What If We're All Just Hairy Rocks?
What if... we're not as individual as we like to think we are?
We're all connected, right?
Then what is it that connects us?
I don't know, but I'd love to spend the rest of my life designing spaces that help answer this question.
Date: Wednesday January 25, 2017.
Location: 7th Street & Harrison Street, San Francisco, California.
Weather: Cold, sprinkling rain, windy, cloudy.
Wednesday I reflected on growth. The weather had been a bit awful the last few days and being outside was pretty brutal. I was also getting over a bad flu and adjusting to a new commute after being off work (and in my PJ's) for over two months. I was afforded the luxury of not working as my husband so kindly supports me and I was able to think long and hard for several months about what I wanted to do next. This was a pivotal moment in my life as it marked my half way point in the MASD program, and for the first time in my life, I was not afraid to be out of work. You see, my work had defined me since I was 18, more than my school ever had. School was always a place of fun, exploration and experimentation for me. School was encouraged by my parents but it was optional. Work, however, was not. I was raised to work and to enjoy working. Not working, or relying on a man, as it was phrased, was not only not an option for me, it was a trap. And so to ensure my never ending independence and self-sufficiency, I was afraid of ever being out of work. Fearing a thing can lead you to some pretty interesting places...
Well the only thing worse than not working is being in a job you hate. Of course, I've never hated a job before, but I've gotten bored many, many times. I've also taken lackluster jobs just to continue working. I've also found reasons to leave boring jobs, and then got bored not working and taken up other jobs to ease the boredom. Well, this time around I thought about a lot of things. You see, I had a lot of time to think. I evaluated my personality, the ideal environment for me, the type of people I get along with, and the skills and traits I like to use at work. I reviewed my work experience comprehensively and looked for themes in interest, and in dissatisfaction. More than anything. I wanted to do something I loved, which is nearly anything related to design and building. I also wanted to be around people who were not afraid to see me grow. No! I wanted to be in an environment where I was encouraged to grow, surrounded by others expecting the same! A place where I could plant myself for a time. and thrive. And so, I began to look for work. I was mentally ready to go back to work, but I wanted to be particular about everything from the team, to the culture, the pay, the benefits, the workspace, the variety in tasks, and the opportunity to grow in responsibility. With this very lofty list of ideal attributes, I found a place and team that I instantly connected with on all of these levels. At any other time in my life, I doubt I would have been able to identify and appreciate the opportunity in front of me, but because of what I knew and where I was, I jumped at it and have not looked back.
It's incredible when you acquire new information and you wait for your life to adapt to this new realization. It doesn't happen the way one may expect. I thought that I'd stay at my previous company for the duration of my time at MCAD, at minimum. And even though the work we did there was not sustainable, and even though the culture itself was not sustainable, I just assumed that because it fit my life two years ago that it would continue to work for me. In time I outgrew my role, and ended up with a new, more appropriate, and of course more sustainable, opportunity. Sometimes we just need to go to a different place for a time, to change our environment or the ingredients in our life for a different experience.
I've heard a saying that it's not the flower that is the problem, it's the environment. "When a flower doesn't bloom you fix the environment in which it grows." A seed will grow under the right conditions. A seed is always a seed, no matter where it is. If you're not growing, evaluate, and change, your environment. Don't be afraid to expect the best, to keep moving, and to keep growing.