Weeknotes #1: May 3rd 2019

This post was originally posted on Medium.

I migrated a bunch of content over and this post was probably written a lot earlier than the published date. As such it might contain out-of-date content, shit opinions, Dunning-Kruger levels of overconfidence and less creative swearwords than usual.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

What the fuck are weeknotes? Well, I kinda don't know myself. But inspired by the awesome Melanie Richards (and by proxy, the also awesome Justin Duke) I thought I'd bosh up a jank lil corner of my site and dedicate it to these trendy fuckin things. Essentially, I'll be documenting the shit that happened during a particular week. In note format. Weeknotes. Oh. I get it now.

Anyway, these will be rough as fuck (like me after a night with yer da) and hopefully a place where I can use all my words up and stay the fuck away from Twitter. I still haven't decided on the mix between work shit and personal shit that'll go into these, but given I'm an actual mess and the two often blur, who gives a shite?

This week was all about recovery. I'll spare you the details, but insomnia, depression and anxiety took over my life for a lil while and I had to do a little bit of fighting (aka sit-down shower crying) to get back at things.

Work Shit

I started a pretty long-term contract with a fucking wonderful client at the start of this year; and I'm a little sad that my state for the first couple of months didn't allow me to enjoy and appreciate that time. But we live in a world that's falling apart around us, so whatever, getting good work done as a bare minimum is fine by me. This was the week where I realised how lush the project is (I still dunno if I can talk about it, like). Working with truly incredible designers is a perk of freelancing and contracting that I'll always cherish, and this project has me surrounded by the fuckers. It's lush.

Most of my work has been revolving around taking an existing system with a tonne of nuance and a huge as shit member-base and abstracting it out for a slightly different audience (love 2 vaguely dodge NDAs). It's an awesome challenge, that has me working between research, IA, service design, design systems and good ole standard fuckin interface & interaction design. I'm in my element m8s.

I also built out my new site (you're on it you fuckin doofus) in Webflow and I love the thing. It's one of those products that reminds me why I started designing in the first place. If this was around when I was learning front-end I'd have happily skipped the text editors and wen't straight into it. Visual coding is lovely. Reminds me of Unreal Engine's Blueprints for all the game makers out there.

I genuinely love the direction I took this chubby camp fuckhead of a website. Feels a lot closer to my initial vision for my portfolio than the previous iteration. Have a fuckin gander.

Some things I've realised this week:

Reading

I finished the first Binti book and it's boss. Nnedi Okorafor is incredible and it's good to read sci-fi that isn't from the perspective of a fuckin bed-wetting white dude.

I also finished Mythos by Stephen Fry, it was kinda okay, but I dunno, arl Ste just has this way of writing that feels contrived and performative, tryhard I guess? Says fuckin me. Anyway, I fuckin love Greek mythology and this is far and away the best I've read on the subject.

I loved the brief Fast Co article/interview on/with the ever-inspiring Kristy Tillman, aptly titled Slack’s head of workplace design thinks open floor plans “suuuck”.

I got interviewed in Mindful Technology about my book (buy it) and my approach to design as I've matured in the field. Of course I read it and of course I'm putting it here, because ego.

Rambling Bullshit

It can be hard, in this industry (/world), to chill and come to terms with your current self. With the notion that constant progress and improvement is required, and with social media being an echo chamber of other people's successes and momentum, this is only perpetuated. While I feel there's truth to the idea that separation from the notion of self entirely is a healing and euphoric notion, I also acknowledge that there's a general comfort to a 'self' that we can all find solace in. When this idea is distorted by unrealistic standards we set for ourselves and by the idea that we should be constantly growing – in our personal lives, our work, our relationships, our wealth, our fucking Twitter followers for actual fuck's sake – it's so easy to become disenfranchised with who you are, to feel self-loathing and to lose self-compassion.

I like to meditate on the idea that where I'm at now is just fine. To come to terms with my present self and to try and assuage this weird as fuck mental time travel that has me feeling like a failure because I'm not currently where I've (for whatever reason) pictured myself in a year's time. Because that's fucking logical. Sit with the idea of yourself, be mindful of who you are right now, and understand your present worth. Forget, for a minute, all the 'bad' shit you need to work on, all the supposed character flaws you need to fix, all the gaps in your knowledge, all the career progress you think you should be making, and just chill with the idea of who you are. Slow down, breathe, and love the fuck out of yourself.

Hugs xoxo

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