Throughout the course of our lives, we all experience a large variety of 'firsts and lasts'. With these 'firsts', we begin new and sometimes incredibly exciting adventures. With these 'lasts', we end these adventures and close these stories. .Without these 'lasts', we cannot begin another 'first'. I think this simple fact brings upon the biggest challenges all of us have to face in life. There is a drastic change brought on by every closing of one story and the beginning of a new one. It's amazing to me sometimes, how one singular choice has the potential to radically change the course of your entire life. Over the past two weeks, I have experienced a large amount of 'lasts'. Having been in a stable, steady job for the past five years, my life had admittedly become quite routine and rather uneventful. Very few things changed, and opportunities for personal and career growth were few and far in between. After receiving and accepting the Production Design position I mentioned in my previous post, I have had to quickly close down any residual storylines from my previous job and in some sense, my previous life. I have had to say good-bye to some really amazing friends (most of whom I hope to keep in contact with!), and I have had to say good-bye to every tiny part of the routine of which I had become so accustomed. Even something as minute as turning left instead of the right turn I'll be taking from now on, or setting my alarm to 5:55 instead of the new 6:15, all of these things are now in my past. Beginning tomorrow, a new chapter of my life is starting to be written, and it is scary as hell. I keep reminding myself, though, that without these risks and bold choices, I would potentially be blocking out anything new and wonderful from occurring. I feel like most of my options were worn out at my previous job, and with the new job, there is so much untapped potential. It is terrifying, but at the same time it is truly amazing. I'm really trying to go into it with a positive and hopeful mindset, which is overall quite different from the way I have reacted towards drastic changes in my past. I am hopeful that this decision could help bring me closer to some of the best days of my life. I will make new friends, try new things, and get the fresh start that I have needed, but been afraid of, for so long. This fresh start is very much overdue, and even though I am hesitant and honestly still scared, I am excited. This time last year, I was in the exact same place as I was this year. This time next year, essentially everything has the potential to be different.If any of you feel like there are things in your lives that are stale or old, make a single bold choice, and see where it could lead. Routine will continue to be routine, until we take the power to change it and mix it up. If there is something you've always wanted to try, or somewhere you've always wanted to go, do what it takes to get there. All it takes is one choice to change your entire life. So, here's to new chapters, new stories, and a whole bunch of new 'firsts'. Here we go! :D

Like radio silence, even when there is very little information being tossed around, things are always moving and silently progressing. It's obviously been awhile since my last post, and there finally has been some forward progress made. I've been working hard in preparing an updated portfolio, chock full of Photoshop photo-correcting (yes, I actually can learn new things!) and Illustrator type-setting samples. I've been studying, practicing, printing, and keeping busy. All of this work has been produced in the hopes of being offered a Production Design position at a rather large and well-known company in the Twin Cities. And I've been offered the position. ...yup. I filled out the paperwork online tonight, and now have to figure out a way to tell my boss tomorrow that after five years at my current job, I have to move on. I don't want to burn any bridges along the way, as (most of) the time I had spent there was pretty great. I'm also a little unsure of the long-term prospects of the new position, so I'm really hoping that if worst comes to worst, I'll have something to fall back on. This is definitely one of the biggest risks I have taken in my life. Since moving out to Minnesota, I haven't had much to fall back on, so this could be super, super risky. Now it just comes down to me being able to prove my worth to the company and get hired on as a regular full-time staff member. But really, what fun is life without a little risk? I think it's time that I step outside of my little comfort zone and try something new. I just hope it pans out, and can lead to something really great. I guess we'll have to see!

This week has been pretty dreadful so far, in the way that the second I get home from work, all I want to do is go immediately to bed. I guess that's what long hours in a tense setting will do to a person, but I think that's just work in general. In the spirit of wanting to kick myself into gear with designing, I spent a few hours tonight just browsing informational videos on YouTube. I started by looking for advice on breaking into freelancing, and what I found was actually kind of helpful. One of the videos explained that a lot of getting started is just changing your mindset. Focus on your set of skills and what you're best at, and work hard towards just that. Also, instead of saying you're trying to be a designer, take power and proclaim to the world that you are a designer. So, world: My name is Jessica, and I am a professional graphic designer and screen printer. Feels kind of nice! :) I also watched a few videos on techniques in Illustrator, which were surprisingly easy to follow along with. I suppose if I had any doubt in my level of knowledge, I really shouldn't because most of it I either knew how to already do, or at least understood what was happening. Photoshop, however... I think that's another story. But that's for another day! Then, as YouTube tends to do, I got sidetracked by other videos. If you're into Jenna Marbles and goofy-looking computer effects, I highly recommend the Photo Booth Tag video. I was actually laughing out loud throughout most of it, and I think it might be a go-to video for when I need to be cheered up. Check it out if you need a giggle! So that's about it for now. Until next time! :D

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