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It’s been some time since I last posted something here. I’ve been so occupied with a number of things. I read somewhere–and apparently it came from a Starbucks inspirational cup print called “The Way I See It #283”–that you should say I WILL instead of I wish, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do.

This year has been off to a good start. With I WILL in mind, I decided to start taking action towards the things I really want, and one of those is to continue doing designs. What I’ve always enjoyed during my college days were really the graphic design classes in my course. I am amazed at how typography, layout, shapes, and colors work together to make visually appealing works, whether simple or elaborate.

I acknowledge that I still have limited skills to execute the ideas I have, but for now I make do with what I’ve learned and try to read and watch tutorials from time to time to keep my mind fresh. I’ll also be enrolling myself in a short course for Adobe Illustrator hopefully by next month. I was thinking a lot about how much it will cost me, but I thought, what the hell? I’ll go for it. I don’t spend a lot except on food, so why not use the money to learn something new, right? It should be a good investment for whatever reason. My goal is to be good at graphic design, get work that allows me to be creative in this field and make projects in the future, but for now I  will keep learning and practicing when I can.

I started a tumblr site just to get my works out there. You can check out HelloStephYu to see some of the stuff I made, which isn’t a lot yet, and some photos I took that I never uploaded anywhere.

Heima's Paper Club

One of the actions I took was to work as an intern at Punchdrunk Panda, a Filipino brand that sells graphic-designed products such as shoes, laptop sleeves and camera straps. Although I worked as a marketing intern, it was an experience that further made me realize what I want. I got to meet some talented people and hear their thoughts as we did webisode shoots at Heima, a quirky furniture store; and organized an event called Anteroom Sessions, where Pinoy entrepreneurs showcased their products and compelling local bands played songs that brightened up the driveway of Cubao X.

All I can hope for now is that I am on the right track, but then should I hope it or will it? I say both.

That’s what’s in for me one Monday morning, the day I was set to tell my boss I was taking three more days of vacation leave, right after I used up the five days I filed for the month. I won’t elaborate on what happened; all I can say is I got what I wanted.

Reading the daily paper—once a habit done purely for leisure—is now also a requirement for my nine-to-six (nope, not five) day job. As I scan the papers for pickups, there is one section I will always avoid: the horoscope. As much as I am curious about what it has to say about my day, I would always convince myself that I can’t let two sentences take over the next 16 hours of my life. But then occasionally my officemates take a detour and read out loud their own fate, then ask my sign; and I am compelled to say it because I want to know mine.

I do not know exactly how the workings of astrology are done and how the writer formulates predictions to make anyone feel like something is looming over him. I read it because sometimes the assurance of a friend or giving myself a pat on the back despite the turmoil in my head is not enough. I want another option to tell me that today I will find a missing piece, or an opportunity to do something great, or that I will meet people and that today I can be courageous.

I always make sure that reading my horoscope works out for me by being partial to what I choose to absorb:

Gemini: You will find love today. You will finish something you’ve started long ago. Your lucky numbers is 23.

I say: Great! This is totally possible!

Gemini: You will have an awkward encounter with someone. Money is not your friend today. Two stars today and lucky color is orange.

I say: The hell. Noo, it can’t be. It just can’t.

My take on this is not to take it seriously. The cool thing is when it matches or your status or un-status quo, but these are just a few words put together to tell you how your life might run, or how you might want to run it. It serves as a reminder to what I’ve forgotten I can be: that I can be creative today, that I can start a business or a project, or that I can choose to take action despite this piece of print telling me today is not a good day to do ambitious things.

spreads I’ve taken out from the daily paper + two-month-old magazine issue + sketch pad for poster entry brainstorming + distractions

Lately, I’ve been feeling like my life’s just a list of tasks. I am not creating nor am I even consuming. I don’t know where to start or when to stop. I have ideas recorded on paper and typed on notepad files that never flourished enough. This must be what quarter-life crisis feels, assuming I live to 88. And it doesn’t help to know that others go through the same thing, or that others have bigger problems, or that it will all be okay. It’s irrational albeit comforting to say any of these, because these words are kisses to a man with a broken leg—it makes him feel better, but it does not fix his injury.

The thought of the future brings anxiety to the present. I see where the lives of older people have headed, and I am afraid of two things: becoming the mess like they are, or growing up not being as good (what does that even mean?) as any of them. Everyday, I walk to the station where I get my ride home; I know the route, but I feel directionless.

I’m under the pile right now, and I need something to push myself up. Until when will I be a wallflower? Will I ever shine?