When I finished college in ’05, I got a degree that I thought would do two things: 1 – Keep me close to my creative endeavors (at the time, writing) while 2 – helping me land a job that actually paid well. Well, ‘2’ happened, but sadly, I knew before I ever graduated that ‘1’ was probably out of the question. On my last day of class I walked out to my car and felt empty. What the fuck do I do now?
I made up my mind to go back to school when I knew what I really wanted to do with my life–not to get some other checkbox degree. (Mom, I’m sorry, but I will never go back for that MBA. It’s just not going to happen.) For whatever reason, I just assumed that would be in two years. Well two years came and went, and now it’s been almost seven, all of which has been in a stagnant, corporate setting that is so far removed from anything even resembling reality (let alone creativity and substance), it’s not even funny.
During the two years I was supposed to be figuring out what to do with my life, I was making more money than I ever had, gained 45 pounds, and cried all the time. I just couldn’t figure out why I didn’t fit. Why this life, where I’d done everything I was supposed to do, in exactly the right way, felt so wrong.
Around ’08, I said enough was enough. I had been playing music some and enjoying it greatly. I made the decision to throw my all into it, lost 35 pounds (I kinda liked the last 10), and decided that I was just okay with not fitting this mold. That change didn’t happen overnight, mind you. It’s been a multi-year endeavor.
And I’ve clung tooth and nail to my creative life, despite the exhaustion that so often came from the manufactured stress that runs rampant through the alternate reality of the corporate job. The stress that tries to kill it out of you. It’s nothing close to easy, but every bit of it has been worth it.
I’ve recently decided to take an even more active role in all of this. I’d grown tired of life “happening to me,” or waiting for the so-called “right time” to do something. There’s never a right time to change everything and start over. It’s always going to be hard. I think that’s how you know it’s worth doing.
So I’ve changed a lot of things–big, huge life things–and while people are quick to offer up their opinions and judgments about it all, positive and negative alike, I know I’m doing right by me. And that’s important. Sometimes the most important.
And in continuing that, I’ve decided that I need to go back to school. I may have finally figured out what I want to do when I grow up. So here’s to the next chapter… :-)