So this week marks a significant event of my life: I made a bold decision and moved back to my home to New Jersey after spending a few years living in Florida. Certain circumstances had prompted the hasty move down in the first place, but after a few years there I felt as if I was wasting away. I had a good full-time job, yes, but it took more time out of my days than anything else I have ever done before. The kind of work I engaged in was mostly customer service, and a knowledge of machinery (or just knowing when to push in a green button). All pretty basic and skill-less.
Therein lied the motivation of my move; I felt as if I was the tiniest cog in the machine. Most certainly, there were very limited opportunities for me to actually use my personal talents, which is art design. Not having studied graphic design in college did not help either; I was never considered when applying for numerous art design positions.
In short, I moved away from that life with hardly a plan at all. Not a great move, but for a while I felt liberated, that I was able to do whatever I wanted to. Months later, I fell into a deep depression. I could not find a job that I felt was worth having, nor was qualified for, and job searching was becoming another self-worth reducing task. Also, breaking out of a routine like the one I had with my previous full-time job threw a curveball; there was no schedule, no order in my life. I basically had to learn how to pick all the pieces up again, find what I felt comfortable working with, and figure where I wanted to go with my life.
There were times where I slipped too far and almost lost myself – quite a few, actually. However, with support from friends and family – and a lot of tough talk – I managed to get my footing back on track. Those few friends helped me realize my potential, and eventually pushed me to dig myself out of the hole I had made. As a result, I helped form this, The Demon Hotel.
Being the penciler and inker for “Kid Riot” had put some pressure on me, something I’ve never really experienced before. When I fell, everyone else on the team fell, and it took a toll on my self-worth. I lamented over my efforts, absorbed my failures, essentially withered down and had considered giving up more often than I’d like to admit. I thought too often that working on a comic full-time with no immediate rewards was not the life I wanted, and that I should consider going back to the job I had left.
Up until recently, I had been struggling like this. My one-year anniversary of the big move has made me realize all the progress I’ve covered so far with this team, and how successful I have been since then. I survived the struggle of redefining myself and helped create something I had wanted to do for so long. I have been using my skills every day, and what’s more is that they continue to grow. I learned how to manage my time, balance my work and personal lives, and efficiently communicate with my team.
There are still so many things that I’m learning how to improve, and I’m all the happier about it, because you know what? Life is about learning. It’s about learning how to take risks and how to handle the consequences. It’s about making results instead of giving up on them. The Demon Hotel has in a way become my new home, and it has eradicated the fears that have been holding me down ever since moving back to New Jersey. It has instilled hope in me, and it has shown many (along with myself) what I am capable of as an artist.
So in the past year, what have I done? I have found my purpose in life.