Edit: You should read Part I of this post first [in case you haven’t already.]
So, once I told everyone that things would change by March, I went into full stress mode. Now that I’d told actual people about this I had to actually make something happen or accept that I’m a piece of shit and forever be The Girl Who Couldn’t. So I started to think of what I’d like to do with most of my time for the rest of my life. I spoke to people doing different things in different fields – psychologists and writers, other kinds of designers. I even tried to network. Ugh. And I slowly started to realize that I don’t want to do any one thing forever.
Here’s the problem, Zonk: I don’t have a calling. I never did. I’m interested in a lot of things and I care a lot about doing every one of them and that’s a sticky situation. If I got myself another design job (I figured I do want to stick with design afterall), I’d still not find the time to do justice to anything else. My problem was not the job itself, but the fact that it sucked up all my time and energy and left nothing over for anything else. I considered going freelance, so I’d have more time to myself, but I’ve done freelance before and it turned me into a crazy person. I’m older now, and wiser, but still. Freelance is not for me, at least not yet.
And so I figured I’d try to go part time. I spoke to Kunal, who has aced the art of bending time to suit his own needs: he’s a copy writer and entrepreneur and piano student rolled into one. I spoke to more people and got some offers and felt relieved because it was not yet March but things were happening and this was at least possible. But I also really did not want to leave. And so I spoke to the people at the office again and asked if they’d want me to come in 3 days a week instead of 5 and, because the Universe was being so magnanimous already, they said okay.
I was supposed to be working three days a week, this month onward. But stuff happened and I postponed it by a month. The month is halfway through now. In May I’ll start with my three day arrangement: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays only. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are for learning to record, making music, painting, blogging, making t-shirt designs, random projects once in a while if they feel worth it, and so on.
I read this post recently and realized that I am an Impostinator. While I’ve been busy and working hard all these years, I’ve just been procrastinating on doing the things that are truly important. Because I’m fucking chicken. It takes balls to admit you care about something and work hard at it and put it out there. It takes balls to try to change things when they aren’t exactly broken. It’s easy to drift around in a haze of discontent, or to tell myself that I’d do this if only I had the time.
But what if I could have more time? What if these excuses exist only because I do nothing to get rid of them? One size does not fit all, and I’ve known for a while now that I don’t want a standard career progression. I don’t want to be Creative Director of anything. I don’t want to have a team of people under me and tell them what to do. I’d suck at that. I just want to do my work. And I want my work to tell a truer story of who I really am. I am no one thing. I am a little bit of many things and that’s alright. I am a designer. But I’m also a blogger and a songwriter and a painter and none of this needs to amount to anything. But it does need to exist. I do need to have something to show for all the things I care to do, and if time is what it takes, then well. I should be a whole lot happier now.
And that is how this ends. Or begins. Who knows how these things go. Hopefully, I’ll have more to report in a few months’ time. Thank you for listening, Zonk. You’re awesome. We should meet and drink someday, and I will listen too.