my initials are BA. stands for badass

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Your ego is a friend of yours that wants to keep you safe

I’ve mentioned before that it’s hard for me to stand up for myself.

I’m finally realizing the reason why is because when I was younger, I was taught that being angry was not ok. Whenever I would get angry at my dad or my sister, they would come back at me with anger. Whenever I get angry now, I’m always expecting anger to come back at me. Being angry is something that I don’t like to feel because I don’t feel right. However, anger is an emotion that has to be felt. One reason I don’t like feeling angry is because I always feel like something bad happens afterwards. It could be losing something small. forgetting something, or messing up entirely on a design. It’s that whole idea of how negative thoughts bring negativity.

Strangely, I got a bit angry today and stood up for myself and the design that I do. Since I’ve been practicing for the last month, my work has been improving and I’m a lot more confident in my decisions. I also feel I’m a bit more defensive of my work, but I have to be. I’m the only designer at work and so if I don’t, identity and designs suffer.

Anyone can learn how to use a program, but if you don’t know the theory (within commercial graphic design), I don’t agree that you can call yourself a skilled graphic designer.

Stream of consciousness right now.

3 good things

  1. Stood up for myself and my design choices which led to a conversation about best work practices.

I’ve been standing up for myself a bit more often lately. However, I’ve noticed that when I’m angry, I don’t look at the person who I’m talking to or who is talking at me. All this stems back to when I was younger, but at the same time, I’m still listening to the person, I just don’t want to be in the conversation. Another thing I’ve noticed at least when I moved here is that people talk over each other and coming from my background where it’s important to hear someone, I hate talking over people or having people talk over me. As a result, I just stop talking because my opinion doesn’t matter. I feel that most of the issues could be solved should be solved by listening rather than just talking and making sure that your opinion is known. A lot of times, it’s not about your opinion which will solve the problem. It’s listening to the other person and understanding where they are coming from.

Another thing that has been bothering me is the dialogue space between men and women. I understand that historically, women are marginalized and silenced a lot of times. I’ve done my best to keep quiet in the certain spaces that I enter and try to listen and support, rather than impose, but where can my opinion interject? Where can I feel that I’m not taking up space as a man in the room. It angers me because I’ve had such a hard time expressing myself. I’m not even sure if I should care that much about taking up space because half of the time in conversations at work, I feel that I have to just silence myself because the other person wants to solve the problem, but without my help.

This is also the 2nd time within the last month that I’ve had to explicitly say, I’m the designer, please trust my process. I don’t care if you think this color is better, if this font is better, it’s not your decision. Please let me decide over this domain. It’s also frustrating because I’ll come up with so many designs and yet none of them work. If I were an actual agency, I’d only be giving 2 designs and have the client pick 1 design to further develop.

2. Won group Trivia and won a raffle prize

I’m not the most competitive person when it comes to board games. In fact, it gives me anxiety to have to play a board game. However, today, we ended up winning our trivia game at our holiday party. It was nice to connect with other people in different departments. What was also nice was winning a raffle prize which is something that I never win. It’s interesting how after my eruption today at work that nothing bad happened, but 2 good things (these wins) happened. I even had to ride in the rain today, but it wasn’t that bad. It was actually really refreshing.

3. Saw a good friend, caught up for an hour, and got my “brick” hoodie

I have a friend from high school that lives here in nyc as well. I love seeing him because it’s just nice to hangout with someone from home who I grew up with. I expected only to just pick up my hoodie and my other bike parts, but we caught up and I got to vent a little bit about what’s going on in my life. I also got to catch up with him and just see how he’s doing. He’s going off to Puerto Rico tomorrow for vacation.

Overall, I’ve had a great day. I even was in a small bike accident too. It wasn’t my fault because the driver drove right into the bike lane and forced me to use an avoidance maneuver. Fortunately, no one was hurt. It just sucked that the driver looked at me with a cold glare even though it was her fault for pulling up on me and stopping super quick in front of me while I was in the bike lane. She ended up just driving off and fortunately, someone asked me if I was ok.

Small things like that aren’t going to mess with me. I’m choosing to see all the positivity that I can in this world. Positive thoughts bring positivity. Being a little negative doesn’t always bring negativity. Sometimes, jumping from my comfort zone puts me in a better position

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Bradley Afroilan