My floors are always in some state of clean, but never 100% crumb, dog hair, or mysterious spilled liquid free. I mean, who really needs clean floors ALL THE TIME? Totally overrated also are painted trim (we've been in our new house two years), spotless bathroom mirrors, and having an empty kitchen sink, EVER. Friends and family have been patting me on the back for the last two years about what a good job I'm doing maintaining school and home, and so often I truly feel like it's undeserved. What's funny is I've lived it for two years, and lived every moment of the, "I-can't-stop-to-eat-dinner-this-is-due-in-4-hours-and-I'm-nowhere-near-done" or the staying up until 4am to finish homework nights so that I can take my kid to Disney the next day for his birthday. I've lived through so many stressful moments inside my head and computer room, and yet it feels silly for someone to pat me on the back. Ya, it's no cake walk, but people do harder stuff. Hell, my buddy Adam I'm in class with home schools his two kids, plus takes care of their one year old. HE deserves a pat on the back.
So anyways, after a long weekend with a little play, and a lot of design homework I woke up this morning feeling full of joy. Totally happy. Crazy, especially since I spent a majority of the weekend holed up in my cave cranking out an identity package and advertising campaign for a fictitious company who came into creation last week, and had everything from it's logo up built by me this week. But still, I woke up with a smile on my face and a seriously deep rooted joy knowing that RIGHT NOW I feel like I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.
I grabbed the newest package of InchxInch buttons out of my mailbox this morning, totally over the moon about Draplin's designs this month. A year ago, I admit, I had no idea who he was, but after being introduced to his work in my Logos & Symbols class, I've been practically obsessed. The whole combination of InchxInch and what they are doing with these buttons, and Draplin made me start to think about my own path, and how I got to be where I am right now. A place that I'm all puffy hearts and starry-eyed over this morning, and I wanted to share. Not so much because I think anyone needs or wants to hear it, but moreso because I need to get it out of my head. I need to write the words and feel the feels. Ever feel like that?
So where I'm at. A soon-to-be-graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design from Full Sail. When I think about how I picked what I would "do" I kind of chuckle, because in my head I hear my best friend Christina tell me, "Well, make a pros and cons list. That's how you always decide everything". It was a totally true statement, but a habit I hadn't realized I'd had, let alone that anyone else had realized it. (Guess that proves I'm a total Libra through and through right?) So I sat down in what seemed like a really lame attempt at organizing my thoughts. I took a few sheets of paper and wrote down every "job" that sounded like something I'd like to do. Not something I WAS currently good at, but something I thought would be fun and interesting. Money wasn't considered at this point either.
On the list were- jewelry designer, elementary art teacher, librarian, graphic design student, art therapist, & professional photographer.
After I had my choices each written on a separate piece of paper, underneath I wrote what if any schooling was required. Then I wrote down what the median income was based on the US Census crap. All boring stuff, but if it felt like it would matter, I wrote it down. From there I wrote a list of the pros and cons associated with each job. Basically the parts of the job that I would like, and the parts that I would hate. Spoiler alert: at the top of each cons list was anything having to do with math. Nothing takes the wind out of my sails faster than when I consider working for myself and having to deal with taxes. Or numbers. Of any kind.
Eventually (obviously) the list got narrowed down to Graphic Design and art teacher. Our school district two years ago let go more than HALF of it's currently employed art teachers (#reasonswhyijoinedinchxinch), so that job got thrown out for me. So I was down to Graphic Design. I started thinking about all the things encompassed under the umbrella of Graphic Design. I remember thinking... what was that I said when I was asked "What do you wanna do now?" when I graduated high school... oh yea... "If I could teach history and do yearbook forever I'd die happy." Somehow I lost sight of the yearbook part of that equation. Why I had thought back then that I HAD to teach high school history in order to do editorial design is beyond me. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I wish SOMEONE, anyone would have said, "Hey, ya know, there's an easier way to get from A to B than teaching smart ass teenagers."
But that's the problem with where I grew up. Art doesn't amount to too much. Hard work and putting food on the table take precedence. Not that it's a bad thing, but it left me without the tools or knowledge I needed to realize in what career path lie my true happiness. I mean, I collected fonts like I collected Garbage Pail Kids when I was a kid, back in 1996. If it was free, I was going to download it. I had NO idea that there were people who's actual jobs it was to create these typefaces. It's honestly disturbing how oblivious I was back then.
And here I am now. I'm two years away from my 20th high school reunion. (It's seriously disturbing to me to have to type that out.) I have a woman on the phone who I'm guessing from the sound of her voice is younger than me, or at least the same age, asking me what type of job I'm looking for upon graduating, and if I've done anything outside of school work that I can include in my resume. I tell her that I interned for a few months with our local magazine, and that I just wrapped up what I would guess would be considered freelance work for the hobby & craft industry. (Big fancy talk for I just made a ton of journaling cards for a scrapbooking class my friend is teaching (Like these cards? Read about the class: here) It's all about how you word stuff folks! I tell her high at the top of my list is some type of job in editorial design, and second to that is one in a print shop, though I'm not opposed to anything at this point.
Jobs I don't want? Advertising.
Jobs I do want? Studio Calico. American Crafts. Yellow Shoes at Disney. It's good to dream right?
When I call my husband to relay what the career advisor has informed me about a special job postings board exclusive to up and coming Full Sail graduates, my husband gives me the "I told you so". I've been feeling a little depressed about the jobs coming up in my searches, and then several local art school teacher jobs came and went because I couldn't get the certifications in time. He reassured me that we had time, and that he was certain the school wouldn't leave me high and dry. (I hate when he gets to be right.)
And ultimately? I think about having to get a job based on my talent and it totally terrifies me. That + the fact I live essentially in a giant cow pasture of a town.
I guess what I'm trying to say is getting a degree seems like such a monumental life changing thing, and it is, but it's a bunch of little steps strung together that pile up to get you to the top of that giant mountain. It's a one-foot-in-front-of-the-other, not-trying-to-predict-the-future movement. You just keep your head down and stumble like a zombie from one thing to the next, until one day there are no more 'nexts' in line, at least not the ones that pertain to that degree.
In February of 2013, I had a 2 year old around the clock, and thought "How am I going to do this?" April 2014, my Oma passed away, and I thought "I can't do this, I just can't do this." It's June 2015, I have no idea where I will end up, but "Hell yeah, I got this!"