The Perils of Comfort

Just two years ago, my posts were about my almost obsessive desire to learn new and helpful skills and learn them quickly. I had no guidance and, despite having the entirety of the internet as a resource, could not figure out what was worth learning. It was dizzying and intimidating. I find myself in a very different boat now.

Now that I’m at an ad agency that has many different designers and creative directors, I have plenty of guidance with just the right amount of freedom. It’s a very good spot to be in and it’s exactly what I was looking for when I graduated college. I’m learning hands on through numerous and simultaneous trials by fire. My first day on the job was working with Fireworks, which I had never used before. I’ve since also picked up some Flash and I’m poking around in Premier Pro as well. And although this proves great when there’s work to do,  it’s made me a bit stale and complacent during the down times. I find myself content to sit and wait for work to do when I should be filling my free time with tutorials and more learning. And here I am writing a blog rather than going on lynda.com or some other online resource. But I like to think that a little self-reflection once in a while can go a long way, so there’s that.

It’s an interesting problem that I didn’t foresee when trying to get a full-time salaried job: the problem of comfort. When I was putting myself out there for work, I was constantly working on projects (sometimes finishing them, most of the time not) and advancing my skills. I was always adding or trying to add some new piece to my portfolio site. And now that I have the job, I’m a little disappointed in myself to think that maybe that energetic – and exhausting – drive I had previously was simply because of the short-term goal of employment. Have I gotten past the honeymoon period? Have I grown bored because the chase is over?

Or maybe I’ve reached the point where learning is not a stressful ordeal, but rather a relaxed state of being that happens so naturally that I don’t notice that I’m learning.

Or maybe I’m just saying that to make myself feel better.

Who knows.

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