Narrowing down is the hardest thing

two yellow lines on asphalt
Photo: Andrew Martin Pixabay

When you’re a person who likes to do more than one thing in their life, narrowing them down is the hardest thing. Sometimes I wish I could narrow my interests, but I’m not that kind of person. I could have achieved so much more if I had only concentrated on a few things. It feels like time is running out, and I don’t have time to do anything. I need to have time to be lazy too. I thought I wanted to be one thing, but my interests got somewhere else. That’s how my life has been. So many choices but so little time. Maybe one of the reasons why I have had so many problems with decisions is that I think the grass is greener on the other side. Perhaps I’ve been too unrealistic with what I’ve wanted to do in my life. It isn’t a lack of support from other people. I subconsciously don’t dare to do things because I’m too scared of failing. Or maybe I’m just too lazy. It can also be like that because I failed many times, so I don’t want to go through it again. I know when you fall, you get up again, but still, I don’t get anything done.

I could have narrowed things down, but I like to be versatile. I never wanted to have an ordinary job, so it was difficult to know what to study. When I finally do, that’s not enough either. The reality is that some people are narrow-minded, even if they might think that they aren’t. Their opinion is that you need to have specific education and a certain amount of job experience to be good enough to be in their little group known as ‘their business’. You need to be a student or have an amount of experience to even get an internship. Neither way, you can’t gain experience if you’re not allowed to practice your skills in a job. I’ve started to believe I’m not meant to be a graphic designer. At Helsinki Design School, where I studied some years ago, I didn’t get the encouragement I expected. I got the assumption that I’m only average compared to the others. One time I got feedback on a poster I made about my city from one of the teachers. I should have done some research, and she wouldn’t have put it on her wall. I know my town, so there is no need for it. I just think she didn’t understand my style. One opinion doesn’t make me believe I’m bad at graphic design. Drawing isn’t my strong point anyway. It makes you think twice, though. It’s the same with photography. I doubt my skills in that too. Seeing other people’s work doesn’t help me either. It’s a little depressing. It makes me think I’m not good enough at anything. It feels like I’m an outcast and don’t belong to this creative business club. Maybe I have wasted my time and life thinking I have what it takes to be a graphic designer. Or any other job where design is concerned.

It’s a positive thing to have knowledge of many things instead of only having one narrow one. Both have a good and a bad side. If you know about many things, it’s also more challenging to choose between them. If you have a narrowed skill, it’s easier to improve that. Either way, both are needed. If there is something you can’t do, there is always someone who can. I only wish someone could have some use for my skills in the workplace, but I guess there isn’t. Too bad for them.

Blowing one’s horn

Musicians blowing in traditional German horns
Musicians blowing in traditional German horns by Markus Spiske is licensed under CC-CC0 1.0

Blowing my own horn is not my thing. That must be one of the reasons why I can’t find a job. I don’t know how to brag about myself. It’s also a Finnish thing. We’re not good at it. It’s also an introvert thing. We don’t want to brag about ourselves and make ourselves something special. We like to be low key. But that doesn’t seem to be acceptable in the world. You’re nothing if you don’t want to blow your own horn. It shouldn’t be that way. We should be allowed to be ourselves and not pretend to be something we’re not. Some people seem to have problems with quiet people. Only because you don’t want to be a blabbermouth doesn’t mean you’re strange. Listening to people talk about things you don’t care about is stressful. Noisy people have the same effect.

Because I don’t want to blow my own horn, I don’t know if I could be a good entrepreneur. You need to be a lot of different things. A marketing person, a salesperson, a public speaker and someone who doesn’t give up easily. Most importantly, be good enough at what you do. Maybe it’s only me who thinks I’m good at something. Perhaps the reason why I won’t get hired is that I’m not good enough. They instead take someone with natural talent. I don’t have an impressive portfolio, and I don’t have what the employers are looking for. I’m not confident in blowing my own horn. No matter what I post on social media, I get some likes and sometimes nothing. If I don’t get much attention in my personal accounts, how can I get it on the business one? If I get any comments, it’s usually spam. I wouldn’t trust anyone. I feel it’s unnecessary work if I promote things on social media. It’s not easy to be ignored as a job seeker or/and an entrepreneur. I don’t know how to say something about myself or what I can do. At least when it comes to making it to words. It’s incredible how things disappear from your head when you should think about them. It has nothing to do with memory problems. I tend not to think about complicated stuff like that.

Maybe I’ve chosen the wrong path when it comes to careers. It seems you need to blow your own horn because the competition is tough. There are so many people in the design business, and I don’t know how to stand out. Maybe my destiny is to be without a job. I never wanted an ordinary job, but it has backfired. Only because I don’t know how to blow my own horn.

Stubborn as a mule

mule figure in stone

Zoomorphic sounds like a zoo with terrifying animals. But when I looked it up, it’s not. I like metaphors, so I chose to see myself as stubborn as a mule. But I could also be a scaredy-cat because I’m scared of doing anything brave. Cats can also be stubborn. In some things, no one wouldn’t know I’m stubborn because I give up easily. If I had been bolder, things would be different. I’ve strong-willed when it comes to choices. You can’t make me do things by force. I do them when I feel like it. For example, if you say to me to clean the flat, I won’t do it because someone says I should. I do it when I want. I need to have the motivation to do it. I haven’t studied for occupation because there are jobs in them. I’ve studied things I wanted to. My parents never told me what to study. They have suggested things, but I’ve always followed my guts. I wouldn’t be happy if I had to do something I didn’t like. It hasn’t paid off, though. I instead am without a job than be in a position I don’t like. No matter how big the salary is.

You need to be stubborn to find a job. If you get rejected, you don’t stop searching. But I don’t have that in me. I’m both a stubborn mule and a scaredy-cat. I wish I was brave as a lion. I won’t hold my breath to get any contact from the companies I’ve sent the open applications to. I’m gonna move on. I’m not sure what to do, but I’ll let it be for later. I’m stubborn, so setbacks won’t make me give up. It’s the world that is in a hurry, not me.