Long-Term

Long-term thinking squares the circle.
— Jeff Bezos

Seasons

Time has gone by so fast since my last post when I started my new internship and weekend job. There’s not much time to blog when I’m working seven days a week. Who knew?

Transitions are never easy, but they don’t have to be drudgery. Eventually we adjust to whatever it is that is changing. I feel like I have adjusted to my new workflow (lifeflow?), even though it will all be changing again.

I’ve learned to see more things in life as being temporary, subject to disruption. I’ve personally realized there are seasons in my life. They come and go in ways that are usually beyond my control. I have learned not to resist the changing seasons, but to anticipate when they will change and prepare myself to facilitate the change.

Taking the risk to come out here is probably the best thing I have ever done. It was a pivotal moment for me and many others in my life.

Now I’ve reached the point that most things here are second-nature to me. I could easily show someone all my favorite places around the city, even though I’m still discovering new ones.

I think when you grow up in a place, you tend to take it for granted, even if you don’t intend to. I sometimes wonder if I could done more in the region where I grew up. Maybe one day, but for now I am where I need to be.

Another Filtered Brain-Dump

You should know that when I set out to write a blog post, I usually don’t intend to write the mysterious, profound, philosophical things that I end up writing. I usually plan on writing about how my new jobs are going and what I’ve been doing lately, but it just comes out differently. I think it’s the artist in me attempting to create something beautiful out of what would otherwise be somewhat bland and straightforward. I guess you could call it a “filtered brain-dump” :P

Experiences

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.
— Steve Jobs

Connections

Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.
— William Plomer

Before & After iOS 7

Apple’s influence on the design world is remarkable. Flat design has been gaining steam for a few years now, but when Apple decides to adopt it, the world listens. I am a big fan of flat design and the new iOS 7 design language, although I haven’t used it yet.

New Gigs

This is my first week at my new gig as a Web Design Intern at Tightrope Interactive! Unless something comes up, I know where I’ll be for the next three months. That’s the farthest ahead I’ve been able to see since moving here, now that I think about it.

It was time for me to say goodbye to my last internship at Odysseus Arms. I learned a lot about the ad industry that I otherwise would not have known. I’m sure it will come in handy in the future. I’m grateful for the time I spent there and the friends I made. I will be keeping in touch with them.

It is a bit difficult to explain exactly what Tightrope Interactive does, but all you need to know is that I will be doing front-end web development and web design, which is moving more in the direction of what (I think) I want to do. It’s a good opportunity.

My other new gig for weekends is at The Melt, a grilled cheese restaurant chain. Last Saturday I used a Spread-O-Matic (yes, that is what it is actually called) to butter the most bread that I’ve seen in my entire life. Normally I’ll be on a food truck roaming the countryside, handing out grilled cheeses to the masses.

Working in food service is something I’ve never done before. All of this rapid change has happened in a matter of days. Fortunately, I didn’t have to move or that would have been a real kicker.

Change is hard, even when you are the one who initiates it. You don’t realize how comfortable you’ve become until you do something that stretches you. You also don’t know what you are capable of unless you go for it.

Putting everything on the line, and yet having nothing to lose. What a dangerous combination.

It Fits In Your Pocket!

The iPhone 5s should be a powerhouse. The A7 chip with 64 bit computing, the M7 chip (for a new generation of health and fitness apps), major camera upgrades, and the Touch ID (fingerprint sensor) are all exciting new features. I’m baffled by how they fit all of that stuff in the same size housing as the iPhone 5, while supposedly improving battery life (slightly). The new home button design is pretty slick as well.

Even though I could have upgraded phones a year ago, the iPhone 5 was simply not compelling enough to me. I don’t need to waste money just to have the latest and greatest if what I have works fine. Alas, my 3-year-old iPhone 4 has gotten too slow to do many intensive tasks and I often find myself waiting for words I just typed to show up on-screen. I have to carry it in my back pocket because its life-support aka battery-case makes it too thick to fit in my front pocket.

A few months ago I was seriously considering the HTC One for its bigger screen and sleek design. However, I decided against it because Android still isn’t clean enough for me. I know if I had Android I would be endlessly frustrated trying to customize everything to my liking. I would rather spend that time reading articles or doing something more useful on my phone.

While I would still like a larger screen like on the HTC One, I am willing to compromise for a smaller screen because I think the power-packed iPhone 5s and the sleek new iOS 7 provide a compelling combination. I also can’t wait to have LTE speeds, play Plants vs. Zombies 2, and carry my phone in my front pocket! Hooray

Adobe Generator

Game-changer. Makes slicing a thing of the past. First thing that’s really made me want to upgrade to Creative Cloud.

Work-Life Balance

I absolutely identify with what this article is saying. Millennials aren’t without fault, but we are definitely misunderstood. I think part of the reason is because we are, in many ways, idealists who refuse to be miserable at our jobs the way so many people have been in the past. We don’t want to settle for the status quo. 

Simply

You can set yourself apart simply by doing what you say you are going to do.

Time

Making it out here is being able to give your aspirations enough time to let them happen on their own.
— advice from a wise old man on the top of a mountain aka a text from an SF friend

End-Game

Don’t feel bad for me because I haven’t found a job yet. Although it’s not easy, I relish this time. That’s right, I said relish.

Finding a job is not my ultimate goal. It is not the reason I moved, nor is it my end-game.

High school and college are, in many ways, easy because your goals are defined for you. Your future is essentially linear. There is a plan, a schedule to adhere to.

And in that, there is a certain amount of solace. But it can only take us so far. At some point we have to face the future, naked and vulnerable.

And that’s hard. Arguably harder to do without a job because jobs help give us a sense of purpose. But why should we need a job to reaffirm our self-worth?

I’m not sure, but in this time I am learning to value myself outside of what I do. That’s a skill I don’t think many people have. Maybe I should put that on my résumé…

Getting Good at Starting Over

In my last post I talked about frustrations I have had with the job search. Since then I have, in a sense, started over again.

After getting advice from many good people, I’ve come to the realization that I have been doing all of the “right” things to the best of my ability, but I can and need to do more.

One change I need to make is to simply create more. Much more. Ideas flow like water, but translating those ideas into something tangible is a much harder process.

I also need to tighten and refine my “brand.” I know that I am skilled and talented, but communicating that to someone else who doesn’t know me is something I have found to be extremely difficult.

I am learning to see things from the employer’s perspective. I need to figure out how to separate myself from the negative connotations that come with being a Millennial.

I am not a victim of circumstance.