Start with a question, make it a plan, put down the money, become your own man

Jan 18, 2017

The funny thing about making lists of things you’d like to do is that then you start thinking of ways to actually do them.

Today I talked to our realtor about how to eventually make our long-time dream of designing and building our own home a reality and what steps we might take in the short term for purchasing a starter home this summer to set us up for our long-term plans. The short answer is that northern Virginia (a.k.a. the land of HOA’s) is not the ideal place to realize that kind of dream, but we’re still at least a little bit hopeful and have more things we want to look into. If there’s anything I’ve learned about accomplishing things most people aren’t interested in doing, it’s that you just never stop asking questions.

I also talked to a good friend today about how to get started with graphic design. She gave me a lot of good advice on her own and also directed me to a mutual friend for online class recommendations. Funnily enough, this second friend directed me to the same instructor I had taken a beginning class from about three years ago. I enjoyed the class when I took it, but I didn’t have specific projects in mind to push me forward or motivate me to practice. I do have a specific project in mind now (a booklet of instructions and patterns for my quiet book pages) and getting the recommendation from a friend who took those same classes and then went on to create really incredible, professional work that she successfully produces and sells in a variety of mediums was especially encouraging. I looked over the classes again and, while I could theoretically move on to the intermediate course, I’ve decided to go back and pay to re-take the introductory course so I can relearn and really get a good hold on the basics before I move forward. I’d rather risk breezing through the intro course a second time around than blazing on to the intermediate course and drown in things that are way over my head. (Though I highly doubt I’ll be breezing through anything even the second time around since, truth be told, I still don’t know how to do things like set the file size, which is basically the Illustrator equivalent of knowing how to choose your page orientation in Word.) Somewhere in there I also really want to take this course on creating repeat patterns because my friend recommended it and it looks awesome and I’m sure would come in handy in a variety of ways. The other main thing I’d need to do to actually move forward on this goal is renew my Illustrator subscription, which would be about $20/month. So, making a real start on this goal, unlike the house goal, is very much within my reach for the immediate future. I’ve even made new categories in the budget for it–now I just need to actually set the money aside, make the purchases, and do the work.

Starting maybe as soon as this Friday.

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