I hate public speaking. It’s one of the reasons I got into being a Graphic Designer ~ being creative & productive behind a computer and coming out only to talk to a client about design work is my idea of bliss.
But what I hate more than public speaking is not having a voice… When I made the decision to go back to school at the mid point in my life, as a way to invest in my career, to be more creative and not bored on the job, and at the same time move cross country back to the City I love, most of my family completely dropped out of my life. So all around silence during a time when I wanted to share my enthusiasm and dreams.
I spent the last year doing online classes and one of them was the English creative writing class. I decided to turn that class into something productive for me and turned several journal entries into professional essays, so that I could systematically argue down every point that had been made against me by my family in their initial arguments against me. Topics like:
Expense of school vs. inspired career
Being inspired by where you live vs. faking it
Being around people who are inspired by art and life vs. people who fake it
Quitting a paying job with a 401K and puts food on the table vs taking a risk
Taking a Public Speaking class just seems like another opportunity to push past my fears and tell a part of my story in public.
Which is that a part of me wishes I could have stayed at my old comfortable – but boring job – stayed in my old routine in the lovely house I renovated, and enjoyed my garden and maybe best of all, my extremely comfortable sofa. But then my job in PA took a nose dive towards dead end, and I had to stop and ask some really big questions. Life is too short to be this depressed and to pretend it’s all okay because my sofa is really comfortable. I lived in SF 20 years ago, and decided to take vacations here the last two summers, as a visual sniff test, to see how it would feel moving back. All I can say is it feels like home.
I have a few lists, but the short version goes like this:
— Art and murals are everywhere – many more than 20 years ago
— Unconventional thinking, dreamers like me, people who want to do what they love, it’s all over the city
— There are design JOBS here …
— The cool crisp weather is a dream – no hot sticky summers and no massive winters, only Optional Snow
— Nature and gardening is everywhere, even in urbane SF. There are huge fir and olive trees planted all over the San Francisco airport, it’s an amazing combination of cement and nature.
There are a few things that I am finding out help along the way … One is that the more I talk to people here, the more I find out how similar our stories are. How people amazingly understand what I am doing. Of course you doing this, it makes total sense, I get it! The other is reading books like The Element, by Ken Robinson, or listening to videos like what we heard last week. I want to be around people who want to be creative or just do what they love, even if it means annoying people for not doing what THEY think you should do with your life. What I am realizing is that sometimes have push through your fears not 1 time but 1,000 times in order to make your dream happen. Week two is too soon to tell, but in spite of the huge adjustments I’ve had to make, and life being far from perfect, my senses continue to tell me that I am home, I am on the right track.