THE NEW NORMAL (Struggling Designer)

THE NEW NORMAL (Struggling Designer)

“…and then, make a quick selection and click enter. You should now have a red mask around the areas of the image that you want to keep,” said the tutor.

Sounds easy enough. Enter. Enter…ENTER!!!

Nothing is happening. No red mask is showing up on my own image. Why the heck isn’t it working?!

I pinched the bridge of my nose and tried to calm myself. Maybe that was enough Photoshop Tutorials for the day. Next class on my schedule was Google Analytics, so I opened up the lessons and started watching. I had completed Digital Marketing from Google Garage, which was quite enjoyable, so I was looking forward to starting the course on Google Analytics.

Twenty minutes into the course, I did not understand anything and I’d dozed off twice.

Urgh, not again!

This had been happening a lot over the past week, and at this point, I was so frustrated. I mean, I was willing to put in the effort to learn, but my brain had been going to sleep so easily of recent. My first classes of two months ago were great, but lately, I couldn’t seem to focus for long periods anymore. How was I going to get my shit together if I couldn’t even get through my classes? Plus my digital drawings were not looking as great as I wanted them to – the learning curve using a drawing tablet is quite steep, and it feels like I am rolling down that slope faster than I am climbing…

To address the issues on my reduced concentration, I switched a few things around in my study schedule to break up the monotony, hoping that that would help.

With regards to my digital drawings, there was nothing further to do than just keep at it. It takes a while to build muscle memory when switching from traditional media to digital, so I guess I should give myself more time. Besides two weeks ago, I found out that I made the cut for the top 100 out of 192 entries submitted for that digital art competition I participated in. I was dropped by the next round, but it still made me feel good that I was at least picked.

This past week felt like I’d been hitting a wall and I have started to feel the pressure mounting again; the pressure to get good fast and start earning. The feeling of being left behind by my peers is starting to weigh on me again. I spoke with Dede last night and she gave me a good perspective that I have heard before but I tend to forget: “Your so-called peers also (most times) don’t also know what the heck it is they are doing. We are all trying the best we can, so worry less and live more.”


Why do people keep apologizing for not being there when they hear I just completed treatment for cancer? I’ve heard things like “I should have checked on you. If I had, I would have known you were going through this.” These are people that I am not exactly chummy with and they look hurt that I didn’t tell them I had cancer. I find it weird and awkward. I chose the people I told because I felt they could be of help in one way or another or, based on our relationship, I needed them there for support.

If you didn’t know, honey, you weren’t meant to know. So stop making me feel awkward. At least, that is what I’d like to say. Instead I say, “It’s okay. I’m fine now.”

“But you could have told me na,” they’d insist.

Because we are not tight like that, the hell! I would want to say.

Instead, I would say, “There was a lot going on, I only had time to tell a few people.”

Then they’d start asking about my experience. At this point, I just try to shut down the conversation. Some people mean well, but some are obviously just looking for cancer gist. Either way, these conversations are more of a bother now, because they take me back to traumatic times that I am trying to forget. What I need is peace and quiet so that I can focus on life-after-treatment, but some people tend not to understand that.

I was typing this write-up on my phone, and a WhatsApp message from one of such people flashed across my screen.

“Cut your risk of cancer by brushing your teeth”

I have not spoken more than two sentences to this guy in over five years prior to this. But since he heard a month ago from someone who found out from someone else, he has blessed me with the most awkward chats and the weirdest resources. Resources that are just general bare-minimum healthy practices dressed up as quick fixes to prevent cancer. I detest such articles as they rub me the wrong way, understandably. It is starting to get bothersome now and I am thinking I should put an end to this.

So I messaged back. “Thanks a lot, but you gotta stop sending me these.”

“OK, no problem,” he replied. “But did you read the content or you were just put off by the headline? It’s healthy information for general health. I won’t send you something that is not relevant, but if you don’t like it, I will definitely respect that.”

Such surface-level graciousness with a dash of entitlement; he might as well have said, “I’m sending great useful info, but you are just being ungrateful.”

Now I was just irritated, and so, I replied, “It’s not relevant. Thanks.”

An article that talks about cutting the risk of getting cancer is pretty useless to someone recovering from cancer. But what do I know; I’m just a struggling designer.

Written by Modd

Previous Schitt's Creek Wins Top Comedy Categories, Making Emmy Awards History
Next Schitt’s Creek Might Return With A Movie Sequel

About author

You might also like

Series (Non-Fiction) 6 Comments

FOR AJ (Part 3)

Previously on FOR AJ… * Finally, AJ had replied. *insert sigh of relief* I sat where I was reading the WhatsApp text he sent after several weeks of being incommunicado

Series (Non-Fiction) 40 Comments

Kiss And Tell (Entry 5)

That’s how I was staying on my own one Friday morning in December last year, going about my business and waiting in anticipation for the oncoming Christmas. My business of

Series (Non-Fiction) 22 Comments

The +++ Journals: Entry IV

“We are going on a road trip!” Josh laughed. It felt good to hear his throaty chuckle after a long time. (For someone who I was constantly in communication with,


  1. Fred
    September 21, 11:44 Reply

    Dear struggling designer,
    Don’t be irritated by “uncle’s” narrow-minded articles. Let his every attempt at disgracing his years of education amuse you. It’s good stuff for recovering cancer patients. LoL

    • Modd
      September 22, 13:58 Reply

      Hahaha!! Thanks jare.

  2. Loco
    April 25, 23:12 Reply

    I love this article, i relate to the fact that you had to quit your job to find your yourself (passion) , trust me it never easy , but it gets better with time ,you are a strong person , believe me or not you are going to get through this , much love ❤️

Leave a Reply

Click here to cancel reply.