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The Difference of One

It is hard, sometimes, to not realize that you are only a single voice in a large crowd and not many, if any, will ever hear you.

There are many other analogies for this:

One light in the sky.

One grain of sand on the beach.

One flower in the garden.

What you say or how you say it will not make it very far, in most cases.  Your message gets lost before you can finish thinking about it.

Everyone wants to be heard / seen/ felt… sensed in some way.  Some people shout, some talk softer, some band together under one cause and their voices become much louder.

However you do it you just want to reach people.  If you goal is to reach 10 people and shouting works, great.  If you want to reach 100 people and speaking quietly works, go for it.  If you want to reach a country or make an impact on the world, joining a group is usually the way to go.  It does not matter how you do it, you want to reach and connect with others.

I think the thing that depresses me the most, is that all the shouting, shining, and growing, will probably not make a difference in the world.  Not even in your own garden, beach or sky. Everything will be the same as it ever was, had you not existed.

Everything we do is for naught but our own self-importance. Meaningless…

Then…

You talk to a friend (or a fan, or family, perhaps) and your view point changes.  You realize that you made a difference to someone.  That their life is less without you in it.

Even being able to effect one life is worth all the shouting, shining, and growing you can do.

Be the best light you can, shine your brightest.  Be the best grain of sand, best flower, best voice you can be.  Do what you can to make one life better.

One life that benefits from anything you do, is all one needs to keep going.

Proof that one voice, one light, one grain or one flower can improve the world.

Thank you friend.

BirthdayPeacock

My birthday greeting for my friend. You may not feel like it, but you are amazing just the way you are.

And Happy Birthday J

New Art Project: Help Needed!

I have a large art project brewing in my noggin.  I have been “building” it for a few years now.  I have the “how” all worked out.  Now I just need some information, someone to take it when I am done and a clean garage to build it in.  It is going to be rather large.

My art piece is going to be a “installation” piece.  Big and interactive.  Sitting in a chair on the bottom left you will see yourself in “the pit of despair” or the bottom of the proverbial pit. The lowest your life could go.  In the top right corner (accessible by a ladder or similar) will be the person who is offering to help by the means of a rope down a hole.

Looking up you will see a tiny spot of life and a rope leading to it.  From the top you will see a deep pit but nothing that is in it.  My goal is to show what it looks like from a person who is at the bottom of their life from two points of view.  The victim and the supporter.  To do this I need some more information.

Background:

I have not had anything really bad happen to me.  I have never been at the bottom of a pit, with the feeling that I could not get out.  I am usually the supporter, trying to help people out of the pit, with a bit of rope.  It is hard to show something when you have not experienced it. 

I have many friends my spouse and I have helped over the years.  I know what it is like to help. It is hard.  All of these experiences have accumulated into this desire to create an art piece that will show others who have not been in either situation what it is like.

What I Need:

This is going to come out inconsiderate. I apologize in advance.  I am trying to understand and build something, not offend anyone who is willing to help.

I need to know about your experiences at either end of the spectrum. 

What was it like to be at the bottom of the pit?  What did you feel / see / hear / understand? How did it effect your view of the world and the people that were trying to help?

What was it like to watch someone falling or struggling at the bottom of the pit? What did you feel / see / hear / understand? How did it effect your view of the world and the people that you wanted to help?  What did it change in you?

Here is the really insensitive bit.  I do not NEED the whole story.  I will take the whole story and work it into the piece, if you want to share it.  You do not HAVE to share the whole thing if you do not want.  My real interest is the feelings and how it changed your perception of the world, during and even after.

I will not share your story or information without your consent.  Take whatever steps you wish to ensure your security. I am not interested in injuring anyone over this.

Second Thing I Need:

I do not want to keep this when I am done.  I am making it to share with others.  I will need some help finding it a home.

 

Thank you for reading my post today.  Thank you, if you choose to send anything my way.

 

You can email me at MereMagicDesigns@gmail.com.

Musings II

The Thinker Auguste RodinI had a several things that I wanted to post about.  None of them were fully fleshed out.  I thought I would include another post on my random musings.

1. Pet Peeve: Lazy dog owners Most dogs are really territorial, especially if they are protecting families.  If you are going to let your dogs out of the yard, near you house, you should probably be out there with them.

2. Running out of…  Working under a lot of stress for a long period of time can cause your work personality to fracture and bits of your true self (irritated short tempered self) to show.  My workload has been quite high for the past two months.  I have finally run out of … well… its no a good thing to run out of. I am kind of surprised that I lasted this long.  I am also surprised how much my increased workload effects my relationship and work with my co-workers.  Needless to say that we are all having a rough week.  We all ran out of _____’s to give.

3. Friends are Awesome  I do not make friends easily.  Quality over quantity in my world.  Recently I realized that I have a few more friends than I thought I had, and that it is awesome to have friends.  You never know what skills they have to enrich your life.

4. Personal Dilemmas Artist risk a lot when they put their art out for all to see.  Trolls like to hunt them down and do what they can to undermine the confidence of the artist.  What should the artist do?  Take the trolls to heart and change their content to go with the main stream ideals or maybe break all the rules and risk everyone and everything. I would like to say be yourself and do what you planned, but it is hard to ignore what people say and not let it change your works.

5. Cat in a bag

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Just my cat Guido in a grocery tote.  I carried him around the house in the bag.  He loved it.

 

A Problem with Vision

VisonI have 20/20 eyesight.  This post is not about that kind of vision.  That is a small ‘v’ type problem.  I am talking about Vision.  The thing designers, PM’s, Managers and Directors have when working on a project.  It is also known as a goal if you are not a visual person.

This past month has been busy, so busy that I have not had time to think about a post.  I have a consulting client and and actual web development client.  In addition one of my previous clients moved his site to WordPress (you are welcome for the recommendation.) I also am rebuilding my spouses website since he is changing focus.  That is quite a bit on top of a full time job.

What does that have to do with Vision?

I have a Vision…  Not a dream, those are less concrete and not always based in reality (they are fun sometimes, I have awesome dreams.)

These Visions are of completed projects for myself, clients and friends.  Some of the Visions include a “how to” guide and others do not.  If I think about things enough I can figure out the steps, best methods and problems I will run into. Things that are good to know and will speed along a project. Some of the Visions are so clear and complete I can See and Hear them, like they are completed and working.  It is really incredible.

NeedAGuideThe problem is with the Visions that some are BIG and do not come with “how to” guides.  I am not experienced enough in some areas to know exactly what steps to take to get to the end of the project.  Some times I cannot See where to separate a section of a project into smaller steps or phases. I have had this problem in previous projects and had to abandon them for various reasons (usually time.)

Projects where I have little or no Vision do not always go well.  They have a tendency to get put on the back burner while I wait for the Vision to clarify itself or just get dropped all together.  Others just end up mediocre and I do not learn anything.  I despise those kinds of projects.  They are boring and almost a waste of time.

Projects that have a clear Vision with little guidance are hard to work on, but usually rewarding (because I learn something.)  They do not always turn out as planned, that can be good or bad.  I always do the best I can to get the desired result.  Often I run into time constraints and have to rush things along because I spent to much time researching.

There is a pretty easy solution the problems with unclear Visions.

Learn!

The internet is full of information, guides and tutorials to show one how to do things.  Always do research.  Someone out there has probably documented their journey through a similar problem and you CAN use it help you succeed.  It may not be the fastest solution but it is going to be the best.  You will have this knowledge and experience to use on future projects.  Your Visions will come to fruition and the clients will be happy (we can hope.)

Do not let your lack of experience make you fail.  I am not going to!

Novaturient

Thanks to WordPorn on Facebook I am learning tons of new words to explain the complex desires, emotions, and thoughts that I have daily.  Today’s word is Novaturient.  It is a adjective meaning; Desiring or seeking powerful change in one’s life, behavior or situation.   Basically how most people feel when they have been doing something for a long time and know that they have grown out of a job/task and the people they work with.

TimeForChangeMany, many people have these feelings.  Many of them do nothing about it.  They just sit in their “status quo” world being miserable. Most do not think they can risk a change.  Change is hard and scary.  No one ever really wants to change.  Most people are creatures of habit and move through the day on auto pilot.  Day in and day out the same thing, hardly a deviation. 

But what if I refuse to change?  How could I break free of the daily rut or grind?  I only have a few suggestions, but they require making a change and possibly taking on extra duties.

1. Pick up a project.  Many offices have “special” projects or tasks that are short term that need to be done.  Why not spice up your job duties by trying one of these tasks.  You will meet some new people, maybe learn a new skill (or use one that has gone unused.)  This may even lead to a new position if it goes well.

2. Decorate your space.  If you work in a cubicle or have an actual work space you can try decorating it (or redecorating it.)  This usually depends on your companies work space policies.  Something as simple as changing the computer’s desktop wallpaper can make a big difference.

3.  Make a slideshow of all the fun or interesting things you get to do at work.  Every time you become unmotivated check out your slideshow or power point and be reminded of the good things about work.

4.  Take your breaks and go some place new.  Go outside for a walk or eat lunch in a new place.  Exercise is known to provide a positive change in mental status (make you happier) and new scenery is always good.

Those are my suggestions.  I am sure there are more out there, feel free to share them.  You might make someones work environment better.

Moving into a New Year

MerryChristmasSeattleBannerMerry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

I hope that it is Merry and Bright for everyone.  If it is not looking like it will be for you, I hope that something stands out as good.  Focus on that and you will make it.

ChangeRoadSignWhen I graduated from University I was not prepared for the career I paid (lots) to learn about.  That is my fault for choosing the wrong school, wrong course and not questioning things as much as I should have. That left this year as a quest to get over my fear of change and failure.  Fear of not being “good enough” to graduate (some how I did,) not being able to get a job (still at my old one,) and not being able to do what I want to do (Web Designer!)  This year I failed to do a lot of things that would have made it easier to do what I wanted to do.  I got the wrong internship, I did not keep up with my studies, and I did not ask questions or look hard at what was going on.  Only when I got frustrated and angry did I start making changes.

I am not saying that this year was a waste or all bad.  I had tons of great things happen.  I DID graduate from a reputable University.  I DID get an internship.  I DID create some websites (no matter how basic.)  I DID quite my internship when I realized that it was not going where I needed it to.  My spouse and I made the move to home ownership (that was stressful.)  I have a new internship lined up and I have plans on making next year good.  All in all the good outweighs the bad since I learned things that enabled me to move on.

One of the tools I used to get over my fears is Planning. I find that making a rough outline helps keep me on track and keeps the fear of change at bay.  Whenever I HAVE to do anything (that I don’t want to do or am afraid to do) I plan.  I actually plan the fun out of it and cover pretty much every contingency (I have no idea why I did not go into project management.)  Plans allow for the greatest amount of light to shine on something that you are afraid of.  Especially if it is something new.

My rough plan for 2014 is pretty basic right now.  Do some follow up education so I can understand Web Design and Development better.  There are many things that make no sense to me and in order to get a job I feel that I should understand them and be able to work with them. As I learn more I want to rebuild my website (down for financial purposes – darn house) and the others I have built, practice, practice.  I also want to start building demo sites and templates for some of the various content managers out there.  I think if I can learn enough about those I can secure a decent internship (paying?) or start charging for my services (freelance.)  This means reducing the number of hours I spend on graphic design.  While it is fun I need to spend that time coding and expanding my Web Designer skills.

I have other personal plans too.  I plan on spending more time off my butt and walking around.  Exercise is important and I can use the time to plan out other things.  I can also increase my collection of photos so I have things to use when I need to make a graphic for a site.  I plan on encouraging my spouse to blog and finish his degree.  I plan on seeing a doctor on a regular basis (that is really scary in my mind.) I also plan on taking a vacation this year.  I has been a while and I am feeling the need to take a break.  That means saving up some green and paid time off.  I should probably spend some time with my friends too.

OtherSideOfFearFear is natural.  I think almost everyone is afraid of new things.  Things that they cannot fathom or understand.  I find planning helps reduce the fear.  Fear will never go away until you deal with its cause, but you can lessen it to the point where you can deal with it.  All it takes is some planning and research.  I need to research my medical plan and learn about finding a provider and paying the bills.  I need to learn how to use my insurance and so many other things.  I am worried that I will put it off again this year (it was a goal for 2012.)  I know that if I do research and ask questions I can over come this and help other co-workers figure it out. Once I figure it out I know the fear of it will be gone and I can spend that energy fearing something new.  The process repeats.

Have a great holiday season! 

Do what you need to do, even if it is scary.  The fear will go away once you do it.

 

 

Getting it Together

The beginning of this month has been crazy.

I quit my internship.  It was not taking me where I wanted to go.  They also changed direction and I was not going to be able to do what I spent 3 years in university and many thousands of dollars and hours to do.  I started out as a web developer for their WordPress pages but quickly let myself get sidetracked with the graphic design component of the work.  I left because I was offered a SUPER AMAZING pro-bono gig for a non-profit. 

There are some things I need to do to take full advantage of the opportunity.  Get a business license is one of the first things I need to do.  Another is set up a formal meeting with them and find out exactly what they need and figure out how to provide it.  I have many, many ideas that will help them grow and prosper, but what I can do depends on what they want. 

A big part of the project gathering the basic information on Who, What, When, Where and How.

  • Who is going to do the blog, the FB, YouTube and Twitter and when?
  • What constitutes acceptable content? 
  • What cool stuff can we offer the variety of interested parties? 
  • Who are our stakeholders?
  • What do our stakeholders expect?
  • How do we give the stakeholders what they need and expect
  • When do the stakeholders expect the product?
  • Can we get it to them in a timely manner?
  • Where can information and content be found?
  • How do we market ourselves better?

There are so many other questions to ask, but those will get us started.

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Thank you yourownawesome.org for the image. It is AWESOME!

I learned a lot at my internship.  Some of the questions I will ask came from that.  It was a great experience but in the end I was not going to go in the direction I wanted to go. It was time for me to move on and use my skills and talents in another area.

I actually waited a bit to long to make this choice.  By the time I had, I was struggling to complete what little work I was given.  I dreaded going to “work” and events.  Once the direction changed and more staff was “hired” (more interns,) I realized that I did not have to stay around.  It was not in my best interest to stay around.  The dis-satisfaction was causing problems elsewhere and I needed to move on.  It was not an easy choice.  I am very loyal by nature.  There are times when it is better for everyone to just move on.  Sometimes it just takes time to realize it, or, as in my case, another opportunity to knock and be really awesome.

I am going to be working really hard to make my part successful and I am going to blog about the process.  I cannot wait to share my new work with everyone out there.  I will as soon as the ink dries on the plans.  Many of you that follow my blog are going to be interested in the organization and I hope that you will be able to offer me input to make things awesome.   

Maybe, just maybe, we will inspire others to take up the cause.  Or maybe someone who is starting a web based non-profit will succeed and make their dreams a reality based off the information I have shared.

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