just jump already
A brilliant post over at OK Great, one of my go to blogs… This puts so eloquently feelings that I am sure everyone, designer or otherwise, have come to face at least once before.
Today was a really bad day. My projects went haywire. My boss gave me shit. I spilled my entire coffee before the first sip. The worst part was that today I felt like I couldn’t do my job and I couldn’t articulate why. I felt like I somehow got funneled into an office, at a desk at eight o’clock in the morning through no power of my own-I just somehow plopped down where I was and I felt horrible. I wanted to quit. Luckily, I had some friends talk me off the ledge, a big fucking salad for lunch and…a list. Lists always make life easier, right?
Five things that made me quit being a designer/employee/machine and start being me: (warning-no pictures, just words)
1. Take a deep breath, duh.
We creatives tend to be emotional people. Whether it’s solely about our work, or in all aspects of our lives (like how a certain movie that may or may not be titled Garden State makes me so angry that I erupt in fury tears) it’s easy to get caught up in a moment of despair or self-loathing. Hold. Up. A second. And just take a breath. Stop thinking about rejection and start thinking about rejuvenation. Sure, that sounds like an icky yoga word, but the meaning really is what I’m after. When we’re stressed or low or beaten down we’ve got no juice left. We need to take a deep breath and go back to the things that make our eyes widen, our pens scratch wild and our minds make overly-complicated webs. Take a walk, fly a kite, look at old trains or whatever gets you inspired. Preferably something that takes you outside of your dank ass cubicle. Like, something other than your Google Reader. Talking to you, me.
2. Fight Back
If your boss is stuffing your face into proverbial (or actual) poop or your colleagues are talking over you in the pitch meeting, you best correct that situation. Collect yourself, remind yourself of who you are and what you have to offer and be in the business of solving problems even if that means you have to solve their attitude problem by being even more enthusiastic, eager to listen, cooperate and do right by your client, your company and the stubborn boss man who hired you and writes your check. Fight back, or as your mother would say, “kill ‘em with kindness.” I’ve adapted that to read,“kill ‘em with the smile that says I am slightly better than you but don’t need to let you know that.”Seriously, if you’re honest, talented, thoughtful and positive with the best intentions, no one can ever say anything that bad about your logo.
Either that or go listen to Thin Lizzy REALLY, REALLY loud. I don’t know, always gets me pumped.
3. Take a holiday
Even Frank Chimero says it’s necessary. Me, I’m planning a trip to Norway in 2011 to celebrate my 30th year of being the sweetest bitch alive. Let me tell you, that sort of thing supplies you with a lot of day dream material for the essential fuck-off periods of the day. Usually 3:15. Yup.
4. Keep it light
Dudes, there are really funny gifs of kitties out there. How the hell can you be upset when such things exist???!??
5. Just jump already
No, not that kind of jumping. When I say jump, I mean take a damn risk already. The real reason I was so low today is because I got lazy. No one hurt me, no one robbed me. I just got tired and let the dream go. The dream of owning my own business. The dream of traveling the world and writing about it. The dream of wearing all Chanel, all day, guilt free. Whatever you’ve got in your head, don’t ever let it go. Don’t get stuck in a private beige routine of bitching and feeling sorry for yourself. Jump off the that bridge and see what happens. If it’s a mess, you’ll make it pretty again somehow. You’re a great designer, remember.