13 September 2015

How To Be Mindful Of Your Nerd Life

Oh hey, how are you? It has certainly been awhile but I have come back wiser and maybe even smarter. During my hiatus I was up to many things but the most important one is certainly being able to finally tell my job I was quitting and transitioning over to a dream job.

I still want to do more freelancing, and sometime down the line I would love to be 100% self-employed again, but I am very much psyched for this "corporate" job because it's an industry I absolutely believe in: 3D printing. But the journey of getting there wasn't all sunshine-y happiness.

Staying True To You

"I just put in my two weeks, they didn't want me to tell you but I wanted you know."

Those were the words a former coworker and current good friend told me. At the time, I felt betrayed. I could almost hear something snapping in my head because we had just lost two other people the week before and were swamped with client projects. When it was time for his final day at the office, I stumbled across a post by the late Linds Redding, an advertising exec and former Art Director who died of  cancer in 2012. Before he passed, he wrote an amazing piece on his personal blog called A Short Lesson In Perspective.

The quick version is that Redding realized he missed out on so much in his life--birthdays, anniversaries, family gatherings--for the sake of advertising and his career. He called his work at a top, globally recognized agency useless and considered himself a "creative drone."

The phrase struck every part of me. I am very career focused and being in marketing and advertising is a big part of who I am and my personality. But I felt stuck, dumb, in a creative rut and I couldn't quite find the perfect wording for it. Then I read Redding's post over and over again while creative drone echoed over and over again in my head. I had dreams about it. I talked extensively about it with fellow creatives, family, friends, and even my therapist. It wouldn't leave me alone. I started interviewing at the new job shortly after my co-worker had told me he was leaving with all of this in mind.

"Have you ever felt like a creative drone before?"

I asked my new manager, who just came in after three people quit and left. It was storming outside and I had a full view from the double windows in the chilly conference room.

"No." He didn't even give it thought and gave me a look like I was an escaped psych patient. The storm passed over once the meeting was finished. I had made a choice regardless of any offer.

The next day I wrote out my official resignation after getting that amazing call. During my final day, the lead designer quit as well. He was another person I mentioned the blog article to and I already could see the stress leaving him as he said his goodbyes in the parking lot and nearly skipped to his car.

This entire experience has definitely awakened something in me that I didn't even know was dormant: being mindful of your whole life. Being career minded is fine and dandy but only one piece of me and I was losing out on so much more by trying to impress people who didn't even really care. It pissed me off enough to change that completely.

Being Mindful Of Your Nerd Life

While I was hustling, working extensively and intensely stressed out, my other passions became completely neglected which included this blog. In fact, I was even telling myself, "This is just what happens when you become an adult and really grow up."

Fuck. That.

The whole point of this blog, being part of various online nerd communities, is not giving in to those thoughts or assuming that in order to be an adult, you have to give up on your nerdy quirks. I wasn't being true to my own self and the whole mission of Nerdjoy. That is stopping pronto.

So, the long and short of it is this: I know many others are stuck in the same rut. Maybe it is for different reasons, but regardless, you feel as though you're losing a part of yourself or neglecting a piece of yourself for the sake of something else. You don't need to feel that way. You don't need to sacrifice your quirks, your unique habits, your nerdy life because you feel obligated to. Whether it is school, work, or something else entirely, that is just one piece that makes up the microcosm of you.

And remember that you can always change what is going on in your life in order to stay mindful. I felt trapped in my situation and scared of attempting to escape. Around this same time last year, I had lost what I thought was a dream job and went into a deep depression that had me attempting suicide in late October. I didn't want to fail and go back to that mental state, losing out on all the progress I have made so far. 

But then I applied for that new job anyway, anxiety be damned. I already feel things going back to a happier state.

In Other News

I definitely needed to get that off my chest but there are other things I wanted to say that aren't so philosophical.
  • I renewed the Halloween and autumn listings for Little Quirks! I will also be hopefully adding more pieces closer to October now that I'm reigniting my interest in jewelry making.
  • If you didn't hear the news, I'm attempting to blog my love of Dungeons & Dragons over on a dedicated website called Critical Homebrew. It will focus on tabletop gaming in general, though.
  • Nerdjoy will be moving over to WordPress! I have grown out of Blogger and also have a 2-year Bluehost plan that I'm rarely using so it is time to actually be a "legit" blogger.
How have you been? What's going on lately? I want to know so comment below!

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