Break.

It’s been a minute (since Q1) since I wrote a reflection post. And at the time I was full of nerves and had quit drinking coffee because it was making me too anxious. Q2 was much better because I realized I was in charge of my own success. And failure. So I made sure to fail in the ways I was comfortable with (I’m not staying up late drawing things; I was an art major, I’ve done that) and striving in the ways in which I wanted to grow (how do I make a concept model of impostorism? How do I tell a story people will care about?). I also began drinking coffee again.

And we’re officially in the last 2 weeks of Q3 and I have a ton of wireframes to do today so this seems like a great time to procrastinate reflect. Also because last week was hard. I got some family news I wasn’t sure how to process on Tuesday. I thought about skipping class that night. I went climbing at Austin Bouldering Project with a friend, changed clothes, and drove straight past AC4D. On purpose. I took a deep breath, turned around and drove to Springdale General and drove past the school. Again. I never do this. I normally just go to school for every class, there’s no decision to be made.

In the end, I went to class and I was glad. I went to all the other classes that week without any sort of indecision and we threw a failure dinner on Friday night which I did most of the prep for. (To be clear the dinner was not a failure, it was a successful dinner with 6 attendees who shared and celebrated stories of failure.) And Saturday we had studio and I was super distracted and felt like I was dragging my team down.

I felt so done, so exhausted. I’d felt done that morning before class. I thought about it and I’d felt done since Tuesday. Why? Oh, right, the family news. I’d been plowing through the whole week with no break. With that knowledge, I bought myself a comfort food dinner (Whole Foods soup bar beef chili over a baked sweet potato and topped with all the sour cream), lit a fire in the fireplace and curled up to drink wine and watch Fyre documentaries. (Okay, just one, the Netflix one.)

In this program, justifying breaks can be so hard and filled with so much guilt. Right this minute I could and probably should be emailing people follow-ups and building out wireframes and updating my landing page or creating a demo and working on a more in-depth service blueprint or 2 and creating/updating 2 presentation decks and scheduling something like 15 user interviews this week.

But I do not regret my breaks (including this optional refection blog post). It might all get done, it might not. It certainly won’t get done at the level of fidelity I’d prefer. All I can do is hope I’m learning what I need to be learning and know that all these things are first iterations and I can redo them for the portfolio if I need to.