Yesterday, during my bi-weekly cleaning and purging of all my belongings (too much to explain now, will save for another post) I found a bookmark someone gave my when I graduated high school. It had dangling pewter charms at the top; a graduation cap, a rolled up diploma, and a small circle with ’06’ in it.
Running up the stem of the bookmark were these words: “Commencement means to begin.”
Now, emotionally, life post-graduation has been difficult, and not because college is over, but because the next phase of my life is yet to begin. At times it feels like I’m in limbo, and not a pleasant one. Initially, I was happy for a break before my inevitable entrance into the ‘real world’ of grown-ups and 9-5 days.
Then the terror set in, the fear of not being good enough, that maybe I chose the wrong career path, that I should have studied harder, that I wasn’t creative enough to be in advertising and no amount of schooling would change that.
And that’s a tough state of mind to be in.
Every writing professor (and teacher, because back in high school no one used the word professor) that I’ve ever had has talked about the Inner Critic. This is a part of yourself that second guesses, that tells you to stop trying because you aren’t good enough. It makes you over-think your work t the point of making it worse, and makes each bout of writers block (and other whatever you call mental blocks that occur during other creative endeavors) feel like the very end, a sign that you will never be what you want to be.
My inner critic became a constant companion this summer.
But then I got a new freelance project to get excited about; a friend of mine started a health care related non-profit and needed a logo design (currently in progress; will talk about in a later post). I was paid to paint a sign for the end of someone’s driveway (came out really nice, but I don’t have pictures of it yet). I was criticized by someone on Linkedin but on the same day someone else offered to introduce me to people who might be able to help me get a job.
And little by little my confidence is coming back.
It also helps that I have something concrete to look forward to: moving back to Boston. It has a downside; I’m going to have to get a job not related to my $200,000 education to make the rent, but the pros outweigh the cons. I’ll have independence again (I don’t have a license and I live in a small town, so if I want to go anywhere I need to bum rides off family members), I’ll be around friends (I haven’t stayed connected to many high school friends) and I’ll be in Boston, a city I love.
So that’s where I’m at.
Woo. Didn’t expect that to be so long. Til next time,