Dear 2011, You have been a whirlwind so far; catapulting me from highs and laughter to worries and sleepless nights.
You have been a year of questions. Making me think about who I am and the work I do like I have never thought before. You have shaken me up. I am living my dream and it's much much harder than I ever imagined possible.
I need to find my voice and find out who I really am and the time to start doing that is right this second. Plunge in. But I feel vulnerable and tender and I am being critical of everything I do... maybe that means I am getting closer to finding my voice.
The thing is, I over think things and often let my emotions take control of me. I over prepare when I really should be acting and then reflecting. I love what I do. It is the first thing I think of when I wake up and the last thing I think of at night. It is a part of me. I believe I am doing the work that matters. Although, planning a product company like MyPolice is a different ball game to building a business plan for Snook. They are both stuffed full of woulds, coulds and shoulds - other peoples expectations and things that I have conditioned myself to think I should be doing.
What do I want to be doing? Do I love my ideas? I do but my ideas feel different. I have been neglecting them - failing to cultivate insights and care for my creativity. This changes as of now. I must get all my ideas down on paper without self censorship and self criticism - let my ideas come from the most non-linear part of myself. I wonder what that part of myself feels like? I need to visit that place more often because when I don't my rational thought tells me to do things my heart doesn't agree with.
Someone clever recently said to me "...in order to achieve something you need to know what you want to achieve" Damn right. It's so easy to get overwhelmed and feel like a victim but I chose this. I make things the way they are. I decide and I perceive. Only me. No one else. I am scared of failing or embarrassing myself. I believe this fear is a good thing and I think it proves how passionate I am. When all this began I had no clue what I was up against and I'd prefer for things to stay that way. I don't want to know the barriers and the hurdles because then I will over think it. You see, the difference between being an amateur and being a professional is mindset. When obstacles and adversity present themselves ( as they do on a daily basis ) the key is not to listen to the voices and the excuses. Do not make excuses. Do not accept or acknowledge them.
Yes, I have fresh energy and optimism. Bucket loads of the stuff. But that doesn't happen by itself. I make it happen. Sometimes it's exhausting. Sometimes it's elating. I've found myself pulling away from the community I feel closest to so I can be in isolation and get stuff done. Does serious work require disconnecting? How do I balance this with maintaining a presence? Dropping off the radar every now and again is healthy but I feel lonely sometimes - I must hunt for the balance. Who is taking care of me? I have to trust myself more to look after me.
It is my passion for design and my craft that frames my experience and drives me forward when nothing else can. I want to explore that frame - draw it, examine it and share it. The designer I am is my unique thing - I design in a way that is unique to me. That's why all this feels right on instinct; design. It's the decisions round about that I need to question.
I hope every tear I have shed will be worth it... 50% of companies fail within the first five years. Have I got what it takes? Can I do this? Well, I don't have a choice really so I'm learning as I go. I'm excited about my ideas and about what I could do in the world. Why wouldn't I try? I want to be a walking expression of my true philosophy! It's becoming my identity. I am Lauren Currie and I need to be at peace with who I am. Knowing stuff isn't enough - I have to do. I want to be known for my acts not my ideas. Right now, what Sarah and I are constructing is slowly becoming the future I dream of. The reason I am writing to you is because all this is my responsibility. It's all up to me. And that's powerful.
I am putting my head down and creating something tremendously exciting.
Three cheers for tenacity.
p.s thank you to notebook doodles for the brilliant pic