Adventures in Design: Finding My Courage


Four years ago, I took a huge risk. I moved to Rochester, New York with nothing but two bags and a strong belief that something had to change. You see, up until that very moment, I lived in a very “safe” bubble. I graduated college with a “safe” degree and worked in a “safe” industry with a stable company. I did nothing that could cause me to be challenged or take any risks.

That all ended when my safe job crashed and burned.

Unemployed and strapped for cash, I did the safest thing I could – I took a job at a retail store. For me, retail was the safe haven because I had a knack for building relationships and providing good customer service. Unfortunately, no matter how much money I made, I wasn’t happy. I hated the hours, standing on my feet and retail customers.

So what is a girl to do? I quit my job and dove deep into my subconscious. My safety issue arose from a deep fear of failure and the unknown. What if I put myself out there and people laughed me? Or worse, didn’t care.

I didn’t know what path I needed to take but one thing was for sure, I needed a change. A big one! So after a few months of working meaningless jobs and an internship, I finally coughed up the courage to invest in myself.

So, I packed my bags, moved to an unknown city and enrolled in a graphic design program.

Sometimes, in order to find your courage, you have to do something dramatic and make shit happen.

What I learned in my journey so far is that no one is going invest in you, if YOU are not willing to invest in yourself. I used wish, pray and dream that employers would see how ‘good’ of an employee I was but, they never did. Instead, I was passed up for promotions and recognition because the person next to me spoke up.

People don’t get ahead in life by being content and never speaking up. People succeed by going after what they want and demanding it from the world.

What I know now is that courage is uncomfortable. You have to be willing to get out of your comfort zone and cheer for yourself. You have to be willing to go the extra mile and put yourself first.

Believe me, as a person with esteem issues, I have trouble finding my voice and taking a stand for myself. What keeps me going is the struggle and desperate need for a better life.

So, if you’re like me, lets encourage ourselves to stand up against our fears, that evil voice and to keep on swimming. Let’s make goals and stick to them. If we fail, let’s pick ourselves up and start again. Let’s all our friends and family about our dreams and let them cheer us on.

Let’s also be our own cheerleader.  Let us create milestone and goals for our dreams because they are important! Let’s squash all those bad voices in our heads that tells us it’s impossible and go after them. We only have one damn life to live, so let’s live it well. I’m tired of living in fear. I’m tired of looking at the past and sighing. Instead, let’s dream big and accomplish what we set out to do! We can do it and we WILL.

Thank you, Andrea Pippins for giving me idea to write this post.

Keep on swimming.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply