As I navigate through my early design career, there are many moments when I feel completely exhausted by my immaturity. I feel frustrated at my naiveness and complete lack of eloquence that all the designers I admire possess. They speak with confidence and poise about their craft, which is a tone that never seems to reflect back in my own practice. I find myself completely enchanted by the way some people are able to articulately process their perspective in contrast to my awkward hyperawareness.
While sitting in a client meeting during my second week at Character, I was able to see the manifestation of years of experience in action. The lead designer and creative director led the presentation as the clients threw in several curveball questions after each slide. The creative director and lead designer were able to quickly answer these unexpected inquiries on the spot with precision and persuasion. I realized then and there that this kind of skill set is something that is built with years of experience, observation and participation. There isn’t a crash course or cheatsheet someone can study to build this kind of eloquence and expertise overnight.
Surprisingly, this was the first time I realized that I am still very young in the field of design compared to all the seasoned designers I have been working under. After carefully observing that meeting, I realized that I need to be more forgiving and patient with myself. I now trust that as long as I stay agile and curious, I will continue to develop. As of now, I have accepted that I may not be the most eloquent person in the room, but I can be the most enthusiastic person. I began to start seeing my day to day challenges not based on the characteristics and skills I lack, but based on how I can contribute at the very moment.
Upon reflection, I realize that I have already made huge strides within the last fourth months of WGI. In my earlier blog post written during my first stop in London, I acknowledge my overwhelming anxiety that clouded my ability to trust my intuition as a designer. It heavily hindered me from actively contributing with my team. Eventually that anxiety developed to create doubts in my confidence as a designer. Now fast-forwarding to today, I arrived to San Francisco feeling more energized than ever before. I knew I wanted to finish strong. Hannah and I both fearlessly kickstarted our first day of at Character with our self-initiated introduction presentation. We shared our background, current WGI journey, and our new goals as we join their team.
Now that we are reaching our last internship, I joke with the other WGI interns that we are now "senior executive interns" at this point. For the past 4 months, we have faced the unknown over and over again. From the fairly expected challenges, such as adapting to a new work culture in a new city, (x3) then to dealing with unexpected difficulties, such as of establishing emotional stability while constantly on the move, has all made me resilient overall. Anxiety who? I don’t know her. Finally building my confidence in my imperfect self and easing the tensions of my anxiety and irrational fears of failure was possible through trial and error developments over time. Knowing that I’ll always be evolving throughout my design career, I finally feel at peace with my current state and excited for whatever comes with my next developments.
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