Reflection on Four

By Cat Lo
February 26, 2019
3 min read

I've reached four years at Martiancraft today, which means it's almost five years as a full-time remote designer.

Thinking back to when my hair turned grey, I can't believe I'm still chugging on. I can't forget the moment when I left last job and stared into the skies at Bryant Park, wondering...what will I do now?

I've made some interesting revelations recently. In the past four years, I've been a turtle. ? I shrunk my head into the shell and focused on design. I breathed, lived, and worked on projects in hopes that would fill me with purpose. I searched only to do what made me happy. I challenged myself to improve every day because it was the only thing that made sense.

Somehow along this journey, I've lost my voice. I'm no longer confident in sharing thoughts because I don't see the value in myself. The more I thought about doing something, the more I realized that I might not be able to do it well. I was never afraid in the past. I am now. What happened to me?

It's possible with age, the fog of ignorance slowly lifted. The more I want to share a bit of writing, the more I think people will be picking apart the grammar, sentence structure, or lack of narrative. The more people pay more attention to what I said, the more I felt the burden of making it bulletproof. Every idea that I wasn't a hundred percent certain I've hidden it away. Pretending to be an expert when I can only call myself a fraud.

I've lost confidence in myself through these years. When adobe first asked me to attend a UX/UI live back in September, all I thought was... Why me? What do I have to offer that people don't know already? No matter what type of great feedback I got, I couldn't accept them in my heart. After being asked back again this past January, something in me changed.

I do have something to offer. I can teach people things that they don't know.

Most of the time, I have reasonings for everything that I do. If I don't, I'm authentic about it. I don't strive for perfection, I don't expect people to think I have a mind-blowing thesis. I make mistakes. Thoughts I have today, maybe they are rebuttaled and it's completely different tomorrow. It's always an open dialog, I'm endlessly searching for viewpoints, stories, and opinions that people have to understand deeper.

I am not sure what's the right approach to share these fleeting and transient thoughts. Haven't we all looked back at the things we've done in the past and go "EWW?" How scary it is to face your own past and see what an idiot you were.

I guess I'm scared of myself and of my own inevitability to be stupid.

I've come to terms that I will hope to revive my long lost confidence by sharing my views in efforts to overcome these self-conscious negativity. I hope I can look back and see this as personal growth as a person for myself. Sometimes, all it takes is only one person to believe in you and one moment to point out the things you missed and how you can be that much better.

Just two days ago, I was looking at my Behance profile at the thumbnail images. For the first time ever, I noticed "they kinda look the same." It was really an ah-ha moment for me, and this is going to sound absurd since I'm the person that made them.

I can't believe that subconsciously when given chances to talk about a subject of my choice, I made the designs high contrast and bold, completely opposite of minimalism. In this moment I smiled to myself, because for the first time in my life, I noticed that my style was clearly defined.

No matter how much I think I've lost my voice in the woods, it's there where I've left it. These styles define me and tell my own story and I'm not sorry for it. Thank you for believing in me.


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