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I’ve been pretty heads down with work lately. I’m focused on building a strategy of success for my team and how I can help in any way that I can to make things better. I’ve had the chance to meet my design idols, who’s book I was currently reading, and I’ve had great discussions with them as well. They helped me see things in a different perspective and it’s changed me in some ways in how I operate. It’s helped pave this leadership path that I am on. They were just super inspiring people that I’ve met and it has made a pretty large impact on my career. By no means am I trying to become a manager or a director. However I do see myself as an influencer…if that’s the right term to use. I’ve immersed myself in design books where it speaks a lot about leadership and whatnot, and I’m loving it. I spend 2 hours towards the end of my work day to read as much as I can. There’s just so much information that I’m trying to absorb and to take into action.

A few weeks ago my friend had this girl’s night dinner and it was fun. My design idol showed up too which left me foaming at the mouth lol. I wanted to get to know her more since she really is such an amazing person both in the design community and outside of that. Our discussions varied on so many things and oddly we can all relate to whatever was being discussed. Anyways, at the end of the night I realized how diverse this group of women are yet we were all on the same page. There were major age gaps between us, different occupations, mothers, wives, singletons, etc. It was just such a strong group of women to be around especially during that time where I felt so down about the guy, I really needed this.

I’ve thought a lot about where I’m standing now and where I was just a month ago. To some degree that cut is still open a bit and I’m still hurt. I am much better today in a sense where I’ve been able to lead and pretty much kick ass where I need to. I am proud of my efforts and my dedication in what I need to get done especially for my career and my team. I know this might happen again since I still have doubts, but I don’t ever want to be in that position again where a guy has made me feel like that. It was a lot on me and it was so draining. It has been quite some time where I had gotten that vulnerable for someone and it was just too painful for me. To even say out loud to him and even my close friends, “I like you” was a huge deal for me. It takes a lot for me to even  say that since I’m quite selective in who I even crack the door open for. He made me feel so terrible as if he slammed that door so damn hard in my face. It was too much for me. I’ve built my walls back up to shield myself because I can’t allow this to happen again. At least not right now. I am so focused and I can’t be distracted. I need time to trust again and I need to protect myself.

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I’ve been at my current job for over a year and right now I’m facing a lot of challenges ever since my boss’ departure. One of the biggest things that’s bothered me the most is not meeting my team, who are all based in Colorado. It’s a bit pathetic that I have to beg and nagging is not my style. I had reached out to my current ‘boss’, who is my previous boss’ boss. I had sent him an email with a pretty reasonable request. Basically asked homeboy if I could visit my team for better collaboration since we get along so well in our chat channel and to lead by pushing the user experience even further in the next upcoming product release. It’s been almost a month since I’ve written that email and homeboy has not answered me. Once again this is not an outreach program. I’ve been beyond frustrated and it sucks, which has also led me to applying to jobs elsewhere. I don’t see the harm in applying while I’m still employed. However, I had a call with this start up and they seem VERY interested in me. Having a meeting with one of the execs via Google Hangout so that’ll be interesting.

Although I am at the door and with it cracked ever so slightly, I’m not afraid to leave if I have to. But I love my team and I’m embracing my current challenges in a positive way as much as possible. So in light of that, I booked my flight and hotel today to go to Colorado in the next upcoming weeks. I’ve had discussions with several folks on my team to hear their thoughts about me coming to visit and of course they want me to come, but I want to make this as productive as possible. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to get this expensed since I’ve personally funded this travel myself. Regardless, I’m making a huge investment not only for my team and my job, but for myself. I asked one of my colleagues what they think our current boss will think of me just booking my travel and showing up to the Colorado office. He told me he thinks he’ll be impressed with my determination. That made me feel good about my decision and pulling that trigger.

This evening I wrote a message to this woman that I had met at a design event. She’s incredibly smart and just all round awesome. I was very impressed with how she took the initiative and went to another country (with her own money) to get her user research work done. She returned with great results which saved the company lots of money and in return she was able to get this trip expensed. There’s somewhere in the story where she racked up a $20K bill, and the company paid for that. Lucky girl!! Anyways, I sent her a message telling her how inspiring she is with sharing that story with me along with providing helpful tips in how to tackle on this one project that I was doing. I thanked her for giving me that kick in the ass for me to do the same as her, except I don’t think I’ll go over $20K in expenses haha. I thanked her for being such an inspiring contributor in the design community. I never write shit like this to anyone, but I’m sure anyone would appreciate a nice message like that.

I’m currently in the works of writing an email to inform my boss of my decision. I can’t get in trouble for trying to do my job, so whatever. Plus I’ve never been to Colorado so it’ll be nice to visit even though I’m keeping it primarily business focused. I thought about extending my stay into the weekend, but that’ll be for another time. This trip will determine if I want to stay any longer at this company so we shall see. I’m really doing my best to take the lead as much as possible and I hope my work and efforts will make some kind of impact or get any kind of recognition. Shit, I better…

I plan on being pretty heads down in my work this week as I’m preparing to lead a very important usability test. I’ve never had to do this and I just want to make sure that I don’t fuck it up. I just want to make sure that I ask important questions, take down the right notes and pretty over moderate the entire session correctly. I’m extremely stressed out and scared about how it will go. I’ve asked my old team who has much more skills in this department for some advice. I’ve noticed how lethargic I’ve gotten during the past couple of days and I’m trying to snap myself out of it. I’ve been extremely tired and sleepy and the thing is, I’m literally not doing much. At all. Pathetic, I know.

I’m trying to manage my stress better since I feel so much pressure from work. I went for an hour walk at the park after dinner to destress. I’m trying to stay focused and get it together before end of the week for when the session happens. I just really want to prove to people at work that I’m stepping it up and that I am good at my job. As a nice incentive, today I booked a hotel for this weekend. It’s the same hotel right on the water by the beach, which I’m really excited for. I definitely want to squeeze it some time in the sun before things start to get really hectic for me where I won’t be able to go as the summer is coming to an end.

As I’m working from home right now, I just found out that I will no longer have a cube at work. W-T-F?!?!?!@?@#%?#$^#$ Not fucking cool. I get it that I’m not in as often, but c’mon…really? WTF?!! Granted I work from home pretty often, but it’s still nice to have that option. Now if I ever want to go into the office, I get to use a stupid privacy room or an anchor desk. Seriously fuck that. If that’s the case I might as well stay my ass at home. This just really set me off and only encourages me to really update my portfolio this week and to start applying to other jobs. I didn’t sign up to be a full time remote employee. Absolute bullshit. Working remotely is a great perk, but it’s fucking 2017 for crying out loud. A LOT of companies let you do that so it’s not like it’s out of the ordinary. I just don’t feel valued and I feel really blindsided. I immediately emailed the director about this since he failed to tell me about this. Ugh! Apparently I have until September 7th to clear out my cube. Luckily I don’t have much there. I’m debating on taking my monitor at work with me. Guess I have to start really organizing my desk at home for this accommodation. Absolutely annoyed.

This is bullshit…

I’ve been pretty down about my boss leaving, work in general and my health. Last night I got together with a few people from my old team for drinks. I haven’t had a drink in quite some time but it was much needed. We got to catching up and throughout the whole time I felt more like myself again. I gave them all very big hugs and got on my way home. Once I got home I felt this relief because of how supportive and encouraging they are. I woke up this morning feeling motivated. I really wish we could all work together again. For now I got to figure my shit out.

I should try to stick it out another year at this job. I really don’t want to keep bouncing around and go through the job search and interview process again or for at least any time soon. Plus I love the stability and benefits of this job but I know other places can offer me even more. However, I had updated my resume last week and have a list of projects to add to my portfolio. Gonna design some updated business cards. I’m doing all of this in case I decide to jump off board this ship. I’ve also considered the idea of transferring to a different team or requesting a location transfer. Gonna have a talk with my boss about that before he goes.

I’ve browsed at jobs on LinkedIn and there’s some good stuff out there. I’m a bit hesitant to pull the trigger because as I mentioned I don’t want to be job hopping. I might reach out to a contact that I’ve through networking and friends for feedback on my portfolio. I just feel like my portfolio is alright and could be pushed further to its potential. I’ll spend some time browsing at other designer’s portfolios to see what I can improve on. Also side projects are important for me to include but that is literally another job in itself.

Overall, I know what I need to get done if I want to stay at this job or leave.

Recently while having dinner with my old colleague/friend a couple weeks ago, he mentioned how he quit his job at this healthcare startup. He talked about enjoying his time off and getting the chance to relax, do nothing and pretty much reenergize from that startup life. I was so envious as he spoke of this time off and started believing that’s what I need. I asked how he’s able to even do it and of course that one keyword: savings. Granted he’s 55 and married so having money saved up over the years along with a spouse’s income helps him to take advantage of the opportunity to do this.

With how discouraged I’ve been with work, maybe taking a break from work or this job in general will be a good idea…IF I WAS BALLIN’! I have my finances straight, debt gradually disappearing, and money saved, but I’m not going to waste my savings to shoot the shit. It’s the “adult” in me telling me to be responsible. Ugh. Anyways, this job is still relatively new since I haven’t been there for a full year yet. I’ve faced bad but also good challenges at this job and I am at a wonderful opportunity where I am the lead designer. This is my shining moment and that last project really fucked me up. I’m currently transitioning onto a new project and here’s my chance to move on and redeem myself.

I wish I could take sabbatical leave or just easily quit my job and figure out what I want out of this job. I think somewhere down the line I forgot about my goals and lost a bit of my confidence as a designer. With any job there will be struggles, but that project really destroyed me. I’ve dealt with difficult projects and clients in the past especially during the early stages in my career, but damn not like this. In the meantime, I’m diving back into the design community and taking advantage of the resources that’s out there to get me inspired and motivated again.

I’ll be 100% honest. I haven’t done ANY work at all last week. Seriously, throw my laptop at me please. Well I took Thursday as a half day and I took Friday off to get some rest from my recent medical procedure and legit slept all weekend, too. I’m struggling with snapping myself out of this depression. Despite me failing on accomplishing any work, I’ve been taking minor baby steps to help myself crawl out of this hole. I dragged myself out to get basic errands done like grocery shopping and what not. Bought myself some flowers to arrange for my desk at home since I love doing this but also to uplift my attitude a bit.

After getting as much as I can during the day, I went to SF on Friday night to catch up with a friend who is an old colleague from my last team. This guy is has been a great friend as well as a mentor to me and with how I currently feel, it was good timing to meet up over dinner with him. He gave me some really good advice and was very encouraging per usual. I had plans to go see Alina Baraz perform after dinner, but had lots of time to kill. We walked to get some donuts and chatted more. Being in his company was just refreshing and it was comforting to know that I wasn’t the only one in a rut about our design career. When we got our donuts and walked towards the venue I gave him a big hug goodbye. I felt so comforted when we hung out and I really needed that talk and hug.

Going to the Alina Baraz show wasn’t too bad. I had bought these tickets 2 months ago because I really wanted to see her live and I had a feeling I’d feel down when I came back from Boston. However, I got really pissed off because stupid fobs were being loud and obnoxious. This one fobby guy decided to sit right in front of me and blocked my view entirely. I just yelled at him and told him to move the fuck out of the way. Every time I kept trying to record something, this fucker kept getting in my way and I yelled at him again and was like “are you fucking for real?”. I ended up moving because fucking fobs are just inconsiderate as fuck. I seriously hate snobby ass entitled fobs. I know it sounds ignorant, but their mannerisms…SMH! I wouldn’t have to curse anyone out if they had better manners. Anyways, after moving my seat I was finally able to chill and enjoy the concert. It was a good night.

I was going to attempt to do some work over the weekend but I went back into instant vegetable mode. Ugh… Granted I was getting some rest since I was still sore from the medical procedure, I was just extremely unproductive and a mess. Yesterday I finally tried to do some errands, but I really just wanted to go back to bed and stay home. I didn’t want to interact with anyone at all. As the time went by, I was dreading the upcoming work week and having to deal with the shit project that I am still on. I went to bed feeling like I was going to get a lot of crap from whoever for whatever reason. It’s an unsettling feeling.

This morning I took my time to get myself relatively productive. Checked my work email from my phone in bed and cringed every second as it was all loading. One email that stood out was an email from my boss with the subject title “Your Review”. I thought to myself, “FUCK…”. Back in January we had to complete a self-appraisal and this is the time I was expecting to hear something back from my boss, but didn’t realize it’d be this informal. When I opened up the PDF to see my review, I was relieved that it was all good news. I have a few things to improve, but regardless I was happy to see that I’ve been doing well. It definitely put me in a much better mood today after reading that email. However, I’m still struggling with getting into the right state of mind of getting work done. I have my work all laid out, but I just keep staring at the screen aimlessly. I tidied up my room a bit instead, which is the last thing that I should be doing.

With the good news from today, hopefully tonight I’ll be able to get some of that work done.