A lot can happen in five years. Isn’t that always the question employers ask you at interviews, where do you see yourself in five years? Well five years ago to this day I was at my final year graduation exhibition. I came across heart warming, nostalgic photographs on my Facebook memories. Me and old friends, me and my wonderful mama, my little niece in front of my stand. It’s crazy what can happen in five years. I look back on who I was when I was leaving university – lacking real industry knowledge, so naive of the world, under confident, the ultimate bubble-university-graduate. I could list all the ups and downs of the past years but I’d rather not bore you, or send myself off on a high speed rollercoaster just before bed! It’s been eventful to say the least.
Though we’re currently living in strange times with a global pandemic and political unrest. It’s all too easy to despair. But when I look back on my life in the last five years on a macro level, life has honestly changed for the better. There’s been a lot of hard lessons, but so much growth. A handful of older and newer friends who I’ll always hold dear remain. Family is still family, because thankfully we never change! Several grey hairs have emerged, I’m still trying to embrace those. I finally found a special soul, to match my own, one I can call home, he’s called Charlie. I found a new workplace and the Creative Director who interviewed me literally gave me hope again in the design world and myself just at a time I really needed. Finally, for the first time since leaving university, I’ve started to embrace all the creative parts of myself and what direction I want them to go in. It’s been no easy feat either navigating the competitive, white world of design and filling the gaping holes that higher education leaves.
All in all, five years on I’ve learnt how to make my own happiness. I’d never have predicted half the things that have happened since 2015 so who knows what the next five years have in store. Time is bloody weird when you think about it (too much) the idea that we’re constantly going forwards even though at times we might feel stuck. There’s still an underlying current willing us on towards something better. It’s surprising how much progress you make when you’re living day by day. Not too many months ago I was lamenting the feeling “I’d done nothing of value” but now, looking back five years, I can see how wrong I was.
Words & Illustration: Radhika Mary