Contradictions

May 22, 2010

I believe that very little, if anything, in life is black & white. There are always shades of grey, whether it’s totally obvious or a bit more subtle. Throughout life, we change opinions, beliefs and principles. And in most cases, I don’t think this is a bad thing. A lot of people I know believe different things now than they did 5 years ago, and they are better people for it. Even opinions that you held a few months ago can totally change, as long as you have valid reasoning for it.

It’s amazing how many people try and live their lives, and base everything they believe in around a specific label. Whether it’s political with conservatives and liberals, or religious with christians and muslims, or artist and designers with different styles such as modernists or futurists. In my mind, it’s almost impossible to adhere everything in your life to this label. Eventually, somehow or someway, you will encounter a contradiction. One belief will clash with another. But this doesn’t disqualify those beliefs.

In fact, I think if you do have beliefs that don’t necessarily agree with one another, you are a more interesting person in my book. The graphic designer Jan Tschihold spent most of his career as a fierce advocate of the New Typography, which meant clean sans-serif fonts to increase legibility, abolishing traditional serif fonts. And yet, near the end of his career, Tschihold designed Sabon, a classic serif font. Does this tarnish everything he worked for previous to this, or make him dishonest in some way? No at all. He recognized the room for traditional serif fonts in design, and accepted it.

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Learning

May 15, 2010

In any unsuccessful experience in life, you end up taking something away from it. Learning from past mistakes, I guess. You’re then supposed to take what you learned, and use it to help you avoid those mistakes again, to create better opportunities and situations in the future.

Going back 2 or 3 years, I thought at the time I was a fairly mature person with a good head on my shoulders. I made sound decisions and tried to do the right thing. But looking back, I see that I wasn’t very mature when it came to feelings and emotions, and how to deal with them. Rather than confront them and open up, I chose to ignore or neglect them. I kept it inside, and refused to let it out. From where I stand now, I don’t think that is a healthy choice to make. It creates nothing but confusion and chaos. I’m not proud of some choices I made then, and I want to be a better man going forward.

But what I’m thinking now is, yes I realize the mistakes I’ve made and how I can be better in the future. But what good does that do me now, in the present? You don’t just walk out the door and throw your emotions and feelings at the nearest person available to you. I have to wait, and let the opportunities make themselves. I can’t make them happen for me yet. And I won’t lie, it’s pretty frustrating. Is my patience waning as I grow older?

Would’ve

May 13, 2010

What could have happened if I just said yes, right from the start?

I’ve asked myself this question way too much recently.

Connect

May 13, 2010

Read this excellent piece of writing today.

http://www.merlinmann.com/better/

What stood out to me was the thought of fake-connectedness. Unfortunately during the past few months, for a variety of reasons, I’ve been feeling a disconnect from some of the most important people in my life. The only connection I’ve had with them is through facebook or twitter, or instant messaging on my blackberry. It’s a temporary fix, fleeting moments of wall posts or re-tweets, that pale in comparison to even a simple hug.

But what’s missing is that connection physically, whether it’s in person or even talking on the phone. Because you get so much more from that, it’s more fulfilling, more inspiring, which I think goes back to the article above.

Fake-connectedness makes me feel small. Putting your effort into real-connectedness is enriching.

Fear

May 10, 2010

One thing is for sure. I hope to never end up like you have, wrecked and ruined by the regrets you have, for the decisions you have made, as reckless as they were and obvious to everyone except you.

Maybe this fear of ending up like you, living with regret, is causing the perpetual haze I seem to be in. To examine every choice I have made, to be almost paralyzed but what I did do, and what I didn’t do. This is no way to go through life, a healthy life at least.

Work

May 9, 2010

Tomorrow I’m back at the summer job I’ve had for the past 3 years, working as a graphic designer in a marketing office here in the falls. From speaking to my boss it sounds like things have gone haywire there, so it will definitely be interesting to see what I encounter.

But this job is a constant reminder of what I have chosen to go for in my life. I could have very easily chosen to stay at this job in the falls, with set hours and a good paycheck. I like the people I work with, though the work itself is pretty unspectacular. It would be the easy thing to do, to stay here, avoiding student debt for years to come.

Instead, I’ve made the choice to go with the harder option, making a go of it in university in Toronto, racking up the debt, and all the stress and confusion that goes with art school.

I won’t lie, the thought of what would’ve been if I chose the easy route has crossed my mind. But not for one day have I regretted the choice I made. I am pushing myself to succeed at this challenge, and at the end of the day I take pride in the fact that I’m trying.

Publicize

May 2, 2010

Been thinking a lot recently about what I really want to do with this blog. Writing is a way of organizing ideas, and to publish writing is to receive feedback for those ideas. I have a tumblr where I post specifically about design, and I’m more comfortable there expressing personal ideas and letting people read them. But I started this blog to be more personal, because I had too many thoughts rattling around in my brain, and I wanted somewhere where they could exist outside of my brain.

But I’ve become more and more hesitant to publish things here. In fact, I’m more likely now to write something out, and save it on my hard drive, but not post it publicly for others to read. I guess I’m happy to write and collect ideas, because it’s a lot easier than bottling things up inside, but allowing certain people to see those ideas is a bit more challenging for me.

It’s not that I don’t want to express certain feelings to certain people. But if I write a blog with only one person in mind, it doesn’t prevent any number of other people from also seeing it, and making their own judgments about what it’s about. I’d much rather take the thoughts I’ve written, but deliver them to a person in a more specific way, one-on-one whether it’s in person or through email or on the phone.

Because then, the reaction is immediate, and the result is more profound, whether it’s positive or negative.