“Perhaps you should just focus on work for now?”
These were the words my mother offered up when I mentioned my interest in taking a graphic design course later in the year. I laughed. She laughed. Focus on one thing? Not likely.
Without a doubt, I had an incredibly fortunate upbringing. I was raised by parents who encouraged me to try everything, taught me to believe I can do anything and for that, I am immensely grateful. I do however have a slight bone to pick with them.
I am insatiably hungry. Constantly.
Not for food but for things to do, things to stretch me and challenge my views of the world. Whether it’s picking up a new language, travelling to a new country, learning a skill or trying something I’d normally run a hundred miles from, my parents simultaneously blessed me and cursed by raising me with a “100% can-do” attitude.
Of course, this post is written slightly in jest. I do not really think it’s a curse. I do in fact pride myself on my drive, determination and work ethic. Always the geek/nerd/*insert other playground insult here*, it took me a while to learn not to give a s*** about what other people think but I did eventually get there and goodness me, what a sense of freedom it brings.
At the start of the year, I realised there were a number of things I’ve always wanted to do but never done either through lack of opportunity, lack of time or for having no reason except simply having not done them. So I’ve started working my way through that list.
One of the things I’m keen to do is learn graphic design. I love designing things but want to acquire the skills to convert what’s in my head into functional designs that I can do something with. Despite a fair few weekends looking through photoshop and indesign tutorials, I kept hitting a wall and really struggled to progress.
I was chatting to a colleague yesterday who recently took a graphic design evening course in London and I’m hooked on the idea of doing the same. It was when I mentioned this to Mum that she suggested I just focus on work but the truth is we both know that will never happen. All the clubs and activities I did while growing up made me a master juggler and the idea of my life revolving solely around work is just…depressing! Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and even when I’m shattered, I wake up looking forwards to work but there’s got to be more to life than work.
I’ve got a number of goals I’m currently working on; I’m sitting the highest level of the Korean Proficiency exams in two weeks time so it’s study time, I’m starting driving lessons in a week in preparation for the Mongol Rally next year, I recently started learning Farsi because why the hell not and I’m getting ready for my Cuba trip later this month…but even with all of this on the go, I’m still always looking for my next challenge.
So I think it’ll be the graphics design course…and did I mention one of the senior managers I work with is a sky-diving instructor?
Don’t tell Mum!