Always Look Twice

Feeling grateful today as there are only two weeks and four deadlines left before I finish university and head off to Japan. While the workload is high and time is ticking away I feel like I’m finally riding a wave of pressure that is manageable. Yesterday I took another look into the past as I dig up two old posts for the blog archive and realise how far I’ve come these past five years.

I used to struggle with analysing a brief and researching a topic, which I mention in the first post. Spending too much time taking notes on ancillary tasks, deliberating over possible interpretations and getting lost in the meaning of it all, going off on time-consuming tangents that would gain me little or no credit. These things used to be a big problem for me and I would often end up spending too much time up front, making the ‘perfect plan’ which I wouldn’t have enough time left to execute. Jump forward to today and I have an 1800 word assignment due on Monday, which I confidently deconstruct and begin working on within a single morning. A skill bourne out of necessity; having juggled academia, business and family on a never-ending seven day work week. The quality of my work has gotten better too as a result.

My ‘insane’ seven-day work week. The only way to raise two kids, run a business and graduate from university. Take that, Tim Ferris!

The second post seems timely too, as I had spent some time this week animating game characters for a group assignment. It was nice to remind myself of a time when I didn’t have a clue about animation and even just looking at the interface of a 3D computer graphics application would give me anxiety-inducing stress. Now I rather look forward to projects that give me the opportunity to put my skills to practice. I can train a PhD professor or a college freshman the key principles of animation and how to apply them to a 3D scene using Maya. When my son demands to watch one of Hayao Miyazaki‘s Studio Ghibli animations for the umpteenth time I can understand and truly appreciate the artistry and loving craft that goes into every hand-drawn frame.

A paper miniature of the Studio Ghibli Museum, which I'm excited to be visiting with my family at the end of this month!

When I started this journey back in 2013 I was 26 years old and felt I had none of the skills, and virtually no transferable experience, with which I could build my own business in the video games industry. Five years later – plus a ton of student loan debt – I’ve now developed a whole host of skills and that will serve me well for the rest of my professional life. Most of all, my life is as enriched by these skills as it’s enhanced by the opportunities they bring. I’ll be 31 years old this time next week and I now feel set to tackle challenges of the next thirty years of my life.

At 26 I felt defeated, standing at the bottom of a mountain I didn’t believe I could climb. Now I’m near the summit, scrambling determinedly like some kind of Terminator-like Laura Croft. Life’s weird like that, huh?

If I had the time to photoshop Laura Crofts face onto the T-1000 while he metal-hooks his way up a vertical rock face then this is where I would have put the picture.

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