Apr 15, 2010

Is it a Sign or a Roadblock?

Having a large supply of free time during my incarceration/recovery, I've had time to ponder. (Pondering doesn't take too long, but I've been pondering a lot anyhow). One of the main musings brewing in my brain has been whether I want to continue my chosen course, or take another road, perhaps the one less traveled, or one more frequently followed.

This semester is basically a bust. Since my surgery, I've been in too bad of shape to sit up completely for long, let alone focus on much of anything. Some of my teachers have been helpful and understanding, some less so. I'm currently trying to get this semester withdrawn (withdrawed? no, withdrawn) so I don't have a bunch of F's and have to go on academic probation or suspension or whatever. This has led me to question if Graphic Design is really something I want to do. Is this a sign from God that I should point my future career choice in a different direction? Or is it just a roadblock I must overcome to solidify my determination in pursuing my chosen vocation of Graphic Design?

I have for the most part (ok, maybe not most part, but above 50%) enjoyed my classes and enjoyed learning more about the Adobe Creative Suite and design principles. However, I've also noticed my assignments compared to the other students (or not compared) resemble the attempts of a slow and prepubescent adolescent, (no offense to slow and prepubescent adolescents) while theirs (my classmates' assignments) look professional and the work of a college graduate, or at least a college student. I understand that many of them have been doing this longer than 1 or 2 semesters like I have, but some have not. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but I don't feel like I belong. Again, I ask myself "is this a sign to give up and try something I love doing more, or is it a roadblock I just have to get past through study and hard work?"

Being a quitter by nature, the question then arises, "Well, if I quit Graphic Design, what would I rather do instead?" Since one of the chief reasons why I chose Graphic Design in the first place was it seemed like something I'd be good at, have fun with, and make money on. So far, none of those things have been the case. So, what would I rather do instead?

Study programming, as it's becoming more and more my job at my job to understand what customer's computers or our scans of said computers are telling them?

Should I study writing, as I find it cathartic, exciting, one of the few pure joys in my life, and risk obscurity and abject poverty?

While risking obscurity and poverty anyway, should I pursue my old dream of becoming an artist, while deep down knowing I'm not good enough, not smart enough, and not living in New York enough to "make it" as an artist?

Or should I pursue the dream of being an Art History professor, go to school the same length of time as a doctor, and make as much money as a bagger at Wal-Mart? (no offense to Wal-Mart baggers. Well, maybe a little bit.)

Should I just "grow up" and say "I made it this far pursuing Graphic Design, maybe I won't be wealthy or too skilled at it, but I can very probably find a job where I can do design work and have a fairly satisfactory life's work?"

Is that what it comes to? "Fairly satisfactory?" Is it too much to ask for a job that I can 1) be happy at 2) not be embarrassed about and 3) make enough money to support a family and (heaven help me) live "comfortably?"

I know there are people out there who love their jobs, I so desperately want to be one. I like my job at the moment, but I realized, while I've enjoyed my classes, I'm not looking forward to a life of Graphic Design afterwards. I'm dreading it.
I realize it could be that I'm dreading it because I still have a LOT to learn, and as I get closer to graduation, perhaps I will look forward to getting a job and knowing what I'm doing and (is it too much to ask?) be good, no, great at it.

I'm not looking for your suggestions (though you're welcome to make them) nor for you to decide my future (you're not welcome to :)) I merely write this for my own benefit, and for you to know where I am in life, as that's one of the chief purposes of this blog, "Know what Austin's up to without the burden of actually speaking to him."

I don't know if my answer is try another road, or keep trudging ahead, but I know I'm at a crossroads, and now seems like a good time to evaluate my journey thus far and decide where that journey will lead me.

I'll let you know when I find out.


Heather said...

Ryan has totally been where you are at now. He was at school full time, night and weekend job, 2 little boys with no home and borrowing a car. He wanted to be a math/science high school teacher and coach wrestling and football.

Then one day a recruiter for the Department of Corrections (JAIL) passed out a form and the rest is history. Ryan loves being a deputy, and has moved around withing the department (SRO, robbery crimes, detective, and even fiddling with pet detective stuff now)

So the moral of this little story is: literally pay attention while you are walking the paths of discovery of what you want to do professionally with your life. There WILL be a sign, or someone waving a paper in your face.

lynette said...

well, seeing as ammon originally wanted to be a lawyer, then studied computer science, but finally graduated in information technology it only seems to make sense that you'll bounce around a few ideas before finding your passion (which by the way i think should be advertising!)

Charlo said...

There came a time when I said to myself, "sooner or later I am going to have to stick with something, and if I walk away from this, they are not going to give me a second chance at this program."

Thus, I am now a photographer.

And I don't know about UVU, but my impression of the art program at BYU is that the do whatever they can to make you feel like you know nothing and have no skill. It is there way of weeding out the weaklings.

And in the time I dated brett, he was to be in information systems management, Radiology, aviation, film, aviation, and now he is getting pre-reqs done for a masters in Computer science.

the moral of this story is that the whole time he was doing everything else, he was always thinking about software that would make the other things easier. He was always teaching himself new software or new software programing language. He had quit computer programing classes before I met him because a lot of programing jobs were going to india and he thought he'd be jobless.

My points are:
1. If you are like me, you are destined to become a jack of all trades and master of none. I still dabble in too many things without taking most things full force. I'm just starting to do photography again beyond the minimums of my job (my food, people, etc), and I am doing it at the sacrifice of my jack-trades. I'm finding that I love it and feel like I am learning stuff and getting better. Plus, I am enjoying my work stuff better too.

2. If you are like Brett you need to figure out what the things you keep coming back to (aviation, comp sci) and then figure out which of those makes the most sense for your situation (ie we cant afford pilot school, B doesn't meet the air force requirements, and I don't want him working most sundays).

3. If the only reason you are backing down from Graphic Design is that your surgery screwed up your semester and is going to put you behind a semester in school, than you may regret quitting.

4. There will always be someone better than you in your classes and in your job. It's more important to be a good businessman in some ways than a good artist (hence the hoards of crappy photographers out there booking weddings).

End of lecture

JanB said...

You'll get no advice from me!
Well, maybe a little...Make a decision before you're 50 years old with 6 kids!

Jacob I. McMillan said...

Do something you love.

Money is never worth it.

What would you do with the money if you had it anyway?

I think being an art history professor would be awesome.

Whatever it is, decide.

Life moves pretty fast.

Mark said...

We are proud of you no matter what you do, as long as you are doing something and you do it well. You are very lucky to have Tracie and Morgan in your rooting section. I think you should become the next Dave Barry.

HayLee said...

I think everyone experiences these road block (one of them being me). Your already on the right path because you are pondering an thinking about. I believe God answers ALL of our prayers if we have faith that we will receive it. Good luck!