Tuesday, August 24, 2010

on reinventing myself

Who knew that I would be “finding myself ” at 46?!

Not that I really want to; I don’t have a choice. My skills as a print designer and even recently as a website designer are quickly becoming obsolete. I need to learn “interactive design”—and fast. Which I will, and this isn’t a bad thing. I tend to need to be dragged, kicking and screaming into situations that later are life-changing and I think this is one of those times. Yet, going back to school—admittedly just a night course or two—wasn’t in my career plan even two years ago.

Just a couple short years ago I thought I was approaching my “coasting” years—the ones where one has “arrived” career-wise and can rest on past successes. Those days are over. Steve Jobs made this idea impossible for any of us print people.

All my of mentors were able to coast in their later years. They earned their dues and deservedly got to the point in their careers when they could relax and know there would be work for them. Admittedly, I’m just a tiny bit bitter that I’m going to miss this opportunity. Part of me is kind of tired of striving. Frankly, I’m not dying to compete with the 20-something computer whizzes out there. I like designing printed pieces.

On the flip side, there is nothing like seeing your work on a screen. Even my printed pieces in pdf glow with colors that can’t be replicated on paper. Once I get over the old-lady-“Why do things have to change?”-shock, it’ll be great. Learning something new—especially something you’re afraid of—is liberating. I witnessed this recently with my 7-year-old and her bike. Because she was embarrassed, she’d avoided learning to ride it. It had become so big in her mind she became afraid to try. But once she got on, she rode it easily and now wants to bike ride everywhere.

Hopefully, 6 months from now I’ll be posting interactive ideas here—sans training wheels.


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