And then it all changed

July 9th, I got an unexpected e-mail about a graphic design opening at a nearby company.
July 10th I replied to the email with an expression of my interest to learn more.
July 11th I talked on the phone with the CEO of the company.
July 14th I had an interview.
July 16th I had a job offer.

This has been a bit of a whirlwind of events.

So what am I doing now? I am a full-time Graphic Designer for California Pet Pharmacy. This means I make graphics for their website, banners, headers, and other sundry items; I also put together print materials for them.

Even though I’ve only been at this job a little over a full work day, my first day was Friday the 18th, I already feel an immense amount of internal peace and joy about it. The culture of the company is very startup, but with the expectation being that you work hard when you’re there but when the work hours are over … you’re expected to go home. The work area in an open layout and the CEO/owner and his right hand guy are commonly found in the work space with the rest of us.

It is rather difficult to put into words how I feel about this job. I am very thankful, excited, hopeful, and very … relaxed. I guess you could say, it “feels right”. The expectations are things I know I can meet and exceed and I feel like this is a prime opportunity to grow, personally and professionally. The sense of peace and relax-ed-ness (not a “real” word) are possibly the most interesting feelings. It is almost like a weight has been taken off my mind and shoulders. I feel lighter and like my mind has more space to do interesting things, not just drown out the background noise of looking for work.

The short of it all is that I am celebrating the blessing work and eager to see what the future holds!

There is Only One Way Out – Dealing with the Fear of Failure

This starts with Adam Savage:

This video really hits me where I live, as the kids say. The speaker is Milton Glaser (his page, wikipedia) an icon in the design field, one of his most recognizable pieces of work is the I ❤ NY logo. And while he isn’t saying anything that hasn’t been said … for me it spoke to where I see myself as an artist/designer/person in process of growing.
The good news is, this is totally possible! Growth is achievable!
The bad news is There is some guaranteed failure.

:record scratch needle drop:

Me: Whut!
Truth Speaker: Yah, there’s going to be some failure.
Me: I’m not sure I like this any more.
Truth Speaker: Tough. But honestly is it so bad?
Me: Kinda :kicks at the dirt:
Truth Speaker: Stop that. Look. Really look. The people you admire, they failed.
Me: ORLY! :defiant arm cross: They ain’t failing now.
Truth Speaker: :glare: Look at the early early part of the archives on PVP [ Then & Now ] or the early part of Zap In Space [ Then & Now ]. Does this blow your mind?
Me: S’okay
Truth Speaker: Look closely. These pages are far from perfect. They were the best work that could be done at the time but they are not perfect. There is room for growth. When the artists look back at these they often feel a bit chagrined. They see how far they have come. You know how they got there?
Me: Yah. School!
Truth Speaker: Yes, instruction helps. But they got there by doing something, not quite making it the way they wanted and then trying again. Each time gets closer to the goal they seek to achieve. They failed repeatedly. But they didn’t let the failure define them.
Me: Ya but –
Truth Speaker: Hm?
Me: It’s hard.
Truth Speaker: It is. It is always hard. It gets easier, but it’s always hard. For you, it is harder to get started, with your personality type and the baggage you carry. But it’s not any harder than it is for anyone else. It may look different, and someone may have a smaller bag to put down, but you don’t know how dense the weight in it is. It could be full of lead shackles from ridicule and an unsupportive home life. We’re all carrying something. The sooner we put it down the sooner we can pick up the things we want to carry.
Me: ‘spose you’re right.
Truth Speaker: You know I am. A failure doesn’t make you a failure. Continuing to fail without changing makes you a failure. So get up. Yes, you’re going to fall, but get up. When you get up you don’t fail. When you get up, you get to try again. Embrace the failure. See it for what it is. Move on with the knowledge you gained.
Me: And I get scared.
Truth Speaker: It can be scary. It puts you in a place of vulnerability. That is always kinda scary. But it’s worth it. When you’re out there, it will be you that is appreciated. And if they don’t like you, well they aren’t going to. And if they don’t like you but you are yourself they will at least respect you. And those that do accept you will love you. The real you. Not a facade, not a prop, not an expectation, just you. You are enough.
Me: I am?
Truth Speaker: Always. You are worth dying for. And more than that you are worth living for. Say it to me.
Me: I am enough. I’m going to fail, but I’m not a failure. I will stand up and move forward. I define myself. I am enough.