Oh yea, Vermont!

Digging through the Benventurer archives, I realized I never posted about my time in Vermont!

So, here ya go...

I spent this past summer interning for a youth and action sports marketing firm called Fuse. Established in Burlington, Vermont, Fuse lies in the heart of the east coast shred culture. Most of my time was spent managing projects and events for Gatorade, JBL Audio, Mountain Dew, EVOL foods, Amazon Student, NBA, Starbucks, and Doritos. Lots to see, lots to do, and lots to learn!

My spare time consisted of skating, skating, ..oh..and skating! I did a ton of hiking and exploring as well. The combination of the Adirondacks, the Green Mountains, and Lake Champlain creates this triple threat of insane beauty right out my front door!

I made a friend too! His name is Sam Chevalier. He pole vaults and jumps bridges. Occasionally at the same time. He's also a wizard genius at MIT. The best part? Sam's family proved to me that friendliness and hospitality DO exist in New England.

One of my biggest learnings this summer was how much I missed certain things. No Chickfila, no sweet tea, and no snow (yes, the snow up there does melt in the summer).

Besides my family and friends back home, the thing I was surprised I missed the most was Adobe.

By working in marketing this summer, I really missed designing things. Anything. Layouts, graphics, spreads, wireframes, etc. Throughout my college career and my time at Wake Journal, I never realized how accustomed I had become to design work. I spent the summer in Vermont starving myself from a tangible skill I had been constantly feeding over the last two years.

And for the summer, that was the goal. I wanted to commit to letting go of the design side of my brain in return for a fully loaded marketing agency experience. Besides, thats where I thought I was headed after graduation.

I read an awesome book by pastor John Mark Comber this summer called "Garden City". I learned what it meant to be individually hardwired by God and how to capitalize on it. This idea is what we call vocation. It's who we are, the lenses we look through, the passions that burn in our hearts, the reasons for the decisions we make. These are the things about us that do not change. Non-circumstantial and multi-generational characteristics about who we are.

"You can DO anything you want, but you can't BE anything you want."

It's up to us, as intelligent human beings, to discover those characteristics about ourselves. Figure out who we are and who we are not.

How? By doing stuff! Do as much stuff as possible! Man was created in the Garden of Eden to make and build things in a creative partnership with God.

So for me, as I worked in my "dream job" for an incredible agency with awesome people inside the action sports industry, I learned a little more about the way God hardwired me. I discovered who I was and who I was not in a marvelous way. And this pleases God.

Think of a car. No matter what, it will break down throughout its lifetime. But, when we discover what's under the hood of the car, we can keep that vehicle running at its maximum capacity.

Humans are similar. We sin, we break down. But, the more we learn about ourselves and how our "engines" were uniquely built, the better we can operate and make decisions along the roads of life.

So my challenge, to whoever is reading this, is to find opportunities to get under the hood and take a look at your gears. Try to understand why they are there and how to actually use them. Ask yourself, why do you act and react the way you do. Go made you beautifully different than everyone else.

So, my future?

Stay tuned to hear my upcoming plans. But what I do know is that I am meant to be a designer in some capacity. I'm not the best at it, but I'm eager to learn and get better. My goal is to become masterful at this, in order to glorify God as best I can.

Scratch that...in order to glorify God as best as I was created to.

-Ben

(Oh, here's a link to my VSCO Journal for some visuals from the summer.)

VSCO Journal: BTV