Illustrator: Bailey Bremmers (Design Apprentice)
I love to compare my life to chapters in a book. I am a strong believer that we have the power to change, invent, write, and rewrite the stories of our lives as we move precariously through them. Each decision you make, or page you flip, can change the way your story reads.
Last year, I opened and closed a very big chapter of my life. One with many stories, some short and sweet, some drawn out with words scribbled in the margins, and some with sentences left unfinished. I thought of each country I traveled to in my six months of backpacking through Africa and Asia as stories within the chapters, within my life. Once I returned home, I had to start a new chapter.
Chapter 23: Start A Career
I spent a few weeks after returning home trying to adjust to everyday life. I woke up one morning and realized that I had been reluctantly looking for a job without a clear idea of what path I wanted to take. I found that when people asked me those typically daunting questions like “What do you want to do with your life?”, “What’s your passion?”, and the worst: “Where do you see yourself in five years?”, the only word that came to mind was travel. But of course, this was the answer! I had just backpacked through beaches and jungles, seen the Serengeti and Victoria Falls. I jumped out of an airplane over the desert in Namibia and climbed an active volcano in Indonesia. I had accomplished all these terrifying and exhilarating things, but stood among the rest of my generation perplexed by the idea of what was on the horizon.
I was at a loss for defining my ‘dream job’, struggling to translate my enthusiasm for travel and creativity into a respectable career and feeling discouraged by my fashion major, which no longer felt like my passion. I turned to a trusted confidante who has always been able to unscramble the complexities of my mind and the answer was there all along: my minor in marketing could help me jumpstart my career in advertising, an industry laced with creativity and inspiration from the outside world. I was no longer confused, but driven to start the rest of my life. When building my portfolio, I realized that I was able to use my experiences to show my strengths. I am able to pull design concepts from the memories of fresh fruits and handmade crafts spotted along my travels, face a new client with confidence as a result of the array of personalities I have encountered, and react quickly under pressure when things don’t go as planned. My experience and knowledge of photography and film set me apart. Grip was ready for me. With a combination of networking and persistence, I landed a spot as the Social Content Apprentice!
Now I realize that the experiences I had are mine to draw upon for inspiration in work and everyday life. I believe that travel opens your eyes and changes the way you look at every situation. I now dive freely into everything I do. I have fears, but they don’t hold me back. I thrive on adventure and exploring the unknown. I can easily adapt to people and places around me. I paint my experiences in the brightest light I can, no matter how dark they might seem. I have developed an eye for detail, and when everyone is looking right, I am looking left, and photographing it while I’m at it. My experiences are meant to drive my creativity; my story is filled with colourful moments.
It is essential for me to have those experiences being reflected in everything I do. I strongly believe the greatest education comes from travel. So I challenge you to strengthen your skills by treating every day as an adventure. Rediscover the beautiful city we live in, get lost and find yourself in a new adventure, keep your eyes wide and uncover the small beauties in the most unexpected places. You never know where inspiration lives. This is the start of a new chapter for me, and I am thrilled to have Grip be my first destination.