My Tribute to Steve Jobs

Hi all,

With the passing of Steve Jobs, I have been thinking a lot about some of his words, life lessons, and views. I want to share with you some of my favorites:

Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.

Some of you who don’t know me in person, so let me catch you up. I have a degree as an interior designer and was lucky enough to graduate with a job. I graduated in March 2010, so the recession was still pretty strong and I was very fortunate to be one of the few in my graduating class to have a job (in my field) lined up. After arriving at said job, I quickly realized that I was hired to be an office manager, something I am completely not qualified to do and have even less passion for. So, after months of not paying my bills on time because I was only home for 2 waking hours a day (most of which I spent getting ready for work or eating my dinner), I walked away from that job. I didn’t know where I was going to work, but I knew it couldn’t be there.

So, I immediately got a part time job at a towing company through my mom’s friend. It was a fun and simple job. A job that you don’t think about when you get home. So, when I took that job, I promised myself I would only stay there for a year. I need time to settle into this life of being married, not being in school, and rebuilding my self esteem from that other job. Then, after 3 months, I got promoted to full time! That was exciting, but the hours weren’t great: 1-9:30pm. Then, after about a year, I got promoted again this time to a different position and better hours. (9-5:30pm y’all).

Then Steve Jobs passed and I started reading about him and his life, I was inspired to look at my own life and finally assess the life I’m living. I read his quote about changing something if you have too many days in a row where you are doing something you don’t want to do. I realized that working at a towing company is not for me. I love my boss there and some of my coworkers are awesome, but it is not a job that excites me, or creatively challenges me. Being challenged to think creatively is something I’ve realized is important to me. I’ve also discovered how important it is to be around people who love their jobs and are generally happy. Working there has been a blessing. I learned many life lessons there. Things I hope not to forget. Ultimately though, I have to ask myself, why am I so afraid to leap? To leave comfort and seek more? To possibly find happiness?

So, in the spirit of Steve Jobs and not saying “No, this isn’t what I want to do today” I started seriously looking for design jobs. I have weighed it and even starting out entry level without benefits or PTO would be better for my soul than where I am now.

I don’t know how it happened, but I landed an interview with an amazing company. I was so shocked when they called me, it goes back to that self esteem that I mentioned earlier. So, I woke up early Saturday morning and made a trek up to the north side to meet with the VP of the company. What?! Who am I? How did I get so lucky. I honestly was excited just to be interviewed. To even be considered.

The interview went well. I had stars in my eyes from this company and the things they do and their philosophies on design and so many other things. I haven’t heard back yet, but it’s only been two days. Honestly though, I got into my car, called my husband and said, “I don’t care what they want me to do, all I know, is that I want to work there.”

I feel bad wanting to leave my current job (self esteem again), but I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes and I press on:

The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can’t find them, make them.
George Bernard Shaw

If I am unhappy here, then I owe it to myself to change that. If I don’t, who will?

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