WHAT WAS I THINKING?? My untold journey to become “legit”
If you are interested in my saga of pursing my goal, grab a cup of coffee or “beverage of choice” and read on…
Trying to look ever so sophisticated, I wore my very chic and stylish taupe wool long coat remembering that San Franciscans wore only black and basics, never bright colors. I had already made that embarrassing tourist mistake traveling to San Fransisco being recently married, packing only whites and bright pastels. After all, it was summer in California, right? Not only was I freezing due to a bone chilling cold, I stuck out like a sore thumb like I had tourist written all over me.
Therefore, not to come close to another humiliating experience, I dressed the part and did a terrific job of fitting in or so I naively surmised. Then the architect instructor started giving instructions to the over 50 students in this class where again, I sat wide eyed and intimidated. And mind you, the class hadn’t even started yet!
I really cannot recall when this unrelenting desire began an almost tangible reality in my life, but I just knew this goal ultimately had to become my reality. After moving to Wichita, Kansas and after my years of working for 3 different design businesses, I believed that in order to legitimize myself as a true professional, I needed to pursue a professional status through becoming A.S.I.D.(American Society of Interior Designers) certified.
I soon discovered that even though at that timing in the early 90’s, living in Wichita, Kansas, with one university and two smaller colleges, there were no classes to help me accomplish my dreams and goals. As I continued to pursue my quest, since would you believe I had a BS in Home economics education, I was offered numerous times a teaching position. This is was flattering but frustrating as you can imagine.
Next, I courageously contacted ASID and after many, many phone calls plus a ton of hours seeking contacts, I finally had my application to apply for an ASID Allied standing which in itself is no small accomplishment. Why? Because it required a higher education degree, a minimum of 2 years of design experience, and 3 verified professional references. Holy cow already!
But the coolest part of all of this was receiving my first “official” ASID monthly magazine when low and behold, there it was! Information on their national convention in San Fransisco where a day long class was offered to study for the national qualifying exam (NCIDQ) to become my coveted goal to be professional interior designer. I could just see it on my business cards, Mitzi Beach A.S.I.D.
Now at this timing, I am a 43 year old working wife and mother of 3 so time and money were at a premium. I did, however, manage to travel to San Francisco alone, scared, and already intimidated by what I perceived as real designers and real architects. I thought for sure they were way better than me because no one smiled or did chit chat perhaps they thought it lowered their professional dignity. Another sure sign was everyone had these very large portfolio bags, mostly in expensive looking leather that held architectural rulers, vellum, drafting triangles & pencils etc. Like a kindergartener going to school, I had received my list of supplies proudly contained in my Office Max bag. With having no professional mentor or advising, I showed again how woefully incompetent I really was if I couldn’t even do supplies with any class!
Since the instructor assumed we all had basic knowledge of drafting, programming, building codes, and space planning, he began from that level. I remember to this day how humiliated I felt believing that surely everyone was looking at me woefully fumbling through the assigned design project.
I lasted all morning but left midway in to the afternoon session demoralized, discouraged, and definitely feeling and believing that no one could be more stupid than I was to dream this goal.
“The rest of the story” as the late revered Paul Harvey said will be in my next blog post on my continuing saga of pursuing my dream goal of becoming a professional certified ASID designer. But the message to all you dear followers is my deep desire that no matter how impossible your dreams appear, I believe with all my heart that rewards indeed come to those with the tenacity and courage to never, ever give up. This is my New Year’s wish for you as hopefully, you are at this moment, planning your 2019 with confident gusto to go full steam ahead believing in yourself that all things are possible to those who believe.
Cheering you on, Mitzi Beach, ASID certified NCIDQ and CAPS