This week, I made a big ol’ Life Decision.
When I was younger, getting ready for college, and trying to determine the first crucial steps in what would become my adult life, I wanted to pursue my dream of working in the art industry.
I wanted to create something beautiful every day. I wanted to do something that, at its core, I loved very much, and that made other people smile. Or cry. Or think. You know, because art evokes emotion like that.
I was told that it was an impractical choice; told that I could never have a future in art, and that it couldn’t pay the bills. The delivery came with an incredulous undertone. I’ll never forget the way the words had sounded.
Later, the condemnation of what I wanted hadn’t lessened. It only shifted focus. As I switched gears from working as a computer technician to exploring the world of business, I was treated like some kind of eldritch abomination.
“You should make do with what you have”, I was told. Never mind that my work environment was putting me in a poor place, both physically and mentally.
“You should be settling down with a house and family by now,” I was told. Never mind that I was trying to intelligently weigh my options and ensure that I would have the stability to one day start that family.
“You won’t succeed. You don’t know how to survive in the real world. You’re safer without change.”
The discussions that followed were some of the most hurtful, impossibly ridiculous moments that I could have imagined. I was branded as an awful person because I had the audacity to want something more for the future; both my future and that of my children.
So, maybe I should be settled down by now. But why does “settling down” always sound like you have to settle?
You sure as Hell don’t have to.
I’ll be going back to school for graphic design and business administration; a choice that will serve to burnish my current career path and allow me to move forward with what I’ve always wanted to achieve. Is it practical? I think so. Will everyone agree? Probably not. In fact, I know I’m going to stumble, and I know that I’ll face hardship, but that’s a part of life. I happen to have an awesomely supportive future husband, friends, and family to keep me on my feet. And you know what? I’m not going to settle just because it’s “safe”. I’m going to keep pushing myself and evolving so that one day I can tell my children in earnest that I’m proud of who I am, what I do, and what I’ve accomplished.
After all, building a “Me” that I love is the first step to building a family that I love even more, and I’m already on the road to doing just that.
And I get to be freaking Cthulhu.