Never Give Up part II

I hope that Jennie dearest forgives me for titling my post after hers.

As you may remember me mentioning, I was 14 years old when I decided I wanted to be a graphic designer. 

That's right, like any red-blooded American teenager I had a dream, and I rode its wings all the way to my pre-college counselor meeting.

I remember the day well. In order to ensure that I would graduate in four years (ha), I had made an appointment to meet with an academic advisor before I registered for my freshman classes. Upon entering his office, I took a seat and confidently informed him that I wanted to be a designer.

His pen paused. 

Shoulders hunched, pen in hand, he peered at me over the bifocals perched on his nose. After a moments pause, he posed a simple question: Are you an artist?

The question caught me off guard. I thought of my father; he was an artist. I thought of my siblings and my mother. They were all artists in their own way. I knew that I could draw and paint, and just as my resounding "yes!" was forming, I thought of Tyson.

Tyson, the boy who sat next to me in Sports Medicine. In the midst of wrapping ankles and taking blood pressure, he had been filling out his application to BYU's Graphic Design program. Tyson was an artist. As his drawings came to mind, so did those of many others. I realized that surly the people who were accepted into this program had talents far above my own, and the answer that left my lips was a timid, uncertain "yes?"

The advisor sighed, intertwining his fingers over his argyle sweater as he leaned back in his seat. "There are many people who want to be designers," he informed me, "and what most of them don't realize is that it takes more than just a few computer skills."

I left the meeting feeling completely dejected. I had been living under the delusion that I was good enough to find myself amongst real talent.

After some contemplation and introspection, I landed myself in the Family Sciences major with a minor in Visual Arts. I could not give up on my dream completely.

But I did not enroll in any of the classes. What if I found myself perched on a stool, staring blankly at a bowl of fruit with nothing but a white canvas in front of me? I couldn't bear the verification that I just wasn't good enough. 

And so I spent two years in darkness.

I applied for a few design jobs, and was rejected from just as many. 

It wasn't until shortly after my sophomore year that I found myself in the office of Alex Morales, a designer for the BYU Bookstore, undergoing the interview process.

I felt a spark of hope. I honestly thought that I was qualified for this job, and that I would be able to contribute. 

But, once again, I was met with rejection. Shortly after the interview, an email came informing me that the position had been filled.

With a major surgical operation coming up and a desperate need for money nagging on my mind, I found myself, once again, on the doorstep of Tucanos. It was the ultimate blow to my self-esteem. Not only was I not good enough to be a designer, I wasn't good enough to be anything but the hostess I had become at the age of sixteen.

At this point my dreams were teetering on crushed. I began looking into other options, editing minors and such. I started re-routing my life, cringing each time a family member asked for a design favor, taking it as a stab to by lack-of-abilities. 

Then along came August, and with it came an email. Alex Morales, the man who had interviewed me in April, was informing me that the position had re-opened, and he wanted to bring me in for another interview. 

A few days later I found myself entering the office, a renewed confidence in my step. As I glanced around, I noticed a familiar face sitting at one of the computers. It was Tyson, the artist whose superior skills had once scared me away from chasing my dreams. And now here I was, applying to work with him. I felt so accomplished. 

I honestly cried with joy when I got the job. It was the validation I had been seeking.

This winter I am officially starting my design classes. I am so excited to finally be doing the thing I really love.

But the sad thing? I had to wait until someone else gave me approval to do what I wanted. I needed someone to tell me that I was capable, that I had a chance. How sad that I was not able to find that inside of myself, to seize the day, to follow my dream despite the queries of others. Or, more specially, the doubt of one individual. Why did I let one man's opinion taint my vision of my future?

I pray that in the future I will remember to follow my heart and do what I know I am capable of.  

Can you imagine? What would we be able to accomplish were we not afraid to fail?


  1. Yay! I am so excited for you! I love the last line of this blog post.

  2. This was very touching. I've been pondering this VERU subject. Thank you, thank you for sharing. I feel should have designed Micah's wedding announcement. Not I. You're so incredibly talented and I can't wait to see the places you'll go :-) Keep listening to that beautiful heart of yours!

  3. S! I am so happy for you! You are going to be absolutely amazing. Good luck! :)

  4. How's the job going? Still loving it?