Change

1 06 2010

I’m going to take a break from talking about knitting for a moment, so bear with me. I want to talk instead about life choices, careers, and the future. My future. Maybe my experiences will give someone else insight into their own lives, maybe not. I somehow feel the need to write this down.

Graduating High School:

When I was nearing the end of high school I was doing what everyone else does. Considering my options. I was fortunate enough to have options. My parents were, and still are, very supportive. I never felt pressured to do anything I didn’t feel comfortable with or ready for. I really had no idea what I wanted to do. Looking back, I don’t think I full understood what a “job” was. My only experiences with work had been volunteering with kids, parks and recreation, boy scouts, and working at Domino’s. Since I had no idea what I wanted to do, I turned to college/university course books. I scanned the lists, looking for something that might interest me. To be honest, very little did.

Decision making:
First, university. I honestly believed I was too stupid for university. I had this misconception (fueled by high school teachers warnings) that to be a university student would be significantly above my abilities. I went through those books half-heartedly. I know I would never apply for any of those programs. I also felt guilty when I thought about the money for tuition.

When I decided on graphic design for my studies, my decision was met with support, love, and pride. I don’t even think I knew what it was, in reality. I had taken a couple classes in school, and done a co-op term, but I still didn’t fully comprehend what I was embarking upon. College itself was hard. It was the most challenging thing I have ever had to do, both socially and academically. I did learn to love the craft. I fell hard for typography.

I love print, and I do love what I do. I know that’s rare, and I feel lucky to love my job. Finding a job, and a workplace, that I loved was not easy. I held a series of jobs that I knew were stepping stones toward something better. Better money. Better fit. Not to say I didn’t enjoy aspects of those workplaces, or the people I worked with.

Now:
In the fall, Chris and I got married. He is my rock and my family, since the rest of mine are 7 hours away. I love my life here, yet I feel like something is missing. I learned to knit because I was lonely and wanted to get out and meet people on my own terms. I wanted friends that were mine. I know that’s probably selfish of me, but I felt the need to build something of my own here, so that I wouldn’t feel like moving “home” anymore.

Change:
And now for the change I was speaking of. The graphic design industry is changing. I don’t know how or what it’s going to do, but things can’t stay the way they are and remain stable. The design industry in Ottawa is too dependent on government, and government is becoming less and less of a stable client. A lot of firms in the area have closed/downsized/merged. Things have slowly been trending toward freelancing, and that’s simply not something that I’m interested in doing.What I need to consider is where my career will be in ten years, and whether or not I will be satisfied with the direction my life has gone.

I need a plan. I think I will soon want to do something very different with my life, and I need a long-term goal. I’ve decided to go back to school part-time. The long-term goal is a BA in Sociology, which I’m doing through Athabasca University, online. I don’t know if this will mean a career change. I don’t even know if I will succeed in getting a degree. But there are so many uncertainties in life, in general, that I can’t just continue on the way I have. I need to take action while I have the resources and the time to do so.

So this is my life. I’m not unhappy, but things are changing. Hopefully for the better.

~ Elizabeth

PS: I promise a knitting update soon.

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One response

1 06 2010
Josiane

Elizabeth, please don’t feel like you have to stick to knitting only. This space is yours to use as you please, and I for one visit it for you, all of you, and not only for your knitting. Since I can’t go to Ottawa to have tea at Aunt Olive’s with you often enough to my liking, I appreciate that you shared this update on where you are with your life right now and your exploration of where it may be going. :)
By the way, wanting to build something of your own and develop friendships that are yours sounds perfectly normal to me, and not selfish at all!
It’s interesting that the change that is happening has led you to decide to do a BA in Sociology. Have I told you I have a degree in Anthropology? Whether you end up working as a sociologist or not, you’ll find lots of food for thought in there, and new ways to look at the world around you. That’s pretty cool in and of itself!

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