Deciding A Future Career

Deciding A Future Career

Trying to take it one day at a time - sort of.
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On September 21, I will be moving into SPU. I am very anxious and emotional about move-in, but I am also very wary of the future; Not the near future, but post-graduation future. I know I’m crazy for thinking about things that are four years down the line, but I’m a worrier, it’s what I do. I know that I definitely want to major in photography and minor in some sort of writing degree; I’m going for a creative writing minor for now. I don’t actually know what career I will have after college. It’s pretty common for people to have no idea of what they’ll be doing four or ten or 30 years down the line. What I do know is, I love art. I know for a fact that art is my entire life and it will be for the next four years.

Art is not just something I do. It is a part of me; It’s what makes me, me. I pour my thoughts and feelings into what I paint or photograph or sketch. My main goal in making art is just to create beauty. I don’t actually care whether or not everyone in the world loves what I do because I do it for me. Obviously, I do it for payment too, as it is my only source of income, but it’s only because it’s the best way I know how to live. I make art to bring my visions to life and to hopefully inspire others to do the same. That’s really what I want my career to be about throughout my entire life.

If I had to pick a career to do right now, I would be a children’s book author and illustrator. Children have such imaginative minds and wonderful stories to tell. They’re basically inspiration in a tiny little human. Just recently for a school project, I created a children’s book based on my little cousin, Mikey. I asked Mikey one day, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” He said something along the lines of: I want to be a flying hot dog man and leave hot dogs at kids windows. The cutest part was, he said he would leave me two hot dogs instead of one.

So, I took what he told me and transformed it into a book, painted all the pages by hand, and turned it in for my school project. I ended up getting an A+ and I also gave it to Mikey and his parents as a Christmas present. I was told by his mother that he is practically obsessed with it and goes to bed with it every night. Now, that just makes my heart melt and I’m sure many other hearts out there too. It was just such a wonderful and warming moment to know that I created something that this little four-year-old boy adored so much. This made me come to realize that not only did I do what I love, but I also made someone else even happier. That’s why I want to write and illustrate children’s books. To be able to surround myself with my joy in life while making a living and bringing joy to multiple children out there, even if it is just Mikey, that’s truly the dream.

If creating children’s books wasn’t enough story-telling, I also want to be a professional photographer. Looking at it from a distant perspective, both careers are forms of storytelling. Photography is about capturing a story or a moment in one single frame. There is so much that could be said through photography that couldn’t be said otherwise. For example, I recently went on a day trip through the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, perhaps the poorest and dirtiest area of San Francisco, to serve the community. It is also the neighborhood with a very dense population of homeless people. Walking through the Tenderloin, making conversation with those who talked to us as we handed out food, we met a man who lost his wife named Karen five years ago to due an overdose. They would have been married forty years in 2016. He would not stop repeating to us, “Wherever she is, Heaven or Hell…I’m coming for my Karen.” We stayed and talked to him for another few minutes and prayed for him. We never did learn his name, but he was a good man and he has been through hell and back. The photo I was so lucky to capture features this man hugging with one of the fellow volunteers that day. His experience deserves to be shared and he deserves to be heard, and if I can help provide through one single image, then my job is done.

That’s the beauty of photography, it can change lives, it can bring awareness, and it can bring joy to those who need it most. Photography has a greater power than you or I can ever understand. That’s why I would want to be a photographer.

Basically, to summarize, I’m an artistic storyteller who just wants the world to listen. And yes, I did just figure my life out while writing this essay. So, whether it’s through making children’s book or through a camera, I will be happy either way. I know I’m not the greatest artist in the world, I’m no Da Vinci or Van Gogh, but I love what I do and I can’t wait to make it my career in life.

Cover Image Credit: Sue Bowling

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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