“I lasted all morning but left midway into the afternoon session demoralized, discouraged, and definitely feeling and believing that no one could be more stupid than I was to dream this goal.”
For those of you that read my initial post on pursuing my goal of becoming a professional member of A.S.I.D (American Society of Interior Designers), you may remember this was my ending sentence from that post. For those of you interested in catching up to my long journey you can read the post here:
Fast forward a couple of years after my San Francisco debacle where my deflated designer self was believing that my dream was at a dead end since no one in Wichita was sharing my dream for obtaining professional status. Oh, there were a few professional ASID designers here, but they had no leads for me. Nevertheless, I kept hoping and believing that someday, something or someone would come along to help me.
In the 80’s and 90’s I used to go to Dallas Market twice a year for interior design sourcing with other Wichita designers. Unlike today ‘s home industry markets that provide tons of networking opportunities, it wasn’t like that for me in those market days. I basically only did my design sourcing for my design business. The Brunschwig and Fil Dallas showroom was my favorite with stunning displays. One display was a sofa in their iconic fabric …..So frequently used by Sister Parish that they named the fabric after her.
The B&F Dallas showroom was packed as usual, but I couldn’t help but to hear an intense conversation between designers discussing the Q or the exam to qualify for professional ASID status. Of course my radar was on full alert since they were talking my dream! However, this definitely was not a warm fuzzy conversation as this is what I heard:
“I tried to do this exam but it was so hard and time consuming that I literally took my hundreds of books and threw them in the trash!”
“I was so overwhelmed trying to study and do my design business that I gave up and put all those books in my closet never to see again, ever!”
Yes, I know without a doubt that I had that deer in headlight look. Nevertheless, I meekly approached this very disgruntled group of designers that I had never met, asking them how they knew who or where to go for preparing to take this Q exam? Suddenly, I had my hope back again getting from them a contact, Dr. Cheryl Meyer, professor at University of Central Ok. I had no idea of what I was about to encounter in this difficult, time consuming, expensive, and often discouraging journey of pursuing my dream of becoming a certified professional interior designer.
In finally, connecting with Dr. Meyer, she explained her $1200.00 fee for the exam preparation. Whew! I couldn’t swing that amount then with 3 kids in college even with my booming design business. Bob and I had at that time over $50,000 yearly college costs and that was in the 90’s so imagine what that would be in today’s economy? But, I was like a dog on bone contacting every lead I could in our area begging them to prepare to take the exam and share the costs bringing Dr. Meyer to Wichita, and we did.
Now, you might think this is the end of my story, but oh no, there’s more of my saga. You see, Dr. Meyer was preparing me, but I had yet taken this rigorous exam. At that timing, there were 6 sections of this exam, given twice yearly at a designated place, proctored by a design professional. Our assigned area was in Kansas City at Johnson Junior College, which is 3 hours from Wichita. Given that this exam is over 2 days, hotel and food expenses were in addition to the exam fee and books and etc. But onward and upward!
Finally, I was sitting for the infamous Q exam. Low and behold I passed 3 out of the 6 sections. Now, I had to wait 6 months to try again taking the remaining 3 sections. I studied at our kitchen table in our former family home “in my free time” of doing life, family, and did I mention my business was booming then?
Now this is my second try at this ultimate dream of mine when at the next exam opportunity, I passed 2 out of my 3 remaining sections yet to pass. Oh boy, could I possibly keep up my stamina and my enthusiasm to try for the third time to pass that last dreaded 3 D section? Yes, I did take this exam for the third time and I failed 3D by one stinking point! Seriously??
To say I was discouraged was the understatement, but now I had my fire back and I was mad as a hornet! There were no explanations, no guidance, no whatever’s, when I traveled to University to Florida, yes, Florida, to seek a review and supposedly learn what I was doing wrong. To this day I remember being with the arrogant architect supposedly reviewing my 3D project. He looked at me and said, “I don’t know what you expect me to do? I can’t help you.” I felt like I was right back where I started in San Francisco leaving Florida demoralized and discouraged. But there was one other emotion that kept me going and that was tenacity to not be this close and not have my dream regardless of the hurdles I had overcome and more ahead of me.
Well, the rest of the story is that I finally did indeed pass that rugged 3D section. Oh BTW, during this timing, my designer friend, Liz Fleming and I traveled for year and half to Edmond, Ok also pursuing a masters degree in interior design as we both studied for the ASID exam. And yes, we both graduated with our masters degree and yes, we both achieved professional status in ASID.
Can I hear an Amen?
Obviously, there is more to my story, but enough is enough already! Thank you for following along to my journey saga but my utmost purpose for writing this unusually long post is to emphasize that dreams are merely dreams if first and foremost, there is not an unwavering commitment to achieve that dream.
This could be your year to forge ahead accomplishing what is in your heart and even is in your DNA to go for it! You know without a doubt that I will be cheering you on with a robust gusto since now you know, “The Rest of My Story”.
Be well age well,