November 18, 2011

A is for Ampersand ~ Renaissance Woman

it was all a dream


Hello Chantilly Song readers! I'm Amy from A is for Ampersand, and I'm so so happy to be here celebrating the arrival of Chantilly's new EP. I am completely blown away by Chantilly's awesomeness, and I'm inspired daily by her confidence and zeal for life.

In the spirit of the day, Chantilly asked me to share my story and/or quest to find fulfillment via self-employment. I don't know that I'm completely there yet, but I have come a long way from where I started.

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Although I always wanted to be a graphic designer, I graduated in 2008 with a degree in Technical Writing. Or, as people in the biz like to call it, selling your writerly soul to the devil. I did the whole manual writing thing for about a year and realized that I would probably rather do anything in the world other than tech writing, so I threw all caution to the wind and started applying for design jobs. Slowly but surely I climbed up the ladder at a couple of lame corporate jobs until I had my first full-time design job.

With each new venture in life, though, comes a new realization about yourself. The longer I designed in a corporate environment, the more I realized that my dreams didn't stop there--I had the itch to indulge in my sundry pool of hobbies and find fulfillment through a variety of venues outside of design.

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As someone that's always had far too many hobbies, I wanted to be anything and everything--a career thrifter, a freelance designer, a blogger, a writer, a seamstress, and an Etsy shop owner. And the great news? The internet makes autodidactism possible and all of these things are achievable with a little risk, a few dreams, and some hard work.

So, here I am today. I recently quit my full-time job and work part time at a couple of jobs, run an Etsy shop called Monocled Lop, do freelance blog design--all the while continuing to dream and make goals. While the road isn't easy by ANY means (crappy money, anyone?) it's a fulfilling one that I would never take back.

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Life is far too short to hate what you do. Perhaps I've been reading too much about Occupy Wall Street, but as a 24 year old dreamer, I refuse to believe that the American dream means slaving away for 40 hours a week, knowing your co-workers better than your own family, and making money for someone else. Are you with me?

In this day and age, we can all be autodidacts--teach ourselves, learn voraciously, become whatever it is we want to be! Don't fall victim to the lie that life will always stay stagnant. Don't be afraid to dream--like Chantilly! Make it happen for yourself. If you want to learn to be a designer--look up some tutorials and do it! Teach yourself guitar, photography, cooking--whatever it is that brings you joy. There's only happiness to gain from picking up a new skill and following a dream.

Thank you to Chantilly for letting me tell my small story here today! I wish her the BEST of luck with her musical ventures, and I'd wish you all the same with whatever it may be that you're pursuing for your happiness. Live it up! We are young!


A is for ampersand
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