One of the big differences between school and work for me is I have less time to reflect on my work. Instead of the teacher asking you ‘why’ and wanting to hear your answer, you get more of people asking ‘why’ as an opener for their idea. I’ve been working on this project lately and realizing how little mental space I give to let things settle. It’s like when you’re at a party and there aren’t enough flat surfaces to put down your cup. I was reading about a group of designers who wanted to try bring academia and practice closer together so that the research and inspirations from the academic world aren’t so far away from what people are doing at work. I thought it was a neat and a worthwhile project….and then it got lost in a bunch of email and other work.
It’s funny because my thesis project was, in part, a tool for reflection in order to create richer, more diverse interaction design experiences. I bring this up not to describe my incompetence (it is definitely possible to a reflective professional), but it believe it’s something I’d like to bring back into my everyday life more so that experiences become knowledge. I hear and see so many bits of information that affect me, but I only remember the effect and not the details of it. With out the details I can remember, share, build on information as easily. This happens to me often and it’s frustrating. For instance, I just read (audiobooked) Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City and felt so many waves of emotions and things I wanted to remember….but like my last post about the On the Media series, I didn’t spend time after parts that were ‘important’ to me to reflect on them and commit them to memory. So now when I want to tell people about it my knowledge fails me and I’m like “it’s generally bad because of things. We should stop doing the things” (Igor deals with these arguments often).
I have literal evidence of me reflecting less because not been posting nearly as much as I used to. Writing used to be a savory moment of articulating my week or neat things I saw on the interwebs that I wanted to share. Without stopping to capture why my days or why things like this are so fascinating to me, I feel like I am less of a participant of my own life. Like, I like things just pass me by without considering all aspects of it. On the other hand, maybe I’m just outside more.
With that, I had a birthday recently and I feel like I have to carry on the Broad City tradition of answering these two questions:
What have you done this past year that you’re proud of?
I’ve done more creative things that make me happy. Despite maybe writing less, my life outside work has gotten richer.
And what are you gonna do this upcoming year?
Sing, I think.