It was my birthday. But I wished it wasn’t.
I was in the middle of my Praxis portfolio project. I had decided to create three brand books for three different companies in the span of three weeks.
When the month started, I realized just how over my head I was. Each week I had a tall list of goals and creations to hit. Midway through the first week, I started to freak out. The time didn’t seem to add up to be enough. There was too much to do. And then I had to do it all over again two more times.
I could have modified the project. I could have done one brand book instead of three. I could have done a lot of things. Instead, I chose to disappear.
I disappeared from the world for three weeks. I would be at work and I would take the spare minutes between feeding kids to write down more ideas or sketch out more page ideas.
When I would get home, I’d skip or eat dinner at my computer. Then I would stay up until 2 am working tirelessly at my desk until I felt some form of satisfaction with my progress for the day.
I’d wake up at 5 am those same days I stayed up till 2. I would sit at my desk right away and knock out whatever I could before work. And then the cycle continued.
When the week of my birthday arrived, I dreaded it. Maybe it’s not the healthiest mindset, but I had laser focus. All I could see was the clock ticking down the hours I had to do what I needed to do. I was obsessed.
The day of my birthday, I brought my head up for a breath in what had felt like forever. I looked around and joined the world again for a few hours. But when the fun was done, I got back home and sat down at my desk again. That night I stayed up until 4 am, putting the finishing touches on one of my books.
The next morning, my boyfriend found me up and working at 8 am. Between yawns, he looked at me said, “Wow, you must really love what you’re doing”.
It dawned on me that this is probably the hardest I’ve ever worked on something in my life. Not because in the past I’ve been a lazy, rebellious worker. But because I love and care. This project was my baby. I conceived it and brought it to life. It had a purpose. It was for something, not just a grade, or for me.
That’s how you know you love something, whether it’s tangible or intangible. You work harder than anything else you’ve ever done, to make it prosper.