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.


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.


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.