It’s Here.

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Another semester fast approaching. A new contract signed. A yearning to “give back.” A running bug caught.

Life doesn’t slow. It keeps flying along, and I find myself challenged to dive in. I have this annoying need to control everything and an almost debilitating need to do everything perfect. The pace of life is beating that need out of me. It’s one thing to do things well: to pour yourself into them, but it is another when it is never good enough. When you’re afraid to try something new because you might make a mistake… that’s when you have a problem.

So right now my prayers (amongst many others) are to let go. To dive in. To live in faith of one so much greater than me.

Today I officially transitioned from “intern” to jr. designer. I have been given a permanent, full-time position which will allow me to take on more as a designer as I learn it. Today I was running all over a house that we will be renovating with a laser measure. I was assisting with our architectural lead in dimensioning everything so that he could go back to the computer and draft up an “as is” floor plan. It hit me: I’m exactly where I should be.

The blog won’t be fancy, and the text might be sparse, but I want to make record of this journey. My goal isn’t glamour. Instead, it’s to delight in simple things. To be proud of working hard. To find depths of faith and be endlessly grateful.

Happy September. It’s officially my favourite time of the year. The photo was taken on the first night of our vacation on the Sunshine Coast. Since returning from New Zealand, I have been in a mad love-affair with the west coast. Don’t get me wrong, New Zealand is stunning. I left a piece of my heart there, but I realized my soul lives for the west coast. If only the two were closer…

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And I Thought a Break Was Coming.

Last 10 days of this semester. Currently in the “fall asleep when the birds are waking up” part of my week (weekends are when I do the bulk of my homework). I have two projects left, and I have been counting down the days to when I only have to work and don’t have homework deadlines looming.

I have mentioned that my internship is going well. The team at the office seems to feel that I am a good fit. Last week, I sat down with the owner and, to put it bluntly, he thinks it’s time for me to start transitioning from intern/design assistant to design lead.

Gulp.

He says that these past two months have given him, and the project managers, time to observe me. He is well-aware that I am not finished my school program, but he said that he sees the things in me that cannot be taught (intuition, creativity, organization etc.), and he believes that the company is well equipped to teach me the stuff I need to know before I start taking my own clients.

We stepped off the plane from NZ over a year ago. I signed up for design courses and have been running off my feet ever since (I’ve been in school 11 out of 12 months). I thought I would take the next couple months to just work at the design office during the day, and do a few shifts at the restaurant in the evenings. Instead, I am officially shifting from assistant to apprentice. It is highly likely that I am going to put in 80+ hours to get my first two levels of AutoCad during the first two weeks of July (enjoy that sun for me, because I’ll be hidden away in a computer lab).

Everything happens for a reason. Who would have thought that my working in a restaurant would introduce me to a local designer (who then mentioned to her boss that there was a design student looking for volunteer opportunities for the summer)? And it’s not just that- Becky (the designer) and I are on such a similar page that it blows my mind.

Hard work (I have “punched the clock” at 4am too many times to count), sacrifice (work, school, repeat), passion (it’s why I can stay up til 4am… uncaffeinated) have been met with opportunity- the recipe for an explosion. I say over and over and over again, I am meant to do this. 

So, it seems there is no slowing down. The education to take me from dreamer to designer is full throttle. Last year is was just school. This year, it is school (I’m going to finish my program in the next year or so), apprenticeship and a hell of a lot of swimming in that deep end.

Image Sources: 1.2.3.4.

Deep End.

Many moons ago, I worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor. It was one-part boring (life guarding) and two parts fun (co-workers and teaching… although, after 4 hours in the water, it could get kinda cold).  I taught a lot of the little kiddie classes. I remember getting so wildly excited when a kid would actually swim for the first time (this stuff actually works!), and it was always so amazing how quickly they would learn.

The biggest leap was the one they took into the deep-end. It was generally always the same: we would climb out of the shallow end, make a single-file line and march down to the deep end. I would climb in first, move a few meters back from the wall and invite each student (one at a time) to jump in a swim to me. For the most part, the reaction was always the same: nervous fists tucked up under the chin, toes to the edge, deep breath….

……..jump.

They would come up and look panicked for a moment, and they they would realize that they were swimming in the deep end. A smile crossed their face as they reached my arms  before they turned and pushed off from me with confidence back to the wall. Confidence grew with each time they went.

If I used two words to describe this internship, it would be DEEP END (and some days, deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep end). I think I’m still kinda in that coming up after jumping in with that panicked look on my face. I’m not drowning. My head has come back up above the water, but I’m feeling a little out of my element (ok, a LOT). But with each day, I am checking more and more things off my “to do” list. Becky (a BCIT grad and incredible designer) has been the best guide. On Friday she was guiding me through how to do door ordering through referring back to AUTO CAD drawings and a door schedule and she said, “you won’t even learn how to do this in school until 3rd year” (for the record, I am just finishing 1st year).

Total deep end.

But now I know how to read door schedules. And I guess my boss has been impressed, he was talking about me to Becky and said something along the lines of me being a person who has has grabbed this internship by the balls. So I must be pretty good at covering up my moments of panic, or maybe it’s that my drive to learn and master everything just outshines the fear.

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Wood Grain.

Instead of time flying by, these past few weeks have seemed to stretch on forever. I mean that in a good way. So much has been happening. It feels like the couple tough weeks I had in April were a strengthening, a lead up, to this. It always seems that when you feel like you are about to crack, the path turns a corner and life takes on a whole new view.

Things on the internship front are terrifying and awesome. I perform a lot of menial tasks, and I have never been so thrilled to do it. I really feel like I am moving forward, closer to my dreams. I do everything with extreme gratefulness. I can’t believe the opportunities I am being given.

Being put on the office reno at Kenorah’s home office is going to stretch me, but a lot of the fear has worn off and now I am just really excited.

I’ve been looking for a few pieces of furniture for the reception area, and I came across Brent Comber‘s furniture. I first saw it at IDS West last September. I really want to incorporate wood into the office because it is a construction and design company. I feel like a couple crisp white chairs and a Comber-inspired coffee table would be so good set beside a corner boardroom with floating glass walls.

Tonight Becky and I are meeting to discuss plans to enter some design competitions and create a little collaborative team of designers who will join us in competitions and make a streamlined online site to document all our passion and creative energy. This is something I am so insanely excited about, putting it into words is so hard, but you can expect to meet some of the “team” over the coming weeks as we figure out exactly how we are going to go about everything.

Images: 1.2.3.4.5.