I love to volunteer. I think there is no feeling quite like knowing that you are making an actual difference in the world and impacting someone else’s life. Having a mother and father who drilled the importance of giving back to the community into me at a young age, has led me to a number of opportunities that I know I will truly cherish for years. It was one of the main reasons I chose the college I did and one of the first areas that I dove into when I moved to my current city.
But okay, pause. Right now you may be thinking, “Cool. I volunteer all the time too, this is, like, soo relatable!” Or what you are more likely saying to yourself is, “Good for you Shelby, but I didn’t come to your blog to hear you brag about how awesome and charitable you are when I have absolutely no time to find a soup kitchen – geesh.” Well, fear not! I am not writing a post that puts you on a major guilt trip or makes you question your self-worth. Instead, I would like to share with you my latest volunteer work that, gasp, is something I did from home! Easy, right?
Recently, thanks to my awesome sister-in-law, I have been helping Wayland Main Street with creating a number of marketing materials for an upcoming event they are hosting. The group was gracious enough to give me full control in regards to the design and I think we came up with something that we all loved. Included in the package were: posters, table cards, gift bag flyers, maps with a full schedule of events, and a large formatted sponsorship appreciation board. This was a really fun project that continued to make me feel good after I sent in my work. Knowing that I was helping a group that may not have been able to access a graphic designer before is one of the best feelings I could have. And here’s the thing: this is technically volunteer work!
This weekend I celebrated my 25th birthday. While nothing really major happens when you turn 25, except for insurance costs decreasing and the magical ability to drink decent amounts of alcohol without feeling like crap for 2 solid days disappears, I still felt like this was a big milestone. Okay, maybe not big, but how about a decent sized one?
When I was young, I always thought at this point in my life I would have a house, a husband and one kid (or be pregnant with said kid). I would be this awesome adult who had her entire life sorted out and an amazing career to boot. Instead, I live in a one-bedroom apartment, have a pretty wonderful boyfriend, and a spoiled rotten dog for a roommate. While I like to think of myself as an awesome… person, adult(ing) is something I struggle with every day. I am not a morning person – although I hope to become one, my closet and bedroom notoriously look as though I just missed the last tornado to Oz and I always wait for the low fuel light to come on before stopping to fill up. As for my career, hah! Nobody really prepares you for uncertainty. Great mentors encourage you to follow your passions by constantly feeding you lines about doing what you enjoy throughout your entire childhood, but what if you don’t know what you enjoy? What if you just don’t like to work and anything you would do for work isn’t exciting and fun? What if doing a job that encompasses a passion of yours turns into something you dread?
This year I have been blessed with a number of bookings of the wedding variety, which is exciting to say the least. There is truly nothing as rewarding as helping a couple with their big day. One in particular this summer is that of a good friend, who recently got engaged to his girlfriend of almost 2 years. I was honored and thrilled that he asked me to design not only their bridal shower invites, but their wedding invites as well. After asking for a bit more detail about their tastes and vision, I was able to come up with a design that spoke to each of them perfectly. Here’s a sneak peak at this country boy and girl’s bridal shower invites. Stay tuned for the wedding invites!