I had been away from work for 44 hours since the evening of 8/8/08. Of all those 44 hours (except for when I was sleeping), there was not one where I didn’t think about the Olympics: trying to find amazing images of the already amazing opening ceremony, checking the TV schedule for the next exciting sports event, channel-hopping among sister networks, and looking up Olympic facts of past and future (and present) Games.
But when I came into work yesterday, it was as if I had stepped into a different world. Most people would probably call it the normal world, or the real world. Other than the newspaper front page photo of the relatively less inspiring Olympic Cauldron (compared to the ceremony performances), there was no mention of the Olympics in the store whatsoever.
I was surprised for a moment. I was reminded that the world doesn’t revolve around an event that features the best of the world. Random stabbings still occur; political conflicts are still initiated; extramarital affairs are still exposed; and entertainers still pass away. Those credit card and home improvement store commercials about the country’s best athletes being ordinary people, or ordinary people being the country’s best athletes painted a rosy and emotional picture for me not about what life could be, but what life actually is, except that it’s not entirely true. Silly me for being fooled and tear-jerked by marketing and advertisers.
Watching the Games on TV, commentators tell brief stories about some of the athletes, about how they were not completely ready in their previous Olympic performances four years ago when they were just mid-teens, and then about how they would be too old four years from now when they are in their mid-twenties.
That got me thinking about my accomplishments in life and in the world so far. Since I had recently spent a birthday in my “early” twenties, I feel like I haven’t done much compared to those athletes. But it’s not like I haven’t done anything for my life and my future. In the past few months, I’ve tried to be more productive while holding a non-design job. I also had a chance to figure out what I really enjoy in design and in life.
In the past few days, for example, I was able to reaffirm that, for whatever reason, I am very passionate about the Olympics. For me as a designer, it goes beyond the logo design and the branding strategies. It’s not about medal count, and it’s not really about which country is hosting it. It’s about the simple ideals of siblinghood and global unity, of striving for the best of and improving ourselves, and of spreading humanity, love, peace, fairness, and hard work, etc. to as many people and minds in the world as possible.
These are some things that motivate and inspire me to do better and work harder in life. They keep my hopes up and make me believe that everything will be just fine in the end. This month, I am moving forward and writing my own dramatic profile story.