I’ve been making vague posts about Changes for a while now, and I think the time has come to tell you everything. It’s kind of a long story, but you’ve trudged through so many of those here by now that I think you’ll maybe stick around for this one too. Because, you see, this is a big deal for me.
So, here goes.
I’ve never made any real decisions in life. I’ve just sort of drifted into this point in time and space by accident.
I spent most of my teens believing I’d grow up and be some sort of writer. And then one day I happened to paint a pair of shoes. My friend Frank liked those shoes, and he happened to make me a Facebook page and people happened to place orders. So I painted more shoes. And then, when I got sick of the smell of canvas and rubber, I started painting other things. The whole painting thing took on a life of its own and it took me to some really random places. Which I liked, mind you. I didn’t know I could paint till I was 20, and I didn’t know just how much I’d come to love it until much later, when I started painting small canvases. It never made me much money, of course, and I knew that at some point I’d have to get a real job doing real things.
At which point, C suggested I learn Photoshop. He pointed out that if I can do art I can probably do design and I thought – wow, this is so much cooler than MS Paint. So he taught me some basic Photoshop, and I learned more and started doing some freelance design work and then that took on a life of its own. I got a shit agency job that set my career back by thousands, hated it, stuck it out and quit it 6 months later to join Webly. That was almost three years ago, and Webly’s been on a roller coaster ride of its own since then. And I rode along and evolved in a very peculiar and unplanned direction: from Graphic Design to Web Design to eCommerce to UI/UX.
If you’d met me three years ago, you’d never have predicted I’d specialize in UI/UX Design someday. I wouldn’t have predicted I’d specialize in UI/UX design someday. Or that I’d actually be good at it. But I did, and I am, and honestly, I enjoy it.
Only I’m not a UI Designer at heart. At least, I’m not only a UI Designer. Or even a designer at all. And I’ve been unhappy for a while now because at some point, I turned 25. And when you’re a quarter of a century old you begin to feel less invincible. Things begin to feel more transient and you realize that time and youth are running out and if you don’t like where you’re heading you need to start rerouting now. Old age will happen to you someday. And then, when you’re 40, and you look back at things and ask what you’ve done with Life and all the lemons it threw at you…well. I don’t want to say that I took those lemons and built some good UI.
Don’t get me wrong. UI Design is great. It’s challenging and fun and it takes time to get good at it. But you see, Zonk, I used to do a lot of things. I used to paint and make music and blog like a maniac. (A cookie to you if you get the reference.) I still do all of those things, but only barely. I last painted in October. I have only 2 posts on Bleak Person Chronicles. I’ve been playing more music lately but these spikes happen in fits and bursts and I’ve found that I can’t sustain it.
And so, I panicked. And I told myself that by December, I will Make Some Changes and then proceeded to do absolutely nothing. And then December rolled around and I panicked again and told myself that by March, I will Make Some Changes. And to make sure I did that, I let the people at work know that Changes were on the charts and I’d be doing something differently by the time March ended and I might even leave. Nobody knew what the fuck to make of that, of course, because I really didn’t have a clear idea of anything to begin with. I only had a whole lot of discontent and a sense of tragic waste and a vague need to do something about it.
And now, because this post is getting way too long, I’ll break it off here and go into the actual changing bit in part II.