It wasn’t exactly in my “grand plan” to find myself 5 years into my teaching career thinking, “is this really the job for me?”
First of all, let me clear things up. I don’t regret becoming a high school teacher. It is an exhausting, yet very rewarding job – seeing students grow up, graduate and start their own adult lives… Perhaps, that’s why I (initially) felt that taking a life detour into design was a “selfish” choice. You see, I was told growing up that there were “proper” jobs and “things you’d like to do”. Okay, so there were cultural influences at play here and obviously this attitude was a reflection of the times, so I’m not mad about it. But here is your explanation as to why I didn’t attempt this sooner.
‘They say that ‘the work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life’. My procrastination was always playing around in Illustrator (see for yourself on my website). After a while, being constantly told that I could and should be trying to turn this into a career by friends, colleagues and students alike, I was forced to look at myself and say what are you afraid of?
Fear. I know I’m not alone in letting insecurities and anxiety dictate the choices we make in life. That nagging inner voice that whispers, “who would hire you as a designer? Look how many designers are already out there much who are much better than you. They have degrees and years and years of head start on top of you”. I don’t think I’ll ever shake that voice and some days it is certainly louder than others, but then I’ve found 6 words that will help to propel me forward when I’ve fallen into that quicksand. I just might need to be reminded of them now and again. “Be a Warrior, not a Worrier”.
So that brings us up to this post. You’ve got to be crazy to walk away from permanent, guaranteed, safe and secure job to pursue something that does not come with a guarantee it will work out, right? Well, too late for that, I’ve done it now! Whilst anyone who knows me can tell you I’m not a gambling kind-of-man, I’ve gone and raised the stakes even higher by sharing my journey with you. Do I have what it takes to get this new career off the ground? Time will tell.
If this story resonates with you in anyway, if you walked a similar path or just have any wise words for this shaky newborn calf that is trying to find his feet, tweet me! I’d love to hear your stories. I’d like to believe that there are people, just like me, who will read how this story unfolds and will be inspired to create their own.
I was afraid that it was too late for me to 'start again'. I was bluntly reminded by wise friends and colleagues, it was not. Life is not linear - you owe it to yourself to try. You don't want to look back and regret the opportunities that could have been.