Viewing all posts for Life
That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. But no, not in the way you think of “getting lost.” I’ve been getting lost…in my work, and in a good way. I love getting projects where I can’t eat or sleep until I’ve solved the problem, that doesn’t sound exactly healthy, but it’s not something I do a lot of time, which makes it special when a project comes along that makes me feel that way. It makes me feel excited to get the job done and make the deadline. I will blame that for my lack of posts for the past few weeks, but anyway…I thought I’d take the time to reflect and appreciate how things fall into place in life and to always stay positive and active in your pursuits. I really believe that you can’t put all your eggs into one basket. You can’t expect just one thing to satisfy all of your creative energy, your happiness, your motivation, your drive, etc. I’ve learned that when one thing isn’t going right to move on to the next and that other thing will sort itself out along the way. It’s never healthy to expect ONE thing (or person) to solve ALL of your problems or questions in life, or to make you happy. It’s really an accumulation of everything. That way, if one endeavor goes wrong or one person disappoints you you have another endeavor or someone else to turn to give you hope and excitement.
“I like it when somebody gets excited about something. It’s nice.”
– J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
You also have to learn to let go of things you can’t control. If something happened yesterday that made you feel embarrassed, stupid, or crappy, let it go, it happened and you can’t take it back, you just keep moving forward.
The best things in life are meant to be shared.
I knew I had to pick up something from Dana Tanamachi’s limited collection at Target and when I saw this at my local Target I just had to get it, it’s the Best Things Decal. It’s a lot bigger than I thought it was (from looking at photos online), but the perfect size for above our couch and I love how big it is, it really stands out in the perfect way! We never got around to hanging up frames on this wall, but I guess it all worked out. This will be such a great back drop for photos.
Here’s a close up. Looks seamless, eh?
As for our process we marked the wall first to give us a general guideline of where we wanted it (I would suggest you mark guidelines for at least the top half, where it should start and end), but we had more trouble getting it smooth and bubble-free, which I think is just the nature of a decal. We had to remove it and reapply the first half a few times, but even after peeling the decal off a few times it still held up and adhered well to the wall. It was our first time using a decal, so we had a little bit of trouble getting it aligned correctly, getting all of the bubbles out, and recovering from the decal getting stuck on itself and ripping at a corner (make sure you’re aware of the curves while you’re peeling the decal off the backing! I think I was too excited. Luckily, the rip is minor). The instructions it comes with suggests you to peel the decal off about 2 inches at a time and smooth out the bubbles as you go, moving from the middle out. Once you get the top portion down the bottom half is a breeze. We’re a bit of perfectionists, so we had to make sure everything looked right.
Tip: Put a blow dryer to the bubbly spots and then continue to smooth outwards, it did the trick.
What do you guys think?
Today marks my 1 year as a full time freelancer. It’s really crazy to think that it’s been a full year that I’ve been working on my own (and I’m still here!). A lot has happened and a lot more that I wish I accomplished, but I can say I did everything the best I knew how and took on things I never imagined I could’ve handled on my own. I’ve had a great deal of guidance from friends and family that have gotten me through the emotional and the business end of things and I couldn’t be more grateful for their endless support and help.
I think what a lot of people don’t realize is how much work being a freelancer (or running your own business) entails. Because I sure didn’t. Before fully committing to freelancing I thought little ol’ me could never find clients and run things on my own and make my own money to pay off my loans and bills, but sure enough I somehow managed and exceeded my expectations by following my gut and drive to keep moving forward (even if that meant paying more taxes!). Sure, freelancing has its perks (not having a boss to answer to, setting your own work schedule, working in your pjs, going out in the middle of day), but at the end of the day all of those things added together can’t even begin to amount to all of the hard work and worrying you go through trying to manage your projects and yourself. For one, I still keep to a strict schedule of my “working hours” and try not to respond or read emails after “working hours” (I think it’s been harder for me to do this than when I was working an office job). I’m also still trying to figure out the down time that comes with freelancing, you know when the work starts to run dry and you’re not entirely sure what to do with yourself besides worry. I definitely need to learn to embrace the calm whenever and however long I can get it.
It’s always good to stop and see how far you’ve gone and how much you’ve accomplished and give yourself a pat on the back every once in a while. The cherry on top for me is I’ve never felt more happy and fulfilled with my “job” and my life. I would’ve loved if a few things worked out a bit better, but I’m learning not to dwell on the failures and just keep pushing and creating.
Here’s a good quote to sum up what I’ve learned in my journey so far:
Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart.
I only recently started reading Seth Godin’s blog (this year, I know where have I been?) and everything he writes about is always relatable to different aspects of your life. He’s such an amazing speaker (I had the privilege of attending his Creative Mornings talk in NY in May) and thinker. Sorry for the vagueness, but that’s the best I can describe as I write this in my 85 degree room in this humid, rainy, gross NY weather.
His latest post on money really got me thinking about the way I’ve been thinking about money lately, especially being a freelancer money doesn’t come in the form of a stable paycheck every month and feeling doubt and worry is a daily thing, especially when you’re new to freelancing. Here are a few key points that really stood out to me:
2. Money spent on one thing is still the same as money spent on something else. A $500 needless fee on a million-dollar mortgage closing is just as much money as a $500 tip at McDonalds.
12. Don’t get caught confusing money with security. There are lots of ways to build a life that’s more secure, starting with the stories you tell yourself, the people you surround yourself with and the cost of living you embrace. Money is one way to feel more secure, but money alone won’t deliver this.
16. In the long run, doing work that’s important leads to more happiness than doing work that’s merely profitable.
Seth Godin on Thinking About Money
I usually keep a post-it note on my desk to help remind myself what my next steps should be when I’m feeling unsatisfied, confused, burnt out, or steering off course.
Meaning is not only about transcending the self, but also about transcending the present moment — which is perhaps the most important finding of the study, according to the researchers. While happiness is an emotion felt in the here and now, it ultimately fades away, just as all emotions do; positive affect and feelings of pleasure are fleeting. The amount of time people report feeling good or bad correlates with happiness but not at all with meaning.
Be disciplined. Work hard. Be prepared to hear “no” a lot and don’t care. My dad taught me an important lesson, which is to look at why someone does something rather than what they actually do.
– Oliver Jeffers via The Great Discontent
Pleasure. Flow. Meaning.
– Ping Fu via Creative Mornings
I’m slowly learning to take breaks in between long periods of working at my computer coding until my eyes start to burn (hah, sounds great). I think it’s really important in productivity for a few reasons – 1. If you’re getting stuck and frustrated that probably means you’re thinking way too much and need a break from incessantly thinking, worrying, working, etc. 2. Taking breaks allows you to want to finish rather than get worked up about the project, deadlines, other projects, etc, it clears your head and refocuses your energy. For me when I don’t take breaks I’m more likely to stress myself out, make more mistakes in the process, and get stuck on something for longer than I should have, which wastes a lot of time especially if you’re on a tight deadline.
Anyway, that’s my rant for the day. Moving on to some pics of my random trip to the MET. I’m taking these from my flickr because I’m too lazy to resize them and re-upload them here, hah!
Also, I know I’m totally failing at this 365 Photo Challenge, but I think I’m getting better with my new DSLR! Which is what matters in the end, right?