Did you know that the word “dunce” is meant to refer to someone who is a slow learner? It is slightly less disparaging than being called dumb or stupid but no matter how you look at it, it’s not a compliment.
I spend a considerable amount of time worrying that I am a dunce, or at least that I might come off as one here on Life of an Architect. I didn’t start worrying about my mental abilities until January 14, 2010 otherwise known as “the day I launched this website”. Let me tell you, it can be debilitating to put yourself and your opinions out into the public forum for scrutiny and evaluation. In the early days, I agonized over every topic, every phrase, how was my grammar?!? It was a frightening moment every time I went to hit “publish” … even after spending 4 to 8 hours on every single post I wrote.
Eventually I got over that. Maybe it was out of mental self-preservation … I don’t think I could have continued with this site if I didn’t learn to stop worrying and love the blog. [for the record, I despise the word blog, I prefer the term "Outlets for Creative Interpretative Letter Arrangement"]
About 30 minutes before I sat down to write this post, I received a phone call from a television production company who is interested in having me participate in a new program they are putting together. Sounds pretty exciting, right? After my initial “wow” wore off, my brain got busy trying to ruin things by thinking:
What if I suck and I’m exposed as an incompetent nincompoop?
I’m way too heavy for the camera [I hear it adds at least 40 pounds]
Don’t they know that I have white hair? The lighting and camera guys are going to complain constantly
The list of insecurities that bubble up to the surface whenever you decide to step outside your bubble can be staggering. I don’t think I’m alone in feeling this way, I’ve just decided that it would be more interesting to see what would happen if I did decide to remove myself from the protective cocoon of people who have decided that they either like or tolerate my obvious deficiencies.
So now that I’ve thrown caution to the wind – and the site has experienced inexplicable growth and visibility – I have started to think more and more about the responsibility I have to the architectural profession about how I carry myself online. No pressure … uhm, have you met me? I am the most immature
45 39 year old you might ever meet in your life.
Make no mistake, I am not particularly special, I am just observant and have good timing. I am surrounded by architects who constantly amaze me with how smart, funny and talented they are … I want to be like those people! But wait, that’s right … those people don’t have blogs. In a moment of brutal transparency I am going to admit that the reason I get more attention than those people is not because I’m smarter, funnier, or more talented, it’s because I’m easier to find. And since I am so easy to find, should I be thinking about how my behavior might reflect upon the people in my profession? Really?!?
Okay, If that’s true, that’s a lot of pressure … don’t screw that up Borson, you could ruin this for EVERYBODY. It probably doesn’t help my state of mind to know that for the second year in a row, I have been asked to run the Digitial Communications and New Media Committee for the Texas Society of Architects. What makes me qualified to chair this committee? It’s because of ‘Life of an Architect’ and the fruit of what I started January 14, 2010.
Wow – I had no idea that’s what I was signing up for when I started blogging three years ago. It’s possible that nobody cares … I mean, it’s not like every architect even knows who I am and therefore has an opinion about me and what I’m doing, For all they know, this online form of communicating is a fad. Back in December of 2012, Architectural Record said this blog was one of the 10 Architecture Firm Blogs to Watch in 2013 - their exact words were:
Even though we’re staring into the gaping maw of 2013, it feels like the early aughts on Life of an Architect. [ ... ] Bob Borson treats his digital diary in the confessional and modest manner that the blog format originally intended. The Dallas-based architect’s discussion of materials, the occasional existential dilemma, and other day-to-day scenes should be relatable to most working professionals.
Architectural Record Dec’ 2012
I suppose this post falls into the “existential dilemma” category but it’s one I think deserves some for consideration. I’m not trying to suggest that
blogs outlets for creative Interpretative letter arrangements are important, since you are reading this post, that would be me preaching to the choir. I do however think they serve a purpose – and my purpose has been to add some transparency to what this architect does, help people understand why I think what I do is important, and why I think working with me should be a rewarding experience.
So in the end, what this all comes down to, is that putting yourself out there for possible embarrassment and ridicule is also the same path as exposure, opportunity and enlightenment. That’s right, the single biggest negative reason to putting yourself out there is also one of the best reasons for putting yourself out there. What to do … it should be obvious by now.
Happy outlets for creative interpretive letter arrangement!