Wednesday, July 4, 2012
An open letter to the design firms that won't hire me
Something has changed within me
Something is not the same.
I'm through with playing by the rules of someone else's game.
Too late for second guessing
Too late to go back to sleep.
It's time to trust my instincts, close my eyes, and leap.
It's time to try defying gravity
I think I'll try defying gravity
And you can't pull me down
I'm through accepting limits
'Cause someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But 'til I try, I'll never know
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well, if that's love
It comes at much too high a cost...
And if I'm flying solo
At least I'm flying free...
"Defying Gravity," Wicked
I just want to design, but for some reason, you won't let me. I don't know why you won't hire me. It seems as though no amount of computer drafting skills, product knowledge, interest, or enthusiasm is ever enough for you. Somewhere in the void between what I want to do for a living and what I actually do, somewhere in the canyon between what I went to school for and what people will actually hire me to do are the entry level positions you've constantly denied me. They are the bridge you forbid me to cross.
You don't even consider me worthy of answering your phones as a receptionist. (Funny, the lawyers and investment professionals I've worked for don't see it that way.) I've done my best to try to please you by taking refresher courses, attending NeoCon every year, and reading design magazines, but there is nothing I can do to make you want me.
While I waited for you to give me a design job, I found some terrible substitutes. And I endured horrible bosses, horrible commutes, and horrible customers, all in the hopes that it would matter to you. But noting I have ever done has mattered to you.
The time has come for this unrequited love affair to end.
I'm tired of trying to impress people who don't respect me. This year I attended NeoCon for myself and not for you because I don't want to work for you anymore. I'm working for myself. It's too late. You made me wait too long.
Do not insult my intelligence by suggesting I work as an intern again. Now that I am 33, I am too old to be anyone's free intern. I refuse.
No longer will I make sacrifices to gain your approval. I've paid enough with my own blood, sweat, tears, and debt. And even if you never acknowledge me, I have earned the right to be where you are. I belong in the Merchandise Mart every bit as much as you do, and I will not allow your haughtiness and snobbery to drive me away.
Perhaps the truth is that you are unworthy of me. After the way you've treated me, you do not deserve my contribution, my talent, or my particular skill set. I will not share them with you. I refuse. I will use my abilities to benefit my own clients.
For so long I've resented you for blocking my career path. Now I realize that I can create a path of my own. I don't need your blessing. You are not the whole of interior design. You're just one part, the part that I despise for its ugly ways. Design itself is beautiful.
I'm the best thing that you never had. And now you'll never have me.
I'll let the ladies of En Vogue break it down for you just so you understand:
This is my declaration of independence.