On creative minds & getting fired for the first time

I completely forgot I was supposed to start my new graphic design internship on Monday. I have been living by the mantra, “If it’s important enough to remember, I’ll remember it.” That didn’t work out so well. Securing this internship might just be the most important thing I have done for myself all year.

I spent hours applying. I gathered pieces for my portfolio. I made a good impression in my interview. I got the job, and the same brain that did all that hard stuff couldn’t be bothered take 30 seconds and make a calendar event for day one.

My creativity is my selling point. It’s how I define myself in every cover letter and interview. It’s why the space under my bed has become dedicated to old canvases and frames. Why my notes for class quickly transform into song lyrics and doodles. I could decorate anything. Make it cool, make it trendy, make it current. A creative mind can take you places others do not get to go, like a VIP pass.

I used to dodge the hall paras during lunch hour, because my free-spirited art teacher let us roam around freely. If at an event to take photos, I can sneak on stage or snag some free food. While students in other majors stress over papers and tests, most of my finals take the form of an Adobe file. Jacht is less of a class and more of a place to explore the strengths and limits of what I could do or make at an actual agency.

Creative work doesn’t feel like other types of work. Inspiration comes in waves. It does not adhere to deadlines. Nevertheless, creatives face the same expectations and requirements of any other working professional.

The company withdrew their internship offer when I missed my first day. They hired me for my work, and let me go because I am not organized enough to make it to our agreed upon meeting time. At moments like these, it feels like my selling point and my downfall are one in the same.

What is my problem with adding a simple calendar event? In my third year of college, why can’t I manage my time well enough to make it to class with a few minutes to spare? How come I keep spending money on cute planners, just to throw them away in pristine condition the following year? Why does my room constantly look like it been ransacked by a pair of thieves?

I’ll have to forgive myself for this failure. I’m still young, still learning how to navigate myself in the professional world. I’ve spent my college years honing my strengths. Maybe, as I enter these final few semesters, it’s time to shift the focus to my weaknesses. Some will be an easy fix; others not so much.

My creative mind is a double-edged sword. Going to college is an investment. I’ve made a bet on myself and my own skills and talents. It’s a risk I’m willing to take. If I’ve learned anything this week, it’s that I need to start doing everything within my control to stack the deck in my favor. If given the opportunity, I need to show up.

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