Never give up.
There was a point in time when I was at rock bottom, of my professional life and personal life and just life in general. I wanted to give up. Forget wanting to live, I wanted my life to be a really bad nightmare. I kept thinking that I’d wake up and be back in my studio apartment where I lived after I graduated college. I wasn’t ever laid off from a paid internship… right? How does that even happen?
It was that point in time, that I resented more than anything. Being laid off from an internship. I graduated with all the hope in the world. I worked at the internship while I was in school, then continued full-time after I graduated. And, well I didn’t realize that the economy was going to shit. Maybe it was my fault for not paying attention? Maybe I was naive? I didn’t know what was going on in the world. I was working and supporting myself.
A few months later, I lost all contact with my family. Some time after that, I found myself lying in a hospital bed and thankful to be alive.
It was after that, I decided I needed to move. I needed to get away. I needed to start over. We get do-over’s in life, right? That’s what I needed. So I left. I left it all behind.
Life started to fall into place. But the most important thing was that I didn’t give up on being a designer. I know so many people who graduated around the same time as me that aren’t designers anymore.
One thing that they don’t tell you in college is that you will fail. And the only thing harder than design, is the design industry.
When I lost everything… I found myself. I never lost my passion for design.
It was that point in time that I didn’t want to “let things happen in my life” I wanted to “make things happen in my life.”
When I moved to California, I worked at Subway, as a sandwich artist. I never stopped freelancing, I never started creating, I redesigned my portfolio constantly, and rewrote my resume like it was my full-time job. I submitted job application after job application… I went on numerous interviews, I got tons of feedback. Everything finally paid off when I got a part-time graphic design job. Yes, part-time. But, at that point anything was better than Subway. Did I mention I was also about 6-months pregnant when I was hired? A month after I had my son, I wrote my degree a letter.
“Dear BFA in Graphic Design,
I’m so sorry for putting you down when I was unemployed. Also for saying I should have went to a real school and got a real degree. You are real, as real as rain. I was downtrodden and pessimistic, thinking I would never get a job. It wasn’t you, it was my location.
It’s because of you I got so many interviews when I moved, plus of course my awesome design skills… That ultimately landed my job. But today I have never been so happy to be in a profession where I can work from home and be home with my baby at the same time.
So thank you for allowing me to do this.