No, this isn’t a cry for help.
No, I’m not surrendering.
And no, I’m not considering going back to school or becoming a teacher.
Safe to say, it’s been a touch year for me. As 2017 comes to a close in a few weeks, I want to give a brief recap on what I’ve done and what I hope to accomplish in the coming year. Along the way, I’ll mention a few things that I’ve learned.
1. In March, I released my second poetry book “Way Ward Soul Seeker” (which I just made available on my website). Taking a more experimental route from my first book, this poem is a collection of new and old content that best exhibits my writing skill. Putting this together was a nightmare. I remember having to go through hundreds of notes and reading old poems that I haven’t revisited in years. There were plenty of cringing involved. But during the process, I learned how to appreciate my journey of becoming a writer. I still have a long way to go, but my path and purpose is now more clearer than ever.
2. In August, I released a graphic design collection titled “Imagined Before My Eyes.” In addition to being a writer, I also do graphic design on the side. I created all of the visual elements on my projects. So I thought it would be interesting to embrace my role as a graphic designer and create a book that was all pictures. I created on a consistent basis and I was experimenting with different editing styles. This was one of the quicker projects to complete, as it only took a few weeks to gather all of my best work at the time.
3. In November, I sat down for a week and composed “Needs More Trumpet,” an EP that I started writing last year. As a musician and music lover, I knew that I had to release a music project at some point. So I sat in front of a piano for months and played as much as possible until I had a song idea. Then I would record multiple drafts, rewrite certain sections, and ultimately remove ideas that didn’t work. Unlike my other projects, I didn’t have a specific timeframe to release the music. If anything, I was pretty sure that it would never see the light of day. However, once I bought a MIDI keyboard controller (which came with music production software), I figured now is the best time to finally complete this project. A week later, I had an EP ready for streaming and a newfound confidence to pursue music.
The One-Man Brand
When I started Brother Humbled last year, I originally wanted something to call my own. In case I couldn’t get a real job or got tired of the 9 to 5 grind, I wanted something to fall back on. A personal brand that allowed me to express my creativity. I saw plenty of other creatives build their platforms and and it inspired me to build mine.
When I got around to building a website, it was a personal milestone. Now I had a home base. A link I can share that wasn’t an inactive blog. An official brand that I created from scratch. My own platform to share what’s on my mind. Even if it doesn’t become as popular or successful as other platforms, Brother Humbled isn’t going anywhere.
Former Job Seeker
Which brings me to the point of this post. Over the past year, my job search has been incredibly frustrating. My resume has gotten through multiple revisions. I’ve received more advice about finding a job than needed. Yet so many rejections and failures continued to pile on top of each other.
But when I started Brother Humbled, I had brand to be loyal to. When a company decided not to hire me, I already had a company to work for. Despite being jobless, I wasn’t without goals and tasks to achieve. If anything, I became my own business. Managing social media, creating content, and keeping up with trends all contribute to the day-to-day operations of Brother Humbled.
I’m not necessarily against a stable job or a potential career. I still want to put my college degree to actual use. At the same time, I no longer want to find my identity in a job title. I will seek out paid and unpaid opportunities where my talents can be put to good to use. I may even work a temp job or two. I’ll do the work, regardless if there is a paycheck or not. Although I’m a former job seeker, my new job is to build my brand up full-time.