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Posted on August 17, 2012 ยท Posted in College

If you havent figured it out yet from the image above I have enrolled at University of Texas at Arlington. With a goal to achieve a BA or BS in Urban Planning and Environmental Design. To some of my friends that may sound like something out of left field but for those of you who know me more personally or have heard me ramble on about development in Dallas its exactly what I need. I have been working at BubbleLife Media for the last two years now and in July as their sole Web/Graphic Designer I transitioned into a contract employee. I still work for them but no longer full time and thats ok with me it was something that I wanted and the company was open to that at this stage in their development. They are a growing company one that I recommended when it comes to local advertising and publishing and they will continue to be very successful in the local scene but it was time for me to try something else.

You see some every smart people have always said follow your passion. Well I am passionate about many things, scratch that I am deeply interested in many things. I once was in school to become a pastry chef, I didn’t fail at that job I simply discovered I had reached a impasse with my interest. I wasn’t that interested in making desserts and pastry for the rest of my life. I will tell you I learned a lot working as a pastry chef for over a year at the Green Room though. It was a 4 star restaurant so I worked hard for the money. I left that job ready to pursue my deeper interest in technology and instead switched my degree to Interactive Multimedia Development. Which in simpler terms means Web Designer and at that time I interned for the infamous Cali Lewis at Geekbrief.tv. It was a happy time in my life I loved being inside of one the best technology podcasts I knew of and I was getting a degree that would tell employers I could build websites.

The next chapter is where I turned another corner in this wild ride of a career journey. While finishing up my degree at El Centro in the Interactive Multimedia Development I decided to pursue a job that paid better at a brand new coffee shop along the DART line in Downtown Dallas. Originally it was called Opening Bell Coffee Mosaic but later became Backbeat Cafe but thats an even longer story I wont get into right now. I worked for Backbeat for just about 2 years starting as a barista and then moved up to the position of Assistant Manager. In this position I was a still a barista but I also built and maintained the cafe website as well as menus, flyers and the occasional poster all while working over 48 hours a week. It was a tough time for me because I worked more hours than I was getting paid for and simply dropped out of finishing my degree while doing so. In the last 6 months while working there my brand new MacBook Pro laptop was stolen twice and the company let me go promising to replace my equipment and later didn’t. I can only assume they decided to keep the insurance money I later heard the manager got similar treatment when she left.

Thats when I took a long time to find myself and a job that actually fulfilled my desire to be a web professional. I searched, I posted my resume on LinkedIn, I went to free social networking meetings all over town and networked like a mad man. You know what? I found a job at BubbleLife Media thanks to Craigslist. It wasn’t even posted in the web design section it was posted in the general job section. Low and behold one Sunday while I was eating brunch with friends at a restaurant with friends near the Dallas Arboretum I got a call from the companies founder, Jeff Farris, telling me my website was down so he couldn’t look at my portfolio to my embarrassment, but he wanted to meet me on Monday morning for an interview. Later I found out the web hosting company was the reason my site was down. That week I got the job I was hired after sweating profusely under my arms meeting him in a Starbucks at Hillcrest and Milton in Snider Plaza. Well actually after two meetings with him when I met the other founder Saffie who checked me out like a mechanic checks under a hood of a car. From then on I was set working and breathing web design, print design and a plethora of other new skills but it wasn’t enough for me though.

The funny thing is I have always had a passion for the New Urbanist movement through all that stuff above I kept tabs on this project and that project. I read a few Urbanist books here and there. I studied city council agendas and planning docs on municipal websites. I have even attended a meeting or two about touchy subjects like the Trinity Tollroad. I even surrendered my time to the occasional volunteer project at area parks. I said earlier that smart people say follow your passion, well even smarter people say follow what you passionately do on your own time. Those other careers that I have done so far I was interested in but I cant say I was passionate about them in my own time. Every moment I got when I wasn’t at my job I would be reading about Urbanism, sidewalks, planning docs, news stories about projects. Every chance I get I go Downtown and light up when I see the progress the city of Dallas is making down there. When I met my now long time boyfriend I met him on Main Street and gave him a tour of the progress even though he is a Dallasite born and raised.

So this journey that we all make to pursue what makes us happy in our lives, its a pursuit of passion for me but its also a pursuit of passionate action.

About the Author

I am William Addington a native Texan, a lover of the arts and a Eagle Scout. Good Design and Urban Planning are my passions particularly when referring to Dallas. I saw who shot JR and Walker Texas Ranger is still the baddest mother in the state of Texas.