It’s been a rough few weeks. On top of some difficult news with one of my most treasured and inspiring friendships, I’ve had my head buried in work for end-of-quarter deadlines while trying to manage haphazard grocery runs, random errands and impulsive purchases in a period of celebration yet grief.
The thought of social media and digital communication representing my day-to-day life feels like a lie, but at the same time, it also feels comforting to remember that I can connect with people IRL. Hopefully, technology can help facilitate that instead of become a crutch or barrier, and if not, then at least we can still create custom Slack emojis, thank you technology.
Mid-week skating has incentivized me to get some fresh air and start moving a little more, and my parents visiting and helping me with garden ambitions has been a welcome break. I’m also moving my newsletters to be every other week to create a more sustainable cadence and so that we can all get a little more sunshine this summer.
This week has been filled with opportunities to say no so that I can conserve my energy, deciding when “good enough” is, and remembering to play.
This weekend’s tip is to be mindful of how you’re evolving.
When I was younger, I sketched out a floorplan of my house with graph paper. I drew little boxes for all the windows, and remembered to get the weird angle where the tile stopped and the wood floor started. I felt so good about each little grid square and everything being accounted for that I was sure I’d be an architect, which is definitely not what happened.
Then, I thought the idea of going to fashion school was the ultimate dream, living in the city and having a book filled with active sketches, so I tried to create a portfolio of designs. I sketched an awkwardly proportioned model with a hippie vest on, and realized that it didn’t bring me joy.
I’ve been reflecting on my tunnel vision this past half-year with my ~ career ~ and realizing how mean I am to myself. The barkiest project manager of my life is myself, constantly holding me to the expectations that my Ennegram 1 “inner critic” sets. A few years ago, I didn’t want to “waste” any time in my career, and this week I asked myself, what even do I want anymore? What is fulfilling to me today, specifically in work? Where can I play now? I had to tell myself, “It’s okay if I’m not quite sure still. I’m not committed to anything. Just take it one step at a time.”
My tension in how I’ve approached my “work” since childhood has been characterized by exploring the balance between art and practicality. The idea of being an artist feels much different from when I was a child, but the joy that I’ve found from creating is born out of a love of play and exploration within constraints.
As I’ve grown up, my constraints, environments, and circumstances have certainly evolved, and I with them. Even after the past year, month, weeks, I feel my constraints changing again—with changes in friendship, loss, new responsibilities, birth, celebration, reflection, and ambition. I don’t feel the need to apologize that some things aren’t what they once were… and as someone who expected that in the past from others, I hope to approach this with others with greater understanding.
What I would tell myself in the past and future: let yourself evolve.