There’s this little thing called “design” that I know I love, and I still need to develop my skills in. I am totally proficient in “design” when it comes to weddings – anything from table design, to display tables with food, cards, and drinks piled high. I guess I would consider myself to be very capable when it comes to designing spaces to fit an atmosphere or mood. Weddings and events in particular. But something I’ve been dabbling in ever since I could (ie. the past couple of years) is Adobe InDesign.
I must admit that I’ve used many a free trial of CS6 under countless aliases and emails, just so I can play around with the software. Something about graphic design so intrigues me. In my own dream world, I’ll make wedding invites, baby announcements, programs, and other kinds of things that require knowing your way around some type of design software. My job (which usually is not very creative right now) is hard for me to stay interested in every day because it doesn’t challenge or stretch me creatively. But sometimes – oh those days! – I get little projects like this that get me absolutely riled up. Guess that means I should keep learning more, keep exploring tutorials, and just go for it already.
Task: Make THIS look better.
I can’t say that I’ll be proud of that in 1 year from now (hopefully by that point I’m a pro), but I’m proud of it right now! Mainly because I learned how to make a heart shape (no, it’s not as easy as you may think!). But also because it’s the best kind of puzzle-piece creative challenge therapy I have ever experienced.
I haven’t been feeling very profound lately. That isn’t to say that I live this overtly-profound life every single day. But I think that as God’s image-bearers we are given the eyes to see the profound throughout the very mundane things of life. But this simple work task – this small project – was just the profound reminder/pick-me-up I need. The reminder was this: that we are all to often called to be in places where we are at a severe disadvantage to seeing the projectory of our future. In many ways, we are always in the valley. Attempting without much success to see what is on the other side of the mountain (my mountain right now is called “the unstable twenty-something life”).
As someone who has been driven, creative, and excited about the future, I have been feeling so discouraged and uninspired lately that I have really began to question…everything. Like, where will I be in four months when my lease is up. Do I want to move back to Wisconsin for my sister’s wedding month to be a part of that exciting time of her life instead of weaseling myself away from whatever job I’ll be at for a few spare days. I’ve always wanted to travel back to Europe. Will I go there? It’s hard to dream when your reality is so….real. I am facing monthly student loan bills for (let’s be honest) the rest of my life. Can I ever pick up and go to Europe with those in the way? At the heart of all my questions is this general inquiry of usefulness. Either “am I being useful for my future?” or “am I being useful…at all?” And really, am I even doing what I want to do? Now…or will I ever?
When you’re working some where that you know you will never be able to move up at. When you’re in a position where you work on your own and do everything on your own. When you’re not a part of a team. When your opportunities for personal and professional development at work are slim. When you have to convince yourself for the 30 minute drive home from work every day that there’s no real good excuse to skip the gym that day. When you go grocery shopping every three days because you hate spending more than 10 minutes in that building. When you haven’t been to church in a month. When some of your closest friends are in far-away places like…Chicago…and Milwaukee, and California (PTL she’s back in Chatt for a while!) and Holland (yes, the country).
When all of those things happen, the question remains…where is your usefulness? Where is my usefulness? I’ve temporarily allowed myself to believe that usefulness is only found within the workplace. So in that regard, I’ve pretty much been miserable for five months. But there are other spheres of usefulness and purpose (the obvious first is the sphere of ‘oh you’re a child of the Almighty and really your life isn’t that bad because you’re in the palm of his hand). Of course there’s the church. There is family. There are relationships. Each of these things provide opportunities (literally every day) to put to use what I’ve been given. To give away what has been given to me.
So…..you’re thinking. All of this from a stupid Valentines Day Poster assignment? Sheesh. Well, yeah. I’m guilty of over-thinking and over-feeling, but I refuse to feel guilty about it at this point in my life. I’m finally feeling. Finally sitting down and looking myself in the face (emotionally) and asking these questions.
It’s not okay to remain so dissatisfied with one sphere of life that it distracts you from being useful in other areas. So while I’ve been miserable at work, I have sometimes closed myself off socially, emotionally from others. Because for some reason I get so bent out of shape that my current job isn’t my dream job. But so what. It’s time to make Colossians 3:23 a real thing in my life. It says, “whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” What an excellent kick in the pants reminder of how self-centered I am and how preoccupied with my “ideal job” I can be.
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!”