Friday, April 08, 2005

Settling In

For a long time, when I've thought about what I wanted/felt was best to do, career-wise, my head was always cluttered with the varied possibilities; I was always wanting to go down what were usually little more than blind alley curiosities. I have a sort of novice interest in many things, or rather, I'm a little curious about a number of things, even if it is perhaps only a sort of knee-deep curiosity, so that has made it really hard to pin down what I was going to do.

On the other hand, since high school times, certain sparks have roused themselves, have made their "certain-ness" clear to me; or at least strong. I know when I write, when I feel things honestly with my words, something feels clear in me. Real, like the thing in the middle that really matters. Even when I was little, long before I dared to ever think I could do something with it, I loved the process--writing, I mean. Writing's just the process--and I love it, enjoy it, have a thing for it--but to me even that's not the heart, not what really matters. What really matters is the meaning, the truth behind the words. When you reach that, puncture through to the real thing, the cream filling--the real deal--when you really understand something important about life and yourself--that's the part that matters. That's what I love. That's realer than writing, or singing, or art or any other passion in the world you could have or think of. I never really can relate when people say their lives are about writing--or art or sports or chocolate or pickle jars, for crying out loud. Whatever it is we have or take it into our heads to love. Sure, I love some of those things, too (not pickles), but it's not my life, and it never could be. What would writing be without the meaning behind the words? For me, writing is about life, not life about writing.

It's been hard because what I really want to do is write and talk and share about my thoughts and beliefs about life. That's my passion. One of them, at least. And I don't have many. It's been hard because I don't know what's the right way, because there seem to be limitations on what I can do and how. But besides that there's the issue of making a living. And not just for myself, but for any future family I might have.

So I'd tentatively settled on Graphic Design as a major because I'm semi-good at it (and I don't hate it and I think it pays pretty well without, hopefully, working yourself to death) and planned/hoped to work my way into the writing field as I was able, free-lance, and see what it came to. So it was settled. Kind of. Actually, settling that has been a saga in itself, what with my continual urge to go back to the writing as a primary career and stick with it. And I'm still not 100% on it, but the more I consider my options the more it seems like the best option out there for me.

Still, I thought I needed History or English to hone my writing skills in the meantime--at least wanted one or both of them--and there was a Spanish minor to consider and things were rapidly getting out of hand to the point that I was going to have five minors and two majors--and that's not even that far off the truth. My advisor pointed out to me I would have my whole life to learn all the skills I could want or need and that's the best way to be--interested in a lot of things and learning till the day you die. So read up on it if you want to know about it and, in the meantime, settle on a slimmer, saner college career path. So there it was. Graphic Design major and Spanish minor. And, after tentatively crossing out my multiple-minors plans, I realized he was right. How much cleaner and more manageable--more possible!--my college road suddenly seemed, with just one major and one minor. And I could give both of them the concentration and focus they deserved and needed.

And for all the other skills and interests I could desire to learn I can acquire over time, with a healthy heaping of life, so that I always remember and continue to hone the thing that matters the most: the part in the middle. And my writing and art and any other hobbies I continue or acquire along the way will be that much better for it, for reflecting the truth that underlies everything we are and do.

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