Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Getting better

In my last blog, I wrote about the fears that I'm facing nowadays of not succeeding, of not becoming what I want to be. It' still a daily battle to conquer these thoughts.

When I decided to leave my job, the first obvious questions someone would ask upon hearing the news was: 'so what are you going to do?' Whenever I answered that I wanted to become a documentary film maker ánd a graphic designer, the other person would frown and ask: 'Oh, are you going to film school?' or: 'Are you doing a course at art school?' or: 'How are you going to do both?'.
I wasn't planning to go to school again, I just wanted to give it a try with the experience I had so far, and I had no clue how to do both. So being put on the spot like that would easily put me in a state of panic.

What was I thinking? I have asked myself the same questions over and over again: how can I do something I am not educated in? In the Netherlands, having the 'right' education is very important, or at least, so it seems. Thinking of a career in high school or changing your career later in life is always connected to having 'the right education' to be successful. However, looking at the people around me, most are doing something else than what they are educated to do.

Being confronted with the American way of thinking made me realize that there are other ways to look at this: you can do whatever you want, as long as you work hard for it. The American Dream. Obviously, this concept has a lot of downsides to it, but I really love the American reaction to my new career: 'That's great, what kind of movies do you want to make?' 'Cool, what do you design?' 'Nice that you are able to combine these things!'.

I am still working on becoming what I want to be. But I must admit that looking at the possibilities, instead of the obstacles is definitely more empowering. I still compare myself to all the people who have had the 'right' education, or have a lot of experience, and it always puts me down. How can I live up to their level? Then I saw this inspiring video, and I realized: I don't have to be great right now. I just have to get better. And the only way to do that is to work on it. Which is exactly what I've been doing this last year.

A year after quitting my job, I'm at the point where I call myself a beginning graphic designer and film maker. Which is more than just wanting to become one. And I'm starting to realize that this is ok for now. Instead of comparing myself to other people in the field - who are obviously mostly more experienced - I try to compare myself with me, a year ago. And I look at all the things I've done, and I've worked on. And even though my fears still will tell me it's not good enough, I do know it is better than before.

Click to see the video