on Sep 11, 2008

It really starts with an idea. At first it is just that, a blurry dream, a long shot of wishful thinking. Most of the time you don’t really know where to start; you sit at your desk pondering, researching, trying to calm the anxiety and feeling generally terrified. You devise a plan, and improvise a timeline even though you have absolutely no idea of how long things like ‘proofing’ and ‘licencing’ really take.

You put your heart into it, doing the most obvious things first like tasting every single product currently on the shelf, and spending an awful lot of time on Google. After a few weeks you start to see the light, you have a path to follow now, things look up and you feel the familiar rush of eagerness and anticipation. You feel sure of this, it will be great! You know what to do! You love your job. You surprise yourself by jumping out of bed in the mornings. This is fun!

You spend a lot of time just waiting, waiting… there is a limbo of meetings, decisions to make and others to do their part. Everything goes surprisingly smoothly for a while, and then it doesn’t. The designer doesn’t get it, the budget is too stretched, manufacturers don’t want to work with you, and the product is more expensive than you thought. You hit rock bottom, and waste precious weeks looking for solutions. There are more meetings -grim ones this time- everybody tries to help, frustration fills the room.

You embrace the frustration as willingly as you embraced the happiness; you remember this is exactly what makes the end taste so delicious, this is what you will look back on and proudly know you have conquered. Phone calls turn bad. Meetings get worse. Timeline is long forgotten. You mourn the loss of your bonus, it was nice to dream about the holiday.

You surprise your boss by feeling optimistic. You have been here before. This is normal. This is nothing! You remember the time when the machine broke during launch, and you had to stay until 3 in the morning holding your heart in your hand. You have definitely had worse. You will get through this!

You find a solution and tread on, it is not as easy anymore, but there is hope. Your job is normal and routine like. Oh well. Such is life.

The project becomes blurry meshing with your other obligations. Everything is subdued and boring now. You are in limbo, in between projects: one unfinished, the other not allowed to start. Motivation is low. Time drags. You hand things over to the sales team. This is no longer your battle to have, and yet you linger debating over how to help out. You never stop loving your job though. It surprises you how utterly happy you feel. You wonder why you never ever thought about giving up and are pleasantly surprised by the answer.

Finally the day arrives: you have a listing, everything will be fine. Relief tastes amazing. The eagerness comes back.

This is the best part.

You secretly savour every second of it. You let the feelings overflow you; you love your job, skip to work, laugh out loud. You sleep again, life returns to normal. On the day of the trial, you pick up the first one coming down the line. Time stops and goes faster at the same time. Your heart races, emotion gushes through your body. It is too strong –overwhelming even- and for the tiniest second you fear losing it in front of the supplier. You obviously don’t, and the moment passes.

It is surreal, fantastic to hold a dream in your hands.

You can’t wait to dream the next one to life.