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 I'm currently trying to get this semester withdrawn (withdrawed? no, withdrawn) so I don't have a bunch of F's and have to go on academic probation or suspension or whatever.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.