How I Jumped Off
I’m posting a different kind of blog today- one that is on the more personal side. I’m sharing my creativity story, complete with drama about fear and self-doubt, and how I arrived at using my creativity to make a living.
Before we dive into this month’s recap, I’ll divulge a list of secrets and stories. If you’ve envisioned your future using a vision board and you are ready to leap but are feeling stuck, maybe my story will help. I also compiled a list of inspirational quotes, one of which is your free printable for this month.
Before coming out with it all I want to preface this post with this: I believe it is extremely important to align your occupation with something you are very passionate about.
Every career path has ups and downs, and if you believe in what you doing, you will find it easier when the going gets tough. A quarter of all salaried workers say they put in at least 60 hours per week (Gallup Work and Education Poll). Most of us spend at least 1/2 of our waking hours working, so doing what we love is super important!
OK, [deep breath] here we go:
My List of Secrets:
1. My first dirty little secret is that I am a mostly self-taught graphic designer.
When I was in college, I was passionate about our natural environment. Sooo, my degree is in environmental science, which I promptly used to better the world by working for a humane society, a river restoration group, and an organization that worked to promote efficient and renewable energy. I was aligning with my passion in these jobs, but I also noticed that I loved wearing the marketing and graphic design hat at each of them, too.
While working for non-profits, I took a few college classes to learn more about graphic design because it piqued my interest and I wanted to do a better job of it in the positions that I held.
Learning and growing don’t stop when you are finished with school. Curiosity and intrigue are integral parts of passion (and creativity!). Investing your time and a bit of money in learning opportunities is paramount to your sanity. You and your future are worth it. And who knows, maybe it will lead to your next career down the road!
2. My second secret is that when I did realize I was done with non-profits I didn’t stop right away. Because I was scared.
I was scared of taking a risk. What if I was putting my family in financial jeopardy? What if I let the non-profit I worked for at the time down by quitting? And the biggest fear: What if my lack of degree meant I wasn’t good enough? You can imagine all the crazy scenarios I dreamt up to prevent myself from moving forward, but luckily, one spring morning I was walking from my car to the office, the flowers were blooming, the air smelled fresh and I realized I did not want to go to work. I was dreading it, and not only was I dreading it that day, but I realized I had been dreading it for weeks. I needed to change.
While trying to decide what I needed, I envisioned looking back on my life and feeling I’d wasted many of my waking hours doing something that I no longer felt good about. I didn’t want to ever live with that sort of regret. If you are contributing to the world in a way that is meaningful, it is time well spent. Aligning your vocation with your passion helps you become resilient during low times and your victories become sweeter.
3. My third secret is about my marriage. (Sorry honey!)
The day I realized I needed to change careers I went home after work and told my husband. And he freaked out. Mostly on the inside, which was nice for me.
Luckily, he quickly grew to trust and support my decision, which meant the world to me… because I still get scared. I learned how important it is to support others when they are ready to take a big scary leap. And now when my husband or other loved ones tell me they need to make a big change that may affect me, I do my best to not freak out. I listen and ask them how I can help.
I still have doubt and struggle. But the passion I feel about being a designer and the support of my family and friends is carrying me through.
Quotes Can Help
I find inspiration for making such leaps in the wise words of those who have gone before me. Here are a few of my favorites:
“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.” – Simone Sinek
“Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.” – Henry David Thoreau
“Many of us have created lives that give very little support for experimentation. We believe that answers already exist out there, independent of us. What if we invested more time and attention to our own experimentation? We could focus our efforts on discovering solutions that work uniquely for us.” – Margaret Wheatley, Author and Management Consultant who studies organizational behavior
“Desire! That’s the one secret of every man’s career. Not education. Not being born with hidden talents. Desire. ” – Bobby Unser, Retired Car Racer
Are you struggling with ‘What is Next?’
What is your story (either past or currently) about making the leap into something scary? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
And at last, on to the monthly recap…
The Monthly Recap
Itchy Green Thumb
No, I don’t have a weird gross disease. Its just that the days are getting a little longer, which always fills me with the notion that spring might just become a reality, after all. I’m always jumping the gun, but I figured that making plant labels to inspire you is a good task while it is still too cold to be planting most things outside.
If you have any sort of green thumb, you are going to want to check this out. And if not, these labels will make great gifts for the people in your life who like to garden or tend to their house plants.
What Do You See In Your Future?
Want to make a change, but don’t know what that might look like? Making a vision board to create your own future is a great place to start. What the heck IS a vision board? Think of it as a collage that helps you visualize your future.
Tattoo Bling is a Thing
This month’s ‘Interview a Creative’ focuses on my niece Ana Lara-Steely, who let me know that tattoo bling is a thing. I watched Ana grow up expressing herself and observing how creativity manifests through her. She is an amazing illustrator and she has inspired me to take a fresh look at my old ink.
Tattoos may be permanent, but using bling, bindi, glitter or other decor to dress them up is my suggestion for this week’s creative break. Don’t worry if you don’t have any tats; your foot, arm or leg is a blank canvas and full of potential.
As always, if you know someone who would enjoy these posts, please feel free to use those little pink buttons on the left-hand side of the screen to email or share the love!