I have had the kind of work week that makes me incredulous that my job is actually considered a job. I got to go to digital media conference in Dallas for two days, which basically means I got to learn (yes!), hear different perspectives on the industry I love and meet new people. For an introvert, it’s amazing how exhilarating it is to walk up alone to a circle of people I’ve never seen before and not only make unawkward conversation (always a win), but also some new friends.
It’s given me a much needed refresher on work life this week and reminded me that I’m lucky to be where I am right now, even though I don’t always remember that. Maybe I’m an optimist (okay, I know I’m an optimist) but when I think back on the different phases of my life so far, no matter how much I struggled or thrived during them, my rose-colored glasses are definitely on. I don’t usually think, “wow this sucked” or “I regret doing this or doing it this way;” for the most part I think, “I’m so grateful for that time because ___.” It helps shift my perspective to tell myself how I’m going to look back on this time of my life and really appreciate it…so I better be appreciating it now!
Feeling ‘free’ has been a bit of a theme for me this week, as you might pick up on from my pinning spree below. These photographs and quotes have been reminding me to take a deep breath, rest a little then get out there and embrace life. I’ve been in a resting phase for a little while now, trying to avoid too many social plans, etc. Now I’m just ready for all that the very busy month of February has planned for me, starting with this weekend: Valentine’s/couples dinner at the very hard to reserve Lucia in Bishop Arts (!), freelance work and celebrating life with friends at a big post-church brunch. Can it just be Friday afternoon already?
A big part of ‘Finding Tiffanys’ for me is my career. As I have stated before, it took me a little longer than most to figure out what I wanted to do. If it wasn’t for a certain fantastic professor and a pushy, encouraging peer, I would probably still feel a little lost. But ever since I have discovered my passion for advertising, branding, design and technology, I have never felt more myself or excited to learn in my entire life. Although I don’t expect I will be applying for any graphic design positions any time soon, design specifically is something that is currently my call to the wild. I want to do branding, and to me design is a huge part of that strategic communication. So, inspired by starting this blog, I decided I should get my head out of design books and newsletters and do something about it.
I am proud to say that I am putting myself out there in the design world. This started with joining the DSVC and attending their networking and speaker events. The first one I went to featured Connie Birdsall of Lippincott. An agency responsible for Sprite, Ebay’s redesign and transforming Starbucks into more than coffee (I want to be Connie Birdsall, in short). One of Birdsall’s points really stuck with me –
“My strategist have to think like designers and my designers have to think like strategist.”
YES! This pretty much summed up where I see my career going and solidified that I was doing something right by being at that meeting.
This week I attended a Mentor Matchmaking event with AIGA [ a professional association for design ]. Two of the mentors I spoke with totally “got” where I was coming from and encouraged me to explore this passion more. They didn’t make me feel silly for trying design or attending designer events before I even really learned Photoshop [ which was absolutely needed. It took me a glass of wine to get myself there, and even then I was tremendously nervous being among real designers. Furthermore, there is nothing worse than someone making your dreams feel silly ]. One mentor told me that the former president of AIGA DFW didn’t get into design until he was 25, and now he owns his own branding shop. BOOM.
Another certain mentor instructed me to fully immerse myself in design. Read about it, try it out and continue to attend these networking events. So, that is what I intend to do. I have all the programs, YouTube has the free education, and so now all I need to do is, in the words of Nike, Just Do It.
I can’t wait.
Photo credit (1)