Thoughts about the Future 

Tonight, I made a few minor clothing purchases at Walmart, which I suppose is the same as admitting defeat in the fashion world. Nothing big, just a blue t-shirt, a black sweater-shirt, and a belt. The shopping trip was a whim really, as I hadn't planned on making any purchases. I have nearly no money, and I haven't been working as much as I should be, so paychecks are minuscule. But, as my clothing is beginning to wear out a little, I figured that I would check for some bargains.

But aside from that, on my evening drive home from school today, I was thinking about how the way things stand in my life currently isn't exactly what I would have chosen for myself. For one thing, I am not sure I have sorted out what I want to do for a career, and as a mid-thirty-year-old, time is always getting shorter. Occasionally, I see professional people on television, like business-people, firemen, or teachers and I notice that not a few of them are my age. There was a time not too long ago when that wasn't the case. And conversely, there are not many people my age left in college anymore; they have already passed through, and in some cases, more than ten years ago. It can be an odd feeling sometimes, a feeling that tends to crop up in the quieter moments during classes. While everyone is busy taking notes or listening to the instructor, I'll look up--not at the teacher, but at the other students--and think things like, "what am I still doing here; am I learning things that will help me get where I want to be; couldn't I find a decent paying job with the things I know already?" Depending on mood, the answers for these questions change with fluctuating subtleties. The last question about getting a job with what I know already often feels like defeat, a way of giving up.

But, I wasn't just mulling over my life as it pertains to career. There were thoughts about my personal life as well, with the main problem being not having many people in life to whom I can relate. Because I'm an easy-going guy, laid-back, with a strong tendency to believe in fate, I don't do much other than feel out of sorts about my condition. And, the feeling can seep slowly into my consciousness like cold water after days where the only people I talk to are my parents, and not even them for very long.

Of course, I didn't come up with any solutions to these problems, but I did think it would help to write out a list of goals and ways I think I could get there. I hate the idea of writing things out because it sounds too much like something from a self-help book, or the detestable prophets of motivation and improvement that infest television. But, I do believe in writing as a way to think, and I tend to be a visual person, so a list is what I have resorted to. I used to think that my main problem was that I simply wasn't self-disciplined enough to get whatever I wanted done, but maybe the problem is also that I am just not sure where or what I really want to do. For example, do I sign up for more student loans and make a second attempt at graduate school and an eventual academic career, or do I continue to try for a new career in graphic design or illustration? I can come up with strong arguments for and against both. It is true that I have talents for both, but I have a lot more training for the academic life. I will not get, and it is unlikely I will ever get, as much education in graphic design as, say, an individual who has gone to Art School for four years and has a Fine Arts degree. Then again, my instructor, a professional designer has a degree in Chemistry, and he says that the chances for a designer with an associates degree in design has a fair chance to get a good job as long as you have a strong portfolio.

I am not sure what I will actually do about any of this, and there is a lot more that has been going on internally than I could ever express. I gave up thinking about it in the car when I reached Walmart. Still, I know I must do something, and I am very sure I will continue to think about these subjects for a long time to come.

13 February 2007
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