When I Grow Up
I think that most of us just fall into things in life rather than making decisions. We work our way into jobs that we never imagined when we were kids, and we meet Mr. or Mrs. Right when we’re ready to get married (it’s true, I read that somewhere). Many of the decisions about where we live and what kind of lives we lead are rather random, just following where fate leads.
I work in a tech field. It’s not something that I planned, it just kind of happened along the way. It paid well, I got to work with people that I really liked, and I found that I was good at it. But it’s not something that I ever dreamed of doing. I’ve held a lot of other jobs along the way: legal secretary, veterinary technician, PA to a rabidly conservative TV talk show host (one of the more bizarre jobs if you know anything about me and my political views), retoucher in the art department of a large LA portrait studio, waitress, bartender, import buyer for a large music retailer, and so on. They all just happened.
With recent events, I’ve been thinking more and more about deciding what I actually want to do when I grow up. And you know what? I haven’t the faintest idea. It would be quite scary to give up a field that I enjoy, which pays an awful lot of money. One of the things that I do keep thinking about is going back to my photography. I’ve always had an idea about doing high-end portraits with a fantasy element to them, which would combine photography and digital painting, kind of illustrating people’s fantasies of themselves, if that makes any sense. If I had a portrait of my fantasy self, I would be a strong female warrior, alone on a hill of grass, seated on my black horse, with my hawk on my hand. I think we all have a fantasy image of ourselves that we keep secret.
It’s quite scary, though, taking the leap to change our lives so fundamentally. It feels a bit like dancing on the edge of the cliff, like the Fool. You could succeed beyond your wildest dreams…or you could fall.