2012 reflection

It’s that time when people reflect on the year that was and set vague resolutions for the new year. I’m not into the whole resolution thing but I do like a bit of reflection.

2012 was certainly a strange year. It was half awesomeness and half shitness. The year started off well enough, working for my PhD supervisor. But then her money dried up and prospective US employers screwed me over. So that lead to seven months of unemployment, which was a downward spiral of misery and desperation (plus a large amount of anger, mainly directed towards my university). I think I was weeks ago from seeking councelling when I finally got my job. And not just any job – the one that ticked the most boxes on my dream job list. I am so appreciatie of my eventual good fortune.

Now that my time unemployed is a fading memory, I can appreciate it. Selling yourself to prospective employers is damn difficult if you don’t believe that you are worth selling. I started out thinking that I was only a student and that I had gained little of value for many jobs (how many employers care that I can extract DNA?). But that simply isn’t true. A PhD is pretty much a full-time job and developed many general skills, from interpersonal skills through to attention to detail. Unemployment forced me to reflect and now I am more self-aware and confident. Being unemployed for so long was a good thing…so long as I never have to endure it again.

I think that unemployment also helped develop my art. It offered me more time to muck around, experiment, and push myself to do better. I am really pleased with my progress.

With the new job, I’ve pretty much given up sketching 😦 While I have been sewing in the evenings, I just can’t bring myself to doing any digital art. My art time is pretty much restricted to every other weekend, unless it’s too hot or I’m just not feeling it. And I am so easily distracted by the internet.

This will be my big challenge for 2013 – to find the right balance between my hobbies and continue to improve at a satisfying pace.

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