I love to create
The earliest recollection I have of my career aspirations was wanting to be an inventor. I loved to dream and draw out the crazy things I'd imagine, like a boat-car-plane.
When I babysat my sister and played with other children, I created games on the playground. We pretended to take trips around the world and go to Disneyland, using the slide as a ride. I used the world around me as a playground for my imagination. I created some of the best experiences with the swings, with the sand pit - everything had the potential to be so much more than it was.
In my adolescence, I continued to draw. I loved interior design and started to draw and plan out my dream house. It was a 2-story cylindrical building that was half submerged in the ocean. I'd have a zoo on the floor above sea level, and the lower floor would be an aquarium where I could see the ocean life swimming around me. My dream room had a portal that would deliver whatever food item I requested in the control pad, and a closet under the bunkbed, which had a slide.
When I fell in love with fashion, I drew clothes. Since we couldn't afford to buy new clothes for me to style, I'd channel that creativity into paper. I cut patterned paper into dresses and drew out every outfit I loved, because I couldn't have it myself. It was the closest thing to having the real thing.
In college I took a "Digital Cities" class where I learned about new technologies and the Internet of Things. I was fascinated by this idea of interconnectivity amongst everything we owned, and a smart house that would make our lives easier. (Kind of like that magic food portal I drew in my childhood dream room.) I dreamed about the possibilities made possible by emerging technologies.
I've always been an idea person, a dreamer, a creator. Over the years as I slowly traversed through different career fields I never strayed too far from getting to create. I love working on projects that I have something to show for, whether it's a photograph, a piece of furniture, or a website.
I was an extremely competitive child. If someone had a skill I didn't have, I learned it. (It's actually how I learned how to draw.) Over time, that competitive spirit led me to learn to learn fast. I've been able to teach myself to do everything I love to do - the tools, the skills - and create the work to show for it.
This past year I discovered the fast-growing world of tech. It's a field that thrives on new things, where people compete to create the newest of new things - of inspiration, innovation, imagination, and so much potential. These people look at the world around them, question traditional methods, and ask "how do I make it better?" And if they're interested enough, they teach themselves the tools to make it happen. They aren’t afraid to design the future. These are my kind of people.
Looking back, it was clear all along. I was always meant to be a designer - I just had to find a way.