Month: August 2013

How I Feel About Coming-of-Age Stories

spectacular-now-final-poster

I have a love-hate relationship with coming-of-age stories.

On the one hand, I feel like I’m getting a little too old for them. Most of the time, they feature characters in high school, and let’s just say it’s been a couple years since I’ve been in that age group. When the stories get overly saccharine or earnest about things like prom, I just can’t really handle it anymore.

On the other hand, despite being a 20-something, I sometimes still feel like I’m not done “coming of age.” I’m still interested in stories about formative experiences because, well, I’m still looking for and/or processing mine. (Okay, go ahead and cue the societal hand-wringing about our generation’s extended adolescence.)

But anyway. All of this is to explain why I was really excited about–but also wary of–the movie The Spectacular Now. I loved the poster, but the trailer was a little eye roll-worthy. Sutter Keely, charming and troubled, inadvertently falls in love with Aimee Finecky, nerdy and socially awkward. Haven’t we heard this story before?

(more…)

How To Be A Self-Taught Designer

Design jamjar

Can you become a designer without going to design school?

Why, yes! Yes, you can!

That’s what I learned from Karen X. Cheng’s awesome, inspiring, and thorough post on “How To Get a Job as a Designer Without Going to Design School.” I’ve linked the Medium version here, because it’s the most recent (according to Karen’s blog). But I first discovered the post when it magically appeared in my Quora Weekly Digest email a few days ago. It was like Quora knew I’d been wondering about this very topic and decided to solve all my problems with one email.

(more…)

What Should I Do With My Life?

Blog.Bronson.Book

I discovered this book, Po Bronson’s What Should I Do With My Life?, at the library last week. It was sitting prominently on a display with all these other books encouraging positive life changes (e.g., The Power of Kindness, Why Courage Matters), none of which, to be absolutely honest, I was in the mood to read right then. 

In fact, I almost didn’t even want to read What Should I Do With My Life?. I had recently made the decision to enroll in a design certificate program, which already felt like a solid move towards answering the book’s eponymous Question. I didn’t want any more advice that might encourage me to change my mind. I didn’t need any more choices. I just needed to make a choice!

But I’m a real sucker for people’s life stories, especially when it comes to The Question, so I decided to check out the book anyway. “I’ll just read a couple stories,” I thought.

I couldn’t put it down.

(more…)

The Shop is Finally Open!

Blog_Sad_08.19.13

Nine months ago, I had a career epiphany. It was probably the fourth or fifth epiphany I’d had in the last year and a half, but this time was different. This time was for real.

I was still working as a paralegal at the time, but I was reading a lot of design and lifestyle blogs for no particular reason. Just to procrastinate and avoid thinking about what to do with my life, since I was pretty sure by then that I didn’t want to go to law school.

So there I was, reading these blogs, feeling both admiration and envy for all these super creative bloggers with their Etsy shops and well-designed web layouts. Sigh, I thought, why can’t I do something creative with my life?

And then, there it was. Why can’t I?

(more…)