January 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
Long run planned for tomorrow, and a busy weekend ahead, one that I keep making busier and busier without realizing it. And here I am, still up. Brilliant as always, but why else is there coffee, right?
Willpower, focus, and dedication. How else do you prove that you truly want something? How else, without these things, do you deserve it? We can’t have everything, so what are things that we want to go to our graves knowing that we have sweated and bled for? How do we want to be remembered? What will be our legacy? If we had just one more day to live, one more day to change how people see us in their minds forevermore, what would we work fervently to do to cement that coveted identity?
At the end of a race, you may tell yourself that 5 more minutes of terrible pain are all you need to endure in order to push through with your all and be satisfied thereafter with a truly honest effort, if not a precious PR or a higher finishing place. Endurance, focus, and concentrated effort, a hunger for achievement, a blinding love for the singular task that you are left to perform. No one finishes a good race mulling over their taxes, or the dishes they left in the sink, or the boy that once disappointed you. No; you check your breathing, the angle of your arms, the speed and length of your stride, lengthen your spine and lock your gaze onto the finish line and pull out the magical last kick that pulls you through the end. The pain of the moment and the immediate future are diminished trifles, for those who desire fully.
This is all mine.
January 23, 2012 § Leave a comment
This week I took a little break.
I mean, I still went to work and everything. But the job search was completely stalled. I guess I got a bit discouraged and overwhelmed. I didn’t feel like doing more of what wasn’t working, or acting blindly without a good strategy.
So I ran a lot. My weekly mileage continued to climb and I logged just under 47 miles with improvements in time to boot. Am settling in with my running buddies in HGRR, and still loving the Queensboro Bridge runs that I do. I enjoyed the most magical run through Central Park yesterday early in the morning amid light snowfall and fresh snow all around. It made 14.75 miles feel effortless and brief, and I was truly in love with my surroundings.
I also convinced Glumac to enter the Waltz-Astoria’s Singer Songwriter Competition that is this coming weekend, and he convinced me to help him out with some accompaniment on stage. Getting back into piano is challenging but a little fun, and I know it’s not long-term so it feels like an appropriate distraction for the moment. His songwriting is stellar so anything I can do to start to get it out there is a definite good cause. Also, it’s all over after this coming weekend, if not Thursday.
I’m still meeting with and talking to a lot of the right people, and my mind isn’t completely zoned out of design. So I’m not worried about losing focus. Today I met up with GT, a former student of my motion graphics teacher Nicky D, and he had some encouraging feedback and advice. And he’s been in the mg industry since his junior year in undergrad so I feel that his advice is legit. Hopefully he’s right, and all I need to do is have some confidence in my work and search out firms I admire to ask for an internship. (I have decided that an internship is the way to go for me right now. Since I think I can swing it, I might as well. Foot in the door, more contacts and networking, confidence building, training, etc.)
So, newly bruised hip aside, I’m looking forward to seizing the coming week with renewed vigor, discipline and determination… As well as a more reverent attitude toward patches of ice that find themselves beneath my running shoes.
January 17, 2012 § Leave a comment
I did some calculations tonight.
This is very exciting.
If I can keep working 3 days a week at my current internship at $12/hr (let’s say $10.90/hr after taxes and deductions), and I maintain a monthly budget of $1650–$1800/month (which, thanks to my obsessive expense-tracking over the past six months, I know is well within reason), I won’t run out of money until the end of May. I did these calculations a couple times just to make sure I didn’t overlook anything jarring. And that’s even without taking into account any freelance gigs that I might happen to pick up.
Do you know what this means?
It means I don’t have to waste my time scrounging around for extra cash by working meaningless 8-hr days for petty change, and instead I can use the time and energy to focus full force on motion graphics. It means no more bullshit. It means no more wasting energy feeling frantic and crazy and stressed instead of being genuinely productive. It means I can get in my 40 hours/week of motion graphics practice, which from now until the end of May equals to over 700 hours of extra motion graphics practice. It means I can afford to take on an unpaid but meaningful part-time, meaningful motion graphics internship if need be.
Yes, it’s time to focus.
P.S. And in other, non-epiphany-related news, I ran my 3.4 miles of hill repeats tonight 28 seconds faster than I ran them last week, and last week I ran them 37 seconds faster than the last time I ran them. I think things are going to be just fine if I keep working at them like I have been.
January 15, 2012 § Leave a comment
Nope, no job yet. Or interview, for that matter.
Don’t worry, kiddos. I won’t be nothing but doom and gloom forever. But man, it’s times like these where I wish I could just retreat into a routine of endless running and the blasting of Ratatat in my room afterward.
At least I did cook up a mean batch of vegetarian fare for the week. Rarr.
It’s an uphill climb still, but the more hills you run, the better you get at them. And I mean, it’s not like I’ve run out of money yet. My three-day-a-week internship with the free coffee and Free Pizza Thursdays is… well, it’s saving my butt right now, at least. And the people there are nice, and only shoot their Nerf darts at me and my computer screen in the lovingest of manners. And it’s giving me a little extra time to not panic, or panic, as it were (glass half full or half empty kind of thing, ya know?).
One thing I just have to say… I AM SO GLAD I’M NOT IN A RELATIONSHIP. Or, worse, dating. Fuck yeah.
Because you know what? I’ve been running five days a week. I get home, I eat, I run with my running club, I design,
or mope, and fire off networking emails like it’s nobody bidniss, I do push-ups, I enjoy the full width of my twin-sized bed, it bothers me less if I have a bad hair day, it’s easier to save money, and I don’t have to divide my time. I ran 46.5 miles last week at pretty good paces, and intend to do even more of the same this week. My time is all my own.
So yeah. Rockin.
January 11, 2012 § Leave a comment
Guess what, folks! Haven’t slept yet, and it’s about 5am here on the east coast. I’m going to call in sick today… Shh, don’t tell my boss. Not like I was going to be making very much money anyway. My life still needs to be put in order, and I reaaaallly need the sleep that hasn’t come to me all night.
Someday, hopefully, I will learn how to get overwhelmed less easily.
January 11, 2012 § Leave a comment
Here comes the real learning process.
Graduating is fantastic. There’s something wonderful about knowing that you won’t be stuck in school forever. After a while, college starts to feel like one endless period of limbo that has no definite ending. That’s the fear, at least. The doom of earning the title of Perpetual Student.
Well, that period is over, and I’ve patted myself on the back for two and a half weeks while enjoying a relatively responsibility-free stint in San Francisco. But now the Honeymoon period is over as well, and I have to face the stark facts of What Is In My Bank Account and What Payments Need To Be Made.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining and I wouldn’t trade my current situation for another semester or two of school–no way. (By the way, is there no way to type in an M-dash on an iPad?) Yes, I am quite a bit stressed, but I know what I need to learn.
One of the difficult things, I think, is trying to find enough time for everything that is important. Going to work to earn some wages: definitely important. Spending time to cook most meals at home to reduce spending: also important. Taking time to clean the apartment in order to concentrate better, be more organized and efficient, and avoid living like a pig: important. Setting aside time for running because it keeps me healthy, makes me crave less junk (thereby saving money), gives me more confidence and self-esteem and helps me avoid sinking into depression: incredibly important. Allotting time for friends: important. Making time for cultural enrichment, like going to museums and galleries, keeping up on design blogs, reading, seeing films (because am I designer or what?): also important. Keeping up with current events, so I can have some clue about what is going on in the world when it’s time for me to exercise my precious right to vote: extremely important. Time for sleep: duh.
Wait, how many hours in each day again?
One of my especial challenges is learning how to be assertive enough and value my own time, and think of my own basic needs. It should be common sense to realize that a college education should earn you more than $10/hour, which is now less than minimum wage in San Francisco… and it probably IS common sense, but I guess I was too blinded with my own insecurities for that to properly register. Well, I had better learn before the time comes when rent and health insurance payments are due and I don’t have enough to cover it. I know I would advise my friends to not sell themselves short or undervalue their time. It’s time to thicken my skin and think more like an alpha male. Those guys have figured out how to turn their worlds into their own personal oysters. I need to at least appear more confident, if nothing else.
And while full-time jobs continue to evade me, I guess it’s also time to embrace the big, scary beast that is freelancing. You can’t freelance and feed yourself if you can’t figure out how to assert yourself and ask for reasonable compensation for your time or money.
My current hypothesis: act like you know what you’re doing, and don’t for a second let on how clueless you really feel, and people may respect you more. (Not to be confused with arrogance or willfull ignorance.)
Signing out now, and hopefully finally enjoying a wee bit of slumber. Key phrases for this week are “balls to the wall” and “cheese whiz.” (If I forget to link those to their explanations later when I’m at an actual computer, someone please remind me.)
January 8, 2012 § 1 Comment