When I Grow Up

18 03 2010

I hate that I’m still in school…but I love that I’m on Spring Break right now. I also took the week off work and it’s like I’m living a totally different life. I’m only finishing school because my parents are paying for it, they keep telling me that the only thing they regret is not finishing their degrees and I’m only about 30 hours away. When I finish school my degree is designed to help me get a job in public administration. I work now in Information Technology at a public library. However I really don’t think I want to do either of those things.

I have always been kind of artsy. In high school I took every art class they offered, sometimes more than once. In an intro drawing class we had to do a still life in pencil. I totally bombed it while the kid sitting across the table from me made it look like a black and white photo. I was crushed. I thought that being able to draw was the most basic skill an artist should have…and I didn’t have it. Looking back, I realize it was one of those wrong place, wrong time situations. Had I been stuck with a bunch of other mediocre kids I probably wouldn’t have given up so easily. That kid was probably better than our teacher, better than every kid that has ever gone to my high school, maybe even better than Da Vinci. I’ve never been sure about what I wanted to be “when I grew up” so through process of elimination I’m here. And that was when “artist” was eliminated.

Lately though I’ve been reconsidering this whole artist thing. My style is more arts & crafts than fine art but I think it could still be marketable. About a year ago or so I found out about Etsy, an online marketplace for handmade and vintage products. After looking around for a while I saw how many different styles are out there and kept saying to myself, “I could totally make that.” Also the fact that it’s online is especially awesome because the thought of sitting behind a table at craft fairs every weekend was enough to keep me from seriously considering trying to make a living like that. I’m super critical and have a hard enough time convincing myself that my work is good enough let alone convincing other people into buying it. I also like the vintage part because my parents forced us to wonder through countless antique stores growing up and now it’s almost impossible to pass a Goodwill without stopping. Obviously there is still a lot more to it (marketing, paperwork, shipping, etc) but being able to start online definitely makes me more comfortable.

We are starting a garden this year which has made me think that being self-reliant is the way to go. I used to think that the I preferred the convenience of big cities but then I realized I don’t like people. Now I’m leaning towards moving out to the middle of nowhere…old house with lots of character, a huge garden that will feed everyone I know and no one to answer to except myself. Being off of work and school this week has really helped me imagine the possibility. I’ve also been fairly productive.  One thing that makes me worry that I won’t be successful is my fear that I won’t be disciplined enough to be productive. Also it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when I make very little progress while I work and go to school…which will continue for the next year and a half.

Maybe I’ll start keeping track of the stuff that I actually get done so I don’t feel like I’m not making any progress…and to remind me to do something when I’m slacking off.

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