We’re 9 months into the global pandemic caused by the viral disease COVID-19. It’s 3:44 in the morning on December 26th. That was an interesting Christmas. I’m standing at the front desk of The Pearl Hotel in San Diego, where I recently picked up a part time night auditor position. Everyone told me not to do it, as it would mess up my sleep schedule and therefore throw off my social life, mental health, etc. Maybe they’re right. Maybe they’re wrong. This is my first shift, so I suppose I will find out.

In my eyes, as an aspiring UX Designer, this is the perfect opportunity to get paid to work on my craft. With few tasks provided by the hotel, I am given hours on end to do what I please, within reason. Im choosing to focus on what inspires me, design.

To briefly touch on something I feel I have been struggling with, I will refer back to what I mentioned in the first paragraph, “Everyone told me…” I’ve been being told what to do, how it is, how its going to be, how it was, and what’s going to happen if I don’t, the entirety of my life. This gets old, as I hope you know. On some levels, I seek and value other people’s insight and guidance as it is a way for me to gauge my judgement on decisions or thoughts I’m having. While on other levels, being told what to do and how things are by someone who is failing to acknowledge they are only speaking from their experience, gets old. Am I ranting? Somewhat. Might I feel differently tomorrow? Or today, as its 4:13 AM now? Probably. So why do I mention this? Im 25 years old, and coming to a place in my life where I would like to start trusting myself and my own experience more. I often let the doubts, fears, and worries of others become my own. If I look at my life experience, for the most part, things always turn out okay, and my worry is more times than not fruitless and unnecessary.

How can I apply this knowledge to my process of becoming a UX Designer. Well for starters, I could come to terms with iteration. Life is about iteration. We make mistakes, constantly, and we learn from them, and avoid them in the future. A friend shared an analogy with me that I enjoyed, he said, “Imagine you’re walking down the street and fall into a pot hole. The next day, you’re walking down the same street, and fall in the same pot hole. Later that week, as you approach the same street, and the same pot hole, you decide to walk around it yet you trip and fall in sideways. Next time that wont happen you tell yourself. The next day, you walk around the pot hole smiling, you get a couple blocks down the road, turn around, run and jump in the pot hole.” Why do we do this? I don’t know, but I can totally relate.

As I learn to iterate on my work, and accept feedback from others, I am convinced that I will become a better designer. Suggestions and help from others is crucial in my pursuit to be the best I can be. But, I must also be taking and honoring my own suggestions and ideas while trusting the intuition that I have slowly been developing over the years. I feel as if I am starting to get to know myself, and it’s exciting.

My point is, I’m grateful to be employed and working, I’m grateful for this time to work on becoming a better designer, and I’m grateful for this time to study the San Diego buoys and to get to surf a sweet south swell in just 2 more hours!!!!!!!!!!

Over and out.