Do It Yourself to Be Proud of Yourself


After a few weeks of planning and two straight days of constructing, it was almost three o’clock in the morning and our work day was still continuing on.  The basement was cold, our hands were sore, and our eyes were heavy, but we kept on going.  Just before we were done, the phone rang and, at first, our many hours spent brainstorming was deemed worthless.  It turns out that the event we were building a display for was very different from what we had in mind.  Our concept was too big and elaborate for the intimate setting that would be housing our bespoke sneakers, so we had to quickly re-evaluate our plan.  Initially, we were lost, not knowing how to incorporate what he had with what we needed.

However, within fifteen minutes we transformed our urban display to a classic yet artistic home for our creations.  The feeling was incredible.  My brother and I had put in a lot of work for creating that display and, in the end, we developed something that we were proud to present to others.  If we would have commissioned the display, we would have slept peacefully and had a display worth showing, but no sense of accomplishment.  If we would have just bought a bunch of things and thrown something together, we would have had an easy display, but one that didn’t get brownie points for creativity and labor.  Instead, we put in the hours ourself and created something that we can use time and time again.  Not only that, but our problem solving skills and teamwork were put to the test.  (I think we aced it!)

This is the beauty of doing things yourself.  Stamping your own certificates, writing your own press releases, building your own displays.  It all gives you a sense of accomplishment that nothing else could replace.  You did it yourself and it came out awesome, so be proud of yourself.  (If it didn’t turn out so great, then you have no one else to blame but you and your team, but at least you can learn how to accept responsibility for your actions.)  I know I was proud of my brother and myself for our hard work, creativity, and quick thinking.  (He was proud, too.)

My advice to you all is never turn down a chance to do a project yourself.  The pride, sense of accomplishment, and satisfaction in your work and yourself afterwards is irreplaceable… but, if you’re not too confident in your handy abilities, then maybe the DIY network is a good place to start!


About Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the mainland United States, I graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and am a 2016 VONA Voices Alumna. I currently perform spoken-word in the greater Washington D.C. area and have previously performed in Philadelphia, Miami, and the Dominican Republic. Most recently, I have been published in Public Pool, Spillwords, and The Acentos Review, and Here Comes Everyone: East & West Issue.

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