Tonightâ€™s post is going to be about an amalgam of things – cozying up indoors, listening to my favourite folk albums, preparing pan-seared skirt steak with a soy and citrus glaze (aka Bistek Tagalog, adapted from Jun-Blog), and ruminating more on what my plans for the immediate future are. This time of unemployment is making me realize quite a number of things.
Firstly, that in order to be a great storyteller, I would have to tell my own story.
Homey, delicious goodness in a pan of bistek – onions required! Check that mad colour, savoury soy meets citrus seeping into every element of that dishâ€¦
Photo via chotda on Flickr.
The internet has made us all realize that anything is possible – and that sheer excitement with where our technology can go greatly excites me. Five years ago I could not have imagined working in such close proximity to something so incredibly complex and wonderful at the same time – something that allows learning to be within everyoneâ€™s grasp, allowing you to connect with people anywhere in the world, such as yourself, reading this now.Â
Gaining the experiences to develop true empathy for others happens through interactions with a wide variety of people, and through the experiences Iâ€™ve had with folks who have been truly valuable mentors, Iâ€™ve learned how to listen, and sincerely care. Iâ€™ve also learned how to sharpen my senses for imagining myself in someone elseâ€™s shoes – lessons learned through dealing with irate, tired travellers checking into a hotel; speaking with colleagues and clients deserving of no less than your best efforts; and through reading, voraciously, about everything and anything aligned with my interests online.Â
Turns out, there is a job title for this type of work that deals with building the kinds of experiences you tell your friends about: a user experience designer, who takes charge of crafting the userâ€™s or customerâ€™s experiences of a product or service. From learning about the functionality of programming languages to creating actual designs yourself and putting together a tangible output, and affecting people in a personal way – that is what excites me about design, that interconnected elements amount to a big, great whole – bringing delight, in small ways and large; satisfaction, on innumerable levels; and a sense of ownership, like how you feel when you check your bank account through your bankâ€™s mobile app and youâ€™re greeted with a bright screen that says your credit card balance is $0. Itâ€™s a nice feeling.Â
TLDR; Youâ€™ll hear a lot more about me, and I look forward to learning as much as I can about the principles of good design and what creates memorably positive experiences – and how these learnings can be applied to improving social good. And youâ€™ll see me write about my own journey discovering Filipino kitchens – because for all my love of it, I still have much to learn, and a great deal left to discover about the foods that tie so many people together.
Also, I need to get to Palawan. No further proof needed than what youâ€™ll see below, with the expedition masters at Tao Philippines whom I have been admiring from afar.