The Quarter Life Crisis | Our First Chapter

You don't have to be good to start, not even a little bit good,

I try to remind myself as I'm typing these very words. The problem is, I've always been remarkably good at everything I've done since I was in grade school--and interior design was no exception. I was the toddler who begged her parents to buy a red couch because it looked fun. My idea of an enjoyable weekend, even at 4 years old, was going to estate sales and collecting funny looking vases. I can't recollect a single weekend where I didn't build, paint, or renovate something.

This was always the biggest part of my life. But at 26 years old, I'm scared shitless that I'm going to be deemed a failure at the only consistent thing in my life. Looking back, interior design was the only logical career path, but it's also the one that scares me the most. 

And that's why I picked marketing and had interests like graphic design, photography, and writing. It's why I wanted to go into advertising because I could build mood boards and pitch in front of clients. My love for design was why I fell into history, anthropology, and philosophy. It wasn't that I didn't know what I wanted to do--I did skip my classes in High School to sit into woodshop and CAD after all. Even at 16, I was overwhelmed by the idea of doing something I love and was naturally aligned with.

I listened to enough Alan Watts to genuinely believe money would follow our passions. But no one ever taught me how to get past my Resistance. So I picked the next best career path and hoped that would be good enough. A few weeks into my first marketing job, I realized it wasn't. The little voice in my head that I heard all throughout college, wasn't me being paranoid. Every molecule in my body was screaming for me to bet on myself, the problem is I was never taught how.

While switching careers at 26 isn't unheard of and there's plenty of designers who traded their corporate marketing jobs for successful design firms, I can't help but feel shame that I even have to take that risk. Truthfully, I feel even more shame that I don't even know how to jump. I know I should, but there's no road map to quitting marketing and becoming a designer or decorator. 

While I should be proud that at the age of 26, I'm honoring this desire,  I instead choose to embody shame and anger. To make matters worse, in the age of social media influencers, popular HGTV Reno shows, and weekend warriors who flip a new house every single month, it's impossible to not compare myself to them.

Are they more talented?

If I've grown up in design my entire life, why isn't that me?

Are they more likable? Do people relate to them more than anyone could ever relate to me?

There's so much content out there, there's no way I can add anything of value.

No one's going to care, not even a little bit.

The bigger the Resistance, the more important a dream is to our souls calling and the more we discover ourselves in it. 

The author, Stephen Pressfield, calls this feeling Resistance with a capital R. The universal force that acts against creativity. The bigger the Resistance, the more important a dream is to our souls calling and the more we discover ourselves in it. Resistance isn't sexy, it's a bitch that'll steal your dreams away in the night. As much as I want to run away, I can't anymore. I finally ran out of places to hide and every single waking moment there's a voice in the back of my head telling me that it's time.

For the first time in my life, I don't know really much of anything except 3 very clear things. 

1) I have to start this and figure it out on the way there. God is no longer holding the door open for me waiting for me to build up my courage, he's resorted to throwing me out the door and nailing the only exit closed. I no longer have the choice of staying in marketing for the rest of my life or finding another shadow career, as Pressfield calls it. I have to make this work.

2) I'm going to have to face every single insecurity and fear that I have in order to do this. My hatred for being in front of the camera, I'm going to have to get over that. The annoying voice in my head that says I'm not likable, I have to learn to be okay with people thinking I'm annoying. And my habit of comparing my skills to other people to deem me worthy, I have to trust myself more than I trust that I'll fail. It doesn't matter if I'm scared, I have to do it shaking and crawling if that's what ti takes.

3) My why has been the same my entire life. Everyone no matter your age, budget, resources, situation, or physical and mental ability, deserves to exist in a beautiful environment that validates their existence. Notice, I didn't say anything about trends because honestly to hell with interior design trends and to hell with designers telling you what's a "home ick." Your home should bring you to life and your journey towards that should be accessible. Beauty isn't something that's reserved for the rich, talented, or physically and mentally able. It's an integral part of the human experience and I think all those little things, whether it be candle sticks, a favorite blanket, or glassware, matters both so much and so little. And it's not until we seek their comfort that we learn those stupid little things are actually one of the most important things in the world. And that's why I can't give up on this, even if I'm shaking as I type these words.

One day these stupid things are going to matter. Whether it be a candle stick holder I design or a line in a book I write that someone holds dear. Maybe something I say helps someone piece together the pieces of their life or someone else gets the courage to quit their shadow career.

I have no idea what this blog is going to look like or what my future career in interior design will look like. But I'm going to show up everyday and fail a lot, but I hope you'll join me as I do.

All my love,