee through my brain. Thoughts about the inadequacy of my skills, my lack of experience, loss of inspiration, and my fading and depleting knowledge have constantly haunted me. I’ve been living in a slum, both design-wise and personally. So seeing that image, an image I created and apparently felt so passionate about at one point in my life, hit me. Hard. But as I kept scrolling through my previous life another .jpg displayed on my screen.
How. freaking. fitting. I should slap former me for thinking so negatively. While self-pity feels like an escape, it is not a solution. Design is a solution (literally, graphic designers are simply problem solvers). Nothing is going to happen unless I make it happen. No more thinking and not doing, or finding a job description that sounds perfect, but letting it sit in ‘saved jobs’ on LinkedIn until it expires. No more being afraid of failing. Because I’m definitely going to fail if I don’t even try. I have family and friends who believe in me (the few job opportunities sent my way that I let slide are proof — my bad, y’all), the Lord by my side with his perfect timing, and a lot of work ahead of me.
And, heaven forbid, if I do fail I’m falling back on teaching.