The Countdown Begins

I turned 26 a few weeks ago. Not a milestone really, but I am now officially on the downhill of adulthood I believe. I’m too close to 30 (I’ll probably have to start buying Oil of Olay here pretty soon), and I’m starting to feel uncomfortable. Sounds Debbie Downerish, but it’s true. The other day I was reading through an old issue of STEP Inside Design, and I came across that wonderful “ink & circumstance” piece by Stefan Bucher. This one was titled “Independent Launch Capability” (quite inspirational). It really hit home, and it hit hard. As I followed the arrows and bubbles through the piece, I felt like Bucher was calling me to action.

For me the solution seems to be taking as much control of my content as I can → writing my own copy → doing my own illustrations, taking my own photos → saving my money, so I can use my own ideas and start my own projects → I’m building my own damn rockets → and cooking up my own rocket fuel → If the project fizzles, it’s my responsibility → but at least I’ll know I put out a project that I blieve in from top to bottom……You don’t need a big factory or connections or a lot of cash → THEY’D HELP, of course → But all it really takes is ONE GREAT IDEA! → Done right at the right time in the right place → and BINGO! → Forget going into orbit → it’s a rocket to the MOON! → I don’t know if I’ll ever get there → a lot of luck is involved → but I’m just going to keep building bigger and better rockets, launching them as often as possible → Louis Pasteur says “Chance favors the prepared mind.” → In other words, the harder I work, the luckier I get. → I hope you’ll build your own rockets → I’d love to see you dreams out in the world → Better Content = Better Design = Better World → Let’s go to it → 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

I’ve always known that I needed a way to take all my interests and mix them up in a huge bowl and bake up some career that could really fit me. Right now I’m stuck in corporate America, where my creativity is restricted to a single Pantone color and Arial 11 font (seriously, it’s in our style guide to use Arial 11 font). I mean, it’s not a bad place—I have a decent salary that pays my bills and keeps a roof over my head. I work with nice people. I have windows around my cube. I’ve got my own scanner and trackball mouse. But I always feel that something’s missing, that I just need a little more. So I’ve decided, that I’m going to take the million and one dreams and ideas that I have—including the new ones that sprout on a daily basis—and use them to make my own future. Easier said than done of course. But after my birthday, after finding a bright silver hair on my head in the work restroom, and after reading Bucher’s words and illustrations, I know that this is what I need to do. I need to be creative in work and life, have lots of time with my family, save the earth, teach others about what it means to be/do good, and keep learning. Look at this as the beginning to some sort of hero’s journey. I found the call in an old magazine, and I’m ready to cross the threshold. Or you can look at this as a hardcore New Year’s resolution (that started about nine and half months too late—or three months early). Either way, I’ve taken Bucher’s advice and I’m building my own rockets → and I’m ready to start launching them to the moon! 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…