When Everything’s Gone To Sh*t

So how do you cope when everything simply goes to, well, shit.

What do you do when no matter how god damn hard you try, you see no results.

I have been trying for what feels like years to catch up and be on track. To finally be doing what makes me happy. 

To be happy.

People tell me that it’s times like these that will make me stronger, but what if these times never end. What if this is it, this is how my life will play out forever.

It has come to that time of the year when it’s time to apply to university. But I really don’t want to go. To get into the graphic design industry you need as much knowledge, experience, and examples of work as possible. This industry is incredibly tough to get into. 

I went to a group assessment in London a few weeks ago for a graphic design level 3 apprenticeship. This was a pre-interview interview. The room was full of 14 other talented individuals with abudent portfolios and previous experience in the industry. And there was me, my only experience being GCSE graphic design and a £50 Introduction to Graphic Design course that I recently took at my local college. I contributed more than the majority. I was allocated team leader in our mini-project to design a website for the company and present it to the rest of the room. I felt like I led perfectly. I found it incredibly frustrating that you can’t physically show your determination and drive over a digital portfolio. Someone who has access to expensive software will come along and wipe me off the floor leaving me completely out the picture (excuse the pun). Unfortunately I didn’t even make it to the real interview.

I know that my work ethic is way too strong to ever give up, and I will continue to apply to apprenticeships. 

Unfortunately, my laptop broke a few days ago. This means that I’m no longer able to edit my blog or access certain documents. This has halted my ability to design pieces for my portfolio. I’m now having to complete job applications and write blog posts on my phone. I’ve tried visiting my local library a few times to use their computers, but I had to sit next people who I don’t think anyone should have to sit next to, plus their software sucks.

I now need to save up for a new MacBook Pro. These start at £1,250 plus Adobe Creative Suite (I don’t even want to know how much that costs).

But, here’s the catch.

My poor car is slightly broken. I have taken it into the garage multiple times and they finally came to the conclusion that it could be the valve. This would cost £1,200 to be fixed. Fortunately, my step-dad checked it out and reckons it could be fuel-related which would cost less than half of the quote the garage gave us. This is good news, but it’s still money I haven’t got, money I need for a laptop, money I need for expensive software.

Saving up the money is going to be tough. I recently got employed at a golf club. I was hoping to be working 30+ hours per week, but I’m currently only working 2 shifts. This doesn’t even cover my bills. This means I’m back to applying to jobs I don’t even want. 

I’m proud that I’m not a person to give it all up and settle. I’m not giving up my dreams because I’m seeing no results, because I feel like I’m simply going backwards rather than forwards. I encourage myself to focus on how bloody happy I will be when I’ve finally made my first step into the industry, when I finally have a purpose to get up in the morning. I will be drinking to that, preferably at the Sky Garden in London.

So how do I stay positive in times like these? Well, I write. I write poems, I save quotes. I listen to music, I create. I run, I apply to clubs (I have applied to Reading rowing club which starts in the Summer – finally!). I spend time with my family, I take time to focus on me and learn what I want out of life. I volunteer, I plan, but I allow myself to feel.

Jealousy is an emotion I hate the most. It is waste of energy, it is nothing but negativity. To look around and see everyone 20 miles ahead is hard, so so hard. ‘Slow and steady wins the race’ I tell myself. I’ll cross the line soon enough, even if it’s way after everyone else.

Advice I give to friends who aren’t happy with their life is this:

Embrace where you are right now. You will never be in this position again. Don’t wish it to be different, or for it to be the future. You will one day reach your goals and look back. You will look back and realise you had nothing to worry about. You will regret wasting all of the opportunities you had at that point, all the lessons you could have learned.

Life changes quickly, so don’t worry. Don’t lose sleep, and don’t crush your happiness. Take a deep breath and battle through these harder times, it’s the only way you will reach the other side. Embrace where you are right now. Embrace the future in the future because you aren’t there yet.

Maybe it’s time for me to take my own advice. 

Stay positive.

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