Positively unsure

This post was written 15 years ago.
Mon, 17 Aug 2009

There seems to be a conundrum in my life, and this has been going on for a while. - How best to describe it? It has to do with the definition of a role I think. It is about being attached professionally in some way.

My story so far: Mum and hobby web designer (personal website created with Dreamweaver) decides to set up interactive website for toddler group, then a school website which runs on - very powerful - Content Management System, Typo3. Learns HTML, CSS and some Javascript and PHP along the way. Becomes increasingly interested in web standards and doing web design in a professional way. Internship at university finally means working with other people, and learning a lot more. And there's the decision to do web design/development professionally. Currently working on somebody's website, and there has been work for the university, there might be more. That is really good, because I get to do what I love.

But: At present my main job is being a mum, so I can only be a part-time web designer/developer. And I am still at the beginning. I think it's that that creates a certain restlessness. When I wander through the web, see all those brilliant websites by the professional designers, or read blogs by developers, a part of me is saying: This is way beyond what you are doing. (But then it is way beyond what a lot of others do :) ). Where do I fit in here? What can I call myself? - I am not a student, not an established web designer, but not a hobby designer either. But does it matter? Perhaps when the dreaded question comes: What do you do? No, maybe not. A new answer coined just this moment: I am primarily a mother, but do some web design on the side. I plan to do more, and get a job, in a year, when my son will be at school. That sounds better and more straightforward than all the long-winded explanations I have given so far.

The as yet unanswered question is: How will I get there? Creating a few personal websites and occasionally doing some work for uni, will that be enough? - Doing the toddler group 2.0 project I am planning? Work experience? It is an adventure and it is quite exciting. I don't want to see any of the above as a problem. I feel very privileged to have "problems" like that. The thing is, with our basic needs fulfilled, we strive to do something we can be good at, gives us some fulfilment and meaning, and for me that is building websites, no doubt, and - provided my general circumstances don't change in some dramatic way - I will keep thinking about how to best pursue it, even if I tried not too.

I am aware that all of this post is very self-indulgent, self-reflective (and probably naive), which I normally try not to. Yet I think by putting this all into writing, I have banned a little deamon that kept fluttering through my mind. I can pursue professional web design, I am allowed to, even if at this point I am not a full-time designer/developer. Silly that one should think otherwise, isn't it? Specifically, goals are:

Learn to design good-looking things!

Bring to perfection HTML and CSS skills (incl. learning about CSS3 and HTML5)

Improve PHP

Become really good SilverStripe developer!

To conlcude this post, I just want to mention a selection of articles I read in the Guardian magazine this weekend, just because they are an inspiring read. By sometimes stating the not-so-obvious they could significantly extend your knowledge about what can make and keep you happy. This is the link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/series/how-to-be-happy Positive psychology as opposed to positive thinking! My favourite bit is from the article by Oliver Burkeman: "The advice is straightforward. Remember to be grateful. Spend your money on experiences, not objects. Volunteer. Nurture your relationships. Spend time in nature. Make sure you encounter new people and places. And never assume that you know what will make you happy."

This post was written 15 years ago, which in internet time is really, really old. This means that what is written above, and the links contained within, may now be obsolete, inaccurate or wildly out of context, so please bear that in mind :)
Tags: personal / web_design /