Friday, October 12, 2012

Where I'm from and where I'm going

I have never had a real firm grasp on what I wanted to do with my life. As a kid, I never had a dream job to aspire towards; my interests were always on the move, and as a fairly hyper little boy, so was I. As I grew up some, I settled on different occupations at different times... a radio personality/producer, a writer and poet, a youth worker, a musician, a cartoonist, a philosopher, and a web-designer.

Unlike many people who swap their dreams in and out, I luckily, got a chance to play with each of mine before setting it down and aspiring for something different.

I worked for the college radio station for two years, was the student manager of it for two more, and had my own shows all along that timespan. I wrote a lot of poems and short stories throughout high school, I pursued it for a while as a Creative Writing major in college, and realized I hated the literature aspect enough to drop that dream real quick. I was a youth intern at several churches during my first few years of college, just long enough to realize how horrible the bureaucracy is in the modern church, and get the hell out before it destroyed me (and currently, I'm interning for a program that focuses on helping  young men of color, so I'm kinda doing it again... minus the church-aspect). I played guitar, trombone, and piano/keyboard for years before a wrist surgery changed the way I interact with the instruments... I can still play them, but it just doesn't feel quite the same. And I got a BA in Philosophy and with it did a whole ton of nothing, but it changed how I think, feel, and live my life; perhaps even better than that, it sent me on the path to becoming a graphic designer, once it was obvious I just am not cut out for cartooning.

Now, as I finish my AAS in Digital Imaging Design, and am tossed out of this 2 year school environment and into either the real world or a 4 year university, I'm forced to consider my options and am challenging myself not to switch again.

It feels like just about everything I've done thus far culminates in design. If you're making good designs, and yes I do understand how loaded that qualification is, it's because there is a fundamental backbone or philosophy to you and your work that makes it extraordinary.

For me, the path to that backbone, that fundamental understanding and ability to communicate design, was a long and winding path. Without those previous dreams and experiences, I would never have gotten here, and if I had, I certainly wouldn't be as qualified for the positions I'm pursuing. However, this is the point where I have to convince others that my path is valid and something they should invest in. I can't just sit down and spill my guts though, I have to hand them a portfolio and some paperwork and hope that all this work I'm doing right now will pay off.

The portfolio I'm designing, and the work included (almost all of which has been done within 2012), has represent me to the universities and colleges I'm applying to. How good of a job it does will decide the fate of my next few years. That sort of stress is no joke... and it has me pulling my hair out over what to include, what to fix, and how to organize and design it all.

It also has me reevaluating my life and dreams. Do I really want to graduate at 30 with a BFA and have to decide between a job or the pursuit of another degree? Can I take what I have now and do something fulfilling and worthwhile? Is this really the path I want to be on long-term? Aren't I getting a little too old for this quarter-life crisis bullshit? If I still love it after two years, won't I love it in another few? Will going into debt for this pay off down the road?

The answer to all the above, is most likely a solid yes. I know that, most people around me probably know that, so why am I writing this long-winded post?

...because the prospect of not having a goddamn clue of where I will be this time next year, is a little bit terrifying.

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