I've been doing a bit of soul searching lately.
I "graduated" college in 2010. You know, walked the stage, had some great friends throw an awesome party, got roughly a million pictures. Yeah. Graduated. Fast forward a couple months... when I receive a letter in the mail that states that I did not get my degree because one of my classes' grades were too low.
Here I am, 3 years later, one class away from my degree... and wasting away as a mortgage collector. I'm facing a harsh reality that all of my plans have been swept away, partially due to my own apathy and partially due to the economic shit that has plagued this country for years. Namely that my chosen profession is oversaturated.
"They'll always need teachers," my mother said.
Well. They don't. At least not in English.
Anyway, enough with the depressing crap. The soul searching bit comes in around here. It started with my parents saying, "Just get your degree. It doesn't matter what you end up doing with it, just get that paper." My father even said, "If you even want to teach." Now, that should sound like crap. I mean, for years I thought I wanted nothing more than to be a teacher, to be able to share my passion for books and writing. But, the question arose... Did I really want to teach, or did I just want to never leave school?
A few other things came up. Subtle. Like missing my 10 year high school reunion - I was late - and seeing all of high school through that convenient lens called "perspective". I asked myself if I really wanted to immerse myself in this again... The drama, the heirarchy, the parents. If I was to teach, I'd be forced to teach with the shackles called standardized tests.
(Kids, I promise you that the teachers, the real educators, hate standardized tests as much as you do.)
About a year ago, we were doing something silly at work... where we'd earn shamrocks for every perfect quality score that we could decorate and Gold Star on our manager's door. Elementary, I know, but I took my shamrock and doodled a fairy on one and a leprechaun on another. Doodles.
Holy crap did that draw a lot of attention to my desk. I suddenly went from being another employee to the Artist. Managers from other teams and departments would stop by my desk to ask me WHAT THE HECK I WAS DOING THERE.
Things like that.
Then my sister sent me to a link for a book called [i]The War of Art[/i] by Steven Pressfield. [link]
I rarely feel like anything really changes my world. I think the last time anything rocked my world to its core was probably when I discovered Final Fantasy VII and Joseph Campbell's Hero Journey. Yeah, that long ago. But the first chapter of this thing called me out back and tried to pick a fight. "What am I so afraid of?" it said. "...it was easier for Hitler to start World War II than it was for him to face a blank square of canvas" (19). If it bullies you out into the back alley, just you wait until chapter 3, the section titled "fear". It's a mean right hook that can leave you dazed.
So I looked deep inside and had a little chat with my inner 5 year old watching the pencil sketches of Marahute open her wings to fly away... What did I want more than anything in the world? To be an animator.
I went to the Art Institute near my apartment just to get some information. You know, not to sign up, but to get some information....
It went well.
I'm working to get that pesky English degree, then looking towards pursuing my art, whether I sign up with Ai or another school... or if I simply continue teaching myself like I have been, continuing to improve and practice... and to stop comparing myself to people "better" than myself because I'm just as talented as they are... just not as educated.
Expect to see more submissions in the near future.
Current Tarot card: The Tower