The most precious stone on earth, the diamond, takes up to 3.3 billion years to form. That’s a long time to wait for something that precious – time that we as humans don’t have.
Unless you believe in reincarnation, your time on earth is limited, which makes your time even more precious than that of the diamond. You only have this life to live, and everything that happens, from the moment of conception, is part of your life’s story – all the good, bad and in between. But you’re not the only one with a story. Collectively, all the stories from fellow South Africans make up the history of our country, just like all these stories of the people of Africa make up the history of the continent, and if you put together all the stories on the globe (and those astronauts outside the earth), you have the history of the Earth.
Now, which one of those stories is more significant than the other? And which part of which story is to be excluded from the overall tale? Who decides this?
Too often people try and deny, or write off parts of their story due to bad experiences or adversity. You may imagine that the bad relationship with your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend never happened. Many of us would like to forget the enormous fashion faux-pas which was the 80s and some generations are still facepalming over the political and financial repercussions of some leaders’decisions. But haven’t you learned something from that relationship? Surely there were good memories in there as well. Some 80s fashion finds actually have a place in the new world. And we’ve surely learned something from worldwide discoveries, genocides and cultures. It is our heritage.
As a designer, you will experience your share of ups and downs, and you will quite often want to do the ostrich thing and just drop your noggin into the sand after one of those horrid projects. Don’t!
The key to growth and evolution is to learn from everything that happens. If you did something wrong, then put on your big girl panties, suck it up and learn from it – get to know yourself under pressure. Show people that you own up and that you can handle critique. Someone has wronged you? Now you’ve learned something about human nature. Oh, and you can show the world that you can be better than them. Those people are also part of your story. Everything that has happened to you is important, and is part of the person you are today and part of the work you deliver. Even if you would try to forget some of the bad things that have happened, they have also contributed towards the unique perspective that you bring to the table.
So stand up tall and tell the world your story.