Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A personal note on passions




Well friends, (or friend, since this blog is not exactly popular) the time has come that I am headed back to school. This is my last "official" semester. I'm sad to see it come to an end. While many people talk about a burn out, I really love school. Sure there are moments when I would rather stay at home lounging around in pajama pants and a good book. But really, school has been a place that's sparked a lot of my intellectual curiosity. I wish I had come across better professors, but overall it's been a good experience for me. If there's one thing I regret, it's continuing to go to school during times when I had mental health problems (ah! a crazy blogger) Mostly, it was rooted in problems with anxiety & depression, but it really affected me. I chose everything based around it, because it was who I was. I had no identity.

When I first entered into college at my local junior college I had high dreams of doing layout for a magazine. When I was in high school I had fallen in love with journalism. Although the writing aspect was what initially got me involved, it was designing the pages that I lost myself in. I worked for hours on the paper. I convinced my teacher to let me create a class where I just worked on that. Although it left me with some nasty wrist problems (hello carpel tunnel!) it was the first thing to ever challenge me in a way that I really enjoyed.

But let me backtrack a minute. Because of mental health problems I dropped out my senior year of highschool because of that and problems with administration. I put all those dreams on the back burner and just focused on getting better. I wasn't even convinced I could sit through a class in college, let alone have any passions. Although I originally had planned on going to a private Christian University, I changed my mind after I discovered they had no design program. So I enrolled in my local junior college and I filled out the paperwork to be a graphic design major. But I was so fragile. I needed someone to help me find direction, so I looked to those around me. The organization that was funding my education discouraged me from graphic design because it wasn't a traditional career. My Mom expressed her concerns it was too stressful and would force me to live in a big city. My Dad left himself uninvolved and just reminded me I didn't have to decide anything yet. So I went back to my old familiar stomping grounds... psychology.

Don't get me wrong I really enjoyed it. But it didn't create passion within me. It wasn't challenging. I barely had to attend class to get an "A." But when my health took a turn for the worst, I held onto it. And there I was two semesters away from graduating at California State University, Sacramento, panicking. I didn't want to be a therapist. So in a quick move, I changed to Women's Studies. I loved it, the material was really interesting. But, that's all it was, was an interest. Something that I loved to discuss over dinner and a glass of wine.

And now, I am just months away from graduating, with a degree I have no real career ambition in. I have student loans waiting for me. No job, and a shitty economy. So needless to say, it's been weighing on my heart, which is why this blog has been empty of late.

2 comments:

Jeremy and Kathleen said...

This post hurts my heart. As a working designer surrounded by creative folks I know 100% that there are jobs out there for you - especially if you're passionate about it.

But maybe this is all apart of the big picture. I know that the more educated I am in all areas of life the better designer I become. I pull everything I know and feel into my work.

Here's to passion and hope and keeping on keeping on.

xo,
Kathleen

allison said...

I know there are jobs out there. I'm not giving up yet. I haven't quite figured out how to educate myself in the design industry yet (A degree in design? just some design classes? internship?) There is a lot to figure out yet.

That's why I love reading your blog, I see the passion you put into your work, and it gives me hope that maybe someday I'll be able to have a job in the design/art industry that will let me show the same passion.