PHOTOGRAPHY & GRAPHIC DESIGN
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11:11 BLOG

When Being Too Headstrong Becomes a Roadblock

"The Path to Enlightenment" - A digital collage created with 4-5 images. - 2016

People who know me, know that I am not the most flexible person in the world. I got that dang "fixed" personality type. I know what I want, and I like things done a certain way. (Don't I sound like a hoot?) Over the last year and a half however due to the economic changes in Calgary, I've had to become pretty flexible with the kinds of creative jobs I take on. I felt I needed more marketable skills in order to keep moving forward, so I opened myself up to new kinds of opportunities like graphic design and web layout. I would say I've actually been bringing in just as much graphic design work as photography these days, and I love the new challenge. It seemed like a natural progression for me, so why did it take these difficult economic times to get me there?

I've noticed I'm not alone in these strange times, and have seen many people reinventing and realigning themselves. We are all finding out what we're made of as we hit this bump in the road, and it has given us a chance to think about what we really want to be doing with our careers. It would appear that those who are the most flexible are best at rolling with these punches. Maybe we all needed a fresh perspective, and an opportunity to become more efficient. I know I did. It's easy to become complacent when the dollars are rolling in. So what's left standing when things get a little rough? Ultimately, I think we all just want to feel purposeful and positive about what we do 8 hours a day. So when you have to adapt, why not see it as an opportunity to aim for what you truly want?

I know for me, getting laid off from my oil and gas job in January of 2016 was a chance for me to make big changes. I had fallen into the industry 5 years prior, and I was terrified of that too. It turned out to be an awesome learning experience, but eventually I felt something was missing for me within it. It felt important for me to know that I could work a corporate job if I ever needed to, but also good to know it didn't quite feel right. Since then I promised myself to seek out something that did feel right for me, and it's led me to some very cool job opportunities (such as spending an awesome summer shooting for a white water rafting company). My purse strings may be tighter nowadays, but I feel way happier knowing I'm aiming towards something more genuine. Even so, I can't help but wonder why it took me getting laid off for me to realize making this change was past due.

I've always known I wanted to be my own boss, and although I still feel like I'm searching for that one creative niche I can really sink my teeth into, this last year has helped me entertain a lot of new ideas. For example I've started using my skills to assist small businesses and artists to market themselves. It turns out helping people figure out what they want, and how they want to be seen is incredibly rewarding, especially since I've struggled with the same issues. It's an important lesson for a headstrong person like me. How sometimes the only thing that's holding us back from a new opportunity is our own belief that a something is "not for us", too difficult, too unfamiliar, etc. and how sometimes it's these difficult times that can shake us loose from these roadblocking beliefs. Take it from someone who's had to find their way to certain ideas by taking huge detours that exhaust all the others. Being too headstrong in your "vision", can become the roadblock that holds you back from an amazing opportunity.

Thinking here goes nothing, could be the start of everything.
— Drew Wagner
Alicia HoogveldComment