In twenty fifteen, I'm striving to be personal. While the word can be interpreted in many ways, this is my attempt to interpret it for myself. I have identified five areas of my life to work on in this pursuit - my work, my self talk, my off time, my relationships and my health. Every few months I'll be setting area-specific goals & sharing about my experiences here. For August & September, my area of focus will be my work.
I accidentally took a few months off from my personal journey. I wanted to focus on "my health" but never quite got on board. It's not that my health isn't important, I'm just so over it being the focus of my life that I could never quite get back into it.
So, if not my health, then what is my focus right now? My work. Or rather, figuring out my work -- both how to establish myself where I am, and to figure out where I want to go.
I've been at my new job in Austin for a little over six months. There's so much I enjoy about it, but there's also some things missing. I've recently been seriously struggling about our decision to move to Austin at all. Even though I know it was the right choice, I can't help but second/third/fourth/infinity guess myself. I didn't realize how much I had in Bryan/College Station until I moved away. I was almost resolved to stay there forever until this opportunity in Austin came along, and sometimes I just wonder "what if".
Austin has so many amazing, talented, advanced designers and developers. It's equal parts inspiring and intimidating being around them. And ultimately, the uncertainty I'm feeling is the growing belief that I can't cut it here. I'm not good enough. I'll never be good enough.
I know that's not true and yet I'm still finding myself internalizing the belief.
So I want to dedicate some time over the next two months (August & September) to find peace in my work. I want to sit down and actually define "success" and define "good enough." I want to come up with a career plan to lead me for the next few years as I continue to learn how to work in a large city like Austin and continue through my UX Masters program.
My first three steps in this process are:
#1 - Go to a counselor.
It's taken me about twenty emails with strangers before finding a psychologist who had an opening at a time I could attend. While I've done couples counseling this will be my first attempt at solo counseling. I'm in desperate need for a neutral third party to listen to me, and my hope is this will help me make a plan for the next few years. The first session is on Friday & I'm literally counting the days until then.
#2 - Throw myself into professional meet-ups.
There are so many meet-ups and opportunities to get involved in the professional world of designers in Austin. I want to throw myself into it over the next few months, instead of being the hermit that I've become. I think this will both motivate me to get out of my shell & also help me see my peers as people - not as an abstract, unattainable ideal.
#3 - Sketch out a plan.
I've written briefly before about reaching my five-year plan in two years. I allowed myself some time to just wander around and enjoy where I'm at, but now it's time to actually write out the next five-year plan. This will require me to actually sit down, pen to paper, and sketch out ideas. I'm hoping to have a set of goals, principles and action items by the end of September.
I'll check back in with the results as they come.