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I'll just get this out of the way, first and foremost: I've been really sucky at maintaining this blog and at staying focused. I've been too easily distracted, and once again have let myself get caught up in the muddle of routine. I know I say I'm trying to refocus and plan for the future, but I've done a shitty job at it as of late. So, now that's out of the way, and we move forward. I'm completely in charge of what I do with my life, and where I end up, so it's time to take control of that and actually do something. So here we go (again!). The day job has been alright lately, besides the regular hiccups that you would come across anywhere. It's still not that satisfying or where I want to be, so it's up to me to change the routine. I've been working in a different area of the department, which has actually been great. I've been working a little more closely with someone who has his own photography studio, so he's been really fantastic to bounce ideas off of every now and then. It's nice to have someone to talk to, who actually has relevant advice and similar interests. Another coworker recently decided to start his own photography studio as well, and asked me to design a logo for him. He had some pretty well-defined ideas to start with, and it was a real pleasure for me to work on something that will actually be used. I ended up with three complete and different ideas, and he ended up choosing one that had a good blend of both his initial vision, as well as a bit of my clean design style. For your viewing pleasure, here's his final choice:

It was a relatively quick and easy project, and I'm pretty pleased with the outcome. It'll be really fun to see him use it for his business once it gets going and turns into something. And it's good practice for me, so I can't complain! :D I'll be sure to link to his website and work, as it becomes available. As for me, I've been spending some time working on calligraphy. I bought some books, which have both been fantastic resources for hand-lettering tips and advice. If you're interested, check out Modern Calligraphy, by Molly Suber Thorpe, and Creative Lettering, by Jenny Doh. I've always had an interest in hand-lettering, and I think it would be a fun skill to really master and utilize in my future career. I think back to when I was a kid, and made my mom buy me so many gel pens and hand-lettering books, and I just sat and played around with them. Even when going into certain stores, I would always make a beeline to the writing aisle. I think it's kind of funny when I look back at things like that, and realize how much of an impact design and creativity have actually always had on my life. It's what I'm meant to do! :D I'm going to make an honest effort to squeeze in at least a little bit of time for Ruby July every week. Whether it's a blog update or just working through ideas in the sketchbook, it's about time I actually get back in gear and do it. Wish me luck! :)

So guys, rejection sucks. But obviously, that's not really news to anyone. Here's the deal. I've been applying for a few graphic design jobs here and there, and I seem to keep running into the same final result: rejection. Now, it's one thing if it's for a position you know you're under-qualified for from the beginning, but you figured "Hey, why not?". It's another thing entirely if it's for a company you already work for, and it's an internal position. Now try that twice. Super fun, right?! It seems like so many of the jobs available in my area demand more experience than most people would consider entry-level. Maybe it's just me, but when I hear entry-level, I think "straight out of college" or "we'll train you on what you don't already know". Apparently, that's not the case, and it makes for a really difficult time in landing a new job. As always, I'm doing my best to remain positive, and am trying to see the best in things. So I didn't get the internal position(s) at my current job. It does suck, yes, but it also frees me up from having to continue to work there. I can be completely away from all of the things that don't work well with me, and that alone is enough to be happy about. It still is hard though, when it feels like being in a stable job for a good chunk of time, actually seems to backfire on you. It's almost like the time I've spent at the job where I'm at now is working against me, mostly because I'm getting farther and farther away from recent design experience. It's kind of turning into a horrible spiral of bad things. It's making it a lot harder to land an actual design job now, than it would have been just waiting for one straight out of college. So, I've still been looking into going back to school, which I'm excited about and nervous about at the same time. I don't think I'm going to aim for MCAD, because I think that would be too much of a burden on my finances, and wouldn't even guarantee any actual success. There are a few programs at another local school that are much cheaper, and I feel would still be beneficial. I'm looking a little more into the web design aspect of things, because many of the jobs I see posted require more of those skills than actual graphic skills. Hopefully that will all work out for the best. Since I'm stubborn as heck, I'm obviously not letting a little (or a lot) of rejection get in my way. I know what I want, and I'm still working towards that. I may have to revise and edit my path, but I'm still not giving up. I have absolutely no idea where I'll be or what I'll be doing in even a year's time. I guess I've always thought you graduate college, land a job, and go with it. I graduated college, and now am in some kind of weird perma-limbo which is getting harder and harder to crawl out of. Yikes. Life really does throw some curve balls at us sometimes, doesn't it? On a more positive note, my hours at work have changed so I actually have more time in the evenings to enjoy life a little bit. This also means that I have oodles more time for Ruby July related things, so I think it's safe to say you'll be hearing from me more frequently. Maybe my Pinterest Find of the Week may make a return in the next few weeks, too! Hooray! (Right? ...RIGHT?!) :D

Hey all! I just wanted to get in one final, quick post before the majestic 2013 comes to an end. This year has brought a lot of laughter, a lot of loss, and a lot of everything in between. Overall, it was a year of complete personal growth and change. I've learned who my true friends really are, as well as those who just ended up being there when they wanted to be. While that circle of friends has gotten quite a bit smaller, I'm still very satisfied and I have no regrets about those who have fallen behind. I've definitely gotten more into the mindset of thinking for myself, and also in finding a better balance in spending effort on myself and on others. Career-wise, I feel like things still have a long way to go. Having goals is a great thing, and even though I haven't quite reached mine yet, it just gives me something to continue to strive for. As I had mentioned earlier, I think 2013 was more of a preparation year of sorts, and I'm definitely ready for what the future has in store. The things that used to hold me back, don't anymore, and the future is completely wide open and I'm ready for it. I'm just ready. I made it through the busy season at work, and now have more time available to prepare for bigger and better things. I'm a little nervous, but very excited. My Christmas was great. I've had some vacation time away from work, which I am continuing to enjoy. I was able to spend time with my family, my pets, and my wonderful friends whom I haven't seen in quite some time. And unlike last year, if you recall, I am not actually spending New Year's alone! Hooray for friend! (Yes, just one. One is all you need!) I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas, and an even better New Year. Let's all leave 2013 in the past, and look forward to what 2014 will bring. I'll be sure to update more frequently, as I am able to get back into the swing of things. Have a great night, and Happy New Year! :D

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