August 15: The Void

There’s this bag of cookies I keep in my nightstand. I was looking at it yesterday, calmly enjoying a midnight snack, when I realized that the cookies expire in the same month that I graduate. I sort of panicked. We’re not measuring my education in years anymore, are we? We’re measuring it in stale snacks.

I ate the last cookie, just now. What does that mean for the rest of my education?

It will help you to follow the rant that follows, if you have some kind of general outline of The Plan, so I suppose I’ll start with that. I graduate in May, as the cookies have told us, and two days later I’m shipping off to the UK for two weeks of exploration and cultural experience. Then, once back from there, I have a few days’ worth of lull before we’re off on a family road trip to Ohio to congregate with the rest of the family- at the end of which, I’ll be flying up to Maine to be the photographer for a summer camp for six weeks. This all ends on August 15th.

August 15th begins The Void. The day after which- to the best of my knowledge at this point in time- nothing else is planned. I’ll no longer have school, work, or any other obligations tying me to any particular place (besides relationships, which are obviously important, but they don’t make The Void seem any less big).

If any day were to signify my transition from kid to adult, August 15th is it. Hopefully, by the time The Void comes, there will be another plan in place, but for now it’s too early to tell. Plans have a tendency to change, anyways. Basically, my goal now is to stop The Void from opening up on August 15th, and I have between now and then to make that happen.

Then again, if nothing ever ended, then nothing would ever begin.

Here’s a beginning:

photo 1march

My realization of the existence of The Void happened late last week, over a batch of croissants. I was rolling 81 layers of butter between 82 layers of dough, when I realized that eventually, in the not-too-distant future, my life was probably going to be completely different than it is right now. Furthermore, if I wanted to have any control in the kind of different that it was, I had better start planning for it now.

photo 3march

I’ve started poking around for jobs, and the prospects definitely seem good- but it’s also become very apparent that the first real step in this process is going to be updating my portfolio. Who’s going to want to hire me if they can’t see what I’ve done, after all! I’ve started putting projects in Behance, which you can find by clicking in this general vicinity, and that’s gone surprisingly well already. I have a couple of followers already, and my thoughts on Compliments Paid By Strangers are already well documented, so we all know how I feel about this.

photo 2march

The general format of the Behance portfolio page also has allowed me to identify areas where my portfolio needs to be improved. Example: for a person who spends a lot of time thinking about digital illustration, there’s sure not a lot of it up there. Granted, this probably has a bit to do with my own impossibly high standards. I’m working on it, though. More projects will be posted soon, and then the real fun will begin. (Hint: There’s a section for fashion and costume design.)

Prom Dress

It’s occurred to me that this is the only photo I have of this dress. Problem? yes.

So- anyways. That’s where I am with the job hunting, news as it comes. Aric wanted to know how my stress level was yesterday. Despite acknowledging the existence of The Void, I am feeling pretty zen. I told him as much, too. There are a lot of things going right in my life at the moment- big things like the continuing success of the Etsy store, medium sized things like that right now I’m knitting a baby blanket from a historic Shetland pattern that my great great grandmother knit for my Dad before he was born, and also small things like that my new cap erasers are perfect and don’t leave unfortunate colored smudges everywhere. The Void isn’t succeeding in getting me down (if it’s even trying. Is it? I’m not the type to cower in the face of an adventure), and it would take a lot, I think, at this point to make that happen.

This may be a baby blanket pattern, but this is not a baby blanket. If a kid ends up with it in the future that's fine, but it's mine for the present.

This may be a baby blanket pattern, but this is not a baby blanket. If a kid ends up with it in the future that’s fine, but it’s mine for the present.

I’ve also shifted some of my time around so that, although I’ll spend fewer hours reading in the evenings, I can start working on some more portfolio-enhancing fun stuff. You’ll probably be seeing some more of that. If you build it, they will come!

Here’s one very important thing that I learned this weekend. Everyone knows the phrase ‘curiosity killed the cat’. I’ve never liked it, it just seemed so pessimistic and defeatist. The sort of thing you’d tell a kid if they wandered off one too many times. I learned, though, this weekend, that the whole phrase is supposedly “Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought him back.” I did a quick google, and couldn’t find any definitive proof that it first appeared with or without the second bit, but I certainly like it much better this new way. It fits, don’t you think? The only way for me to conquer The Void, after all, is to jump in and trust that I’ll land on my feet.

Go forth, my dears, and be curious! The Void awaits us all.

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