Remember your first day at college, you knew nobody and you were entering a new environment, kind of lost or pushed into a jungle, you underestimated the sound and feel.
Well, that is a feeling I experienced again a few months ago. I have had great experiences in art school, the collaborative process and creative awareness was a thrill, added to the joy to work with people from different art specificities. As everything that is exciting and inspiring, the trap is to forget the “why” when bumps appear on the road.
We are all aware, today more than ever that learning is not a hobby. We live in the times of learners and pushers because knowledge and information is everywhere. Therefore learning is a must do, it’s all about finding a method that works best for each of us.
I have and do learn by myself through online classes, books and people. I have realized over my small years into the graphic design field, that I enjoy better working in micro/small groups of people. The reveal of this trait of my character was not a surprise. But I tend to try things out of my comfort zone, even if they are challenging. Therefore in this huge mix of groups, through the “back to school” experience, I confirmed my views on adapting to a group and finding my most suitable method of learning.
The “back to school” purposes were legitimate, I knew it was the next step to take, the meaningful one that would help me for sure in redirecting my career.
Now let’s talk about the rollercoaster feeling
It’s all new, exciting, but disarming. You question and think 360 degrees. Going back to the place or seat of learning from scratch is not an easy decision nor thing to do. You get excited by it, thrilled by the possibility of a bigger change. That kind of change that can only stretch you into a new dimension.
I guess the most difficult part is realizing it’s all about starting from scratch, it’s never easy to acknowledge whatever the enthusiasm you have at the begining. Especially, if it’s a field you have never entered.
Obviously you are ready for it but you are also aware the challenge is real. Coming to the table with the best you have, what you “just” have as set of skills (soft skills and more advanced technical ones) is the main rule. There is no disguising or overestimating the level you are in. Just putting on the table what you have and the rest will be done with some extra help as always, that is how I feel.
3 weeks later…
One of the most challenging moments of my learning, not because of the content, I enjoy, but the outside of it. Learning new skills is highly beneficial to whoever takes the challenge, for some reasons it crushes or flies. Overall it reveals your truth about the power of context or environment.
More than a month later…
I have learned more about myself before the new skills. I believe it was the purpose of all this. Being pushed in the jungle for the self-growth first, then the new skills would come. I realized some contexts didn’t suit me even if I kept pushing and pushing to try to make it cooperative. There was no reason to overdo when a more aligned route awaited..
I remember starting on this medium by the fact of celebrating “small wins today”, the good thing is, that article was more than an article, it was a daily reminder for me and the future versions of me, who would need it like today.
The “small win” I want to acknowledge more than celebration, is the reveal of a wrong purpose I was running after.
It’s highly powerful to know very quickly when you start something new, that it doesn’t align with “you”. I thought of all the reasons to keep on rather than the reason I was doing all this. Obviously the lesson was learned the hard way for the better.
The recap of the “back to school” experience is to focus on your strenghts after all. I have now a clearer boulevard for the new stories coming more aligned with the new lessons learned. Excited about it for sure but aware beyond the journey that it’s ok to get lost and come back “home”.
How does it relate to the “back to school” challenge… well it revolves around one key story, awareness above all. Me learning today how to OVERCOME my own lack of clear awareness. I wanted to learn for sure but not in that environment. It reminded me of my plus 9 to 7 work hours. I realized I became reluctant going through the same pattern because the core purpose of the course was not my “why”. I could achieve my goal with a twist…
Being Aligned is more important than running towards a “title”.
I realized I was running for the wrong thing. I know what I like and I know I can achieve what I need to. But the environment and will must be aligned. So with a clear cut, I am redadicating to my goal “Aligning my head, heart and hand”. It won’t take away my learning new skills but enhancing them. It was my mistake, confusing strategy and call.
Certainly I can get to my next station but not following the route I thought was the only one. It took me a lot of inner battle to accept the reveal, to change the route, another necessary adjustment.
It just hit me, the reason I left my previous job was because I wanted more now I take the step and it isn’t feeling right. We believe our plans are the good ones but there is a bigger plan that has it’s principles and core values.
I asked myself the 3 most important questions: do I feel good about it? Will I survive without it? Can I achieve my goal following an alternative path?
The answers were no-yes-yes. My intuition has been whispering to me and I confess I didn’t listen. But today more than ever it hit me. I am the center of my play, if it doesn’t suit me, it’s ok to change.
My “small win” was to readjust, keeping my peace. Which is my biggest asset no matter the circumstances.
Overall I realized how I was happy to have experienced it again, because after all I had done it twice already (going back to school). I just believe I have changed and I enjoy a more contemporary way of learning (conferences, online courses, events, mentors…) series of moveable tools to learn and stay updated without the limit of a “school”.
Clarity for sure, today and for every mornings of mine… one day at a time.