Thursday, November 13, 2008

What The Hell Happened To Me?

We all have our daily routines, we reach a goal, hit a milestone, get comfortable. Sometimes we stay there and bask in that one glow for way too long... Change buzzes all around us, but sometimes it's too scary so we hide right in the center and let it spin right past. There is a price to pay for comfort.

Growing up, I do remember wanting to be a nurse until about fourth grade. It was at that time that my mother enrolled me in a local art class taught by Mrs. Meacham. I never looked back to a medical profession again, but lived a life of a "wannabe artist" from there on. "Art Fever" had taken control of young Jackie.

Early on, the aspirations took on that of a "Film Animator". I wanted to live in California, and work for the likes of Disney, Warner Bros., and really blaze a cartoon trail. Then later, Illustration won my love, and I wanted to design book and magazine covers, albums, Billboards, even package designs. My work would be the deciding factor that drew you in, and made the sale.

I daydream back to those lovely warm days in Commercial Art and Graphic Design class, the delicious scent of inks, markers and paint thinners. Memories of sitting at the drawing tables, using X-acto knives and linoleum cutters, having love affairs with type styles, clip art, comps and images while Rock 103 played on throughout the day on Mrs. Varnadoe's old radio (she dared anyone to change the station).

I pittled my time away, giving in to "fun". A GREAT idea would sometimes fizzle into unfinished projects. I lost my "zing", my motivation waxed and waned. In short, I graduated with the competitive drive of a sloth, but eventually took a small paycut to leave Wal*Mart and go to our local town Newspaper. That was it, I was working "In the Field" at that point.

Eventually, I took a higher-paying job in the Printing industry, where I remained entangled for quite some time. I worked in printing long enough to lose track of the technological advances that had taken place by then, and lacked the confidence probably to ever try to update my portfolio and still go for the big guns of Graphic Design. But, printing is semi-related to 'the field'... right? No, not really. Not at all. But it did help pay the bills.

Later on, of course, I would meet the charismatic and talented "Mr. J" and be inspired to join the ranks of Information Technology and Web Design. My experience and training in Graphic Design wasn't a total loss, it actually sticks with me and is a big part of my life and work today!

Still I wonder, where would I be if I'd worked hard, stayed the course and given my all to my dream of Illustration and Design? One can only reminisce and dream of where that road might have led.

In short, each day of our lives we are presented with decisions. Sometimes these decisions seem small at the time, but they can have more of a significant effect on the big picture than we realize. Every small thing we do is important to the universe, and it makes a difference. Besides, who knows what comes tomorrow? I can only live moment to moment.

It's all food for thought I guess.

I don't regret the things I've done, I regret the
things I didn't do when I had the chance.


g-man said...

Jimi John and Jackie!

Autumn brings out that kind of reflective mood in me. I have often pondered what might have been, and I eventually come back to that if it would have altered the now, then it may not have been for the best.

Aunt Jackie said...

True G... Do you think maybe it's because fall reminds us of college days and then on to goals we had in that "era" hehe.

Life is a magical journey though... so you do have a point!

Real Live Lesbian said...

I have to agree with G-man. While my job sucks ass...the rest of my life rocks! So, I guess I wouldn't change a thing. ;)

Jay said...

I made the very bad decision while at college to switch from studying the things I enjoyed to studying what I thought was mostly likely to help me get a job. Wish I had that one to do over again.

BBC said...

We all have our daily routines, we reach a goal, hit a milestone, get comfortable.

We do? I just go with the flow and see where it takes me. But if you think I should have I goal I guess it should be waking up in the morning without having shit in the bed, ha ha ha.

BBC said...

Actually, I do have a goal. Peace and everyone gets fed, it isn't working out so well.

Furtheron said...

Got me so thinking I did a post rather than a comment... see

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, you only ever have the now"

"You can never have made a bad, wrong or poor decision. You made the best decision at the time with all the information you had and were able to process at the time - you only ever do the right thing as it appears at that moment."

Anonymous said...

My what-if's have faded with age, or maybe with increased contentment in the life I have now.
Perhaps that is because I am one of the lucky ones -- I am basically living my dream.
Those dreams that still come up? I wonder if that is the subconscious telling us to pick it up as a hobby.

Thanks, Jackie, for great food-for-thought today!

Col said...

I've worked in printing my entire life. It's in my blood. I've tried to move on but can't leave it. Good thougthful post.