Monday, March 27, 2006

i'm thinking about me today, not the baby. i know! call child protective services!

i had a memory pop in to my head today: freshman year of college. lounge of my dorm. somebody from career services came in and gave us one of those multiple choice tests that are supposed to tell you your perfect vocation. the only answers i remember giving were that i was artistic and would rather work alone than with a group. and based on those and 48 other answers, i was told that i should be a florist. which i remember being vaguely insulted by (granted, at 18 i was vaguely insulted by most things). but today, i started thinking: you know what? i think i'd be pretty happy being a florist! i started imagining this very style-y flower shop and all the creative designs i would do... and i thought, if society still operated the way it did back in, say, renaissance times, i would have been apprenticed to a florist around the time that i took that test, learned the ropes, and eventually struck out on my own. and then i wouldn't be bothered by the biggest, ugliest roadblock in my career path: the inability to make up my freakin' mind.

every couple of weeks someone—another mom at playgroup, my mother-in-law—will ask me when i'm going to start working again. you know, for money. and i give some vague answer that usually contains the phrases "when wile's in preschool" and "start my own business" and, sometimes, "fuck if i know". if it's someone i don't know well, that question is usually followed by the question of what kind of work i did before i got knocked up. and i'll tell them about how i was in school when the blessed event occurred, and before that i was an editor. but i could also tell them that before that, i was an apprentice chef, and before that, i got my b.a. in political science. and that though i was an editor for 5 years, it wasn't a career that i actively pursued: i moved to manhattan, was waitressing, thought i wanted to perhaps do illustration/design, a friend of my family had a publishing company, i got an internship in the design department but sucked because i didn't know quark, was shunted over to editorial by the frustrated design department, was noticed/mentored by an editor and eventually hired to run a travel book project, looked up five years later and found myself sitting in a cubicle, said "what the hizz-ell am i doing here?" and got out. even my current line of work was less a result of planning and more a result of serendipity and lackadaisical diaphragm usage.

part of my problem is that i can't definitively say no to something until i've experienced it. which is why i dated so many guys who were wrong for me, why i have to try on seven different pairs of shoes with an outfit before i can be satisfied that the first ones i took off the shelf were indeed the right ones all along, and why i have bounced all over the place in my search for a career. every time i think i settle on something, i start to think "but i also like to _____. and i'm pretty good at _____. so maybe _____ is what i should really be doing!"

you may be thinking, "but you did make up your mind! you went back to school, you chose textile design!" well, yes. yes i did. but the thing is, the program wasn't "textile design"; it was "textile and surface design". which means i took classes not only in designing for fabric, but for designing paper products, dinnerware, wallpaper, etc.. and even within textile design, there's the big choice between apparel and home decor. and how do you want to design? painting? silk screening? computer? when i first decided to go to f.i.t. i'd tell anyone who would listen that what i loved about the program was that it was "so broad" and taught "so many types of design"! oh, yay! so although the scope is narrower, there is still plenty of opportunity for indecision.

but.

i have an idea.

i don't want to talk about it yet. but it's there. and i think it's something that i can make myself stick with.

now if only all the other ideas will please stop barging in all, "but i'd be a funner thing to do! pick me! pick me!"

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

whatever you do, don't go to law school. Also, it's far better to have many things you want to do than none. . . so what's the idea?
Nice colors!
-ab

Anonymous said...

you could do my laundry.
it's in a seriously bad way.
-fab

Anonymous said...

nice new colors! (jets) you know, not being able to make a decision is my biggest challenge. no wonder we've been charged with sharing a brain. can't wait to discuss further.
-sass

Anonymous said...

oops! i meant 'canes colors!
-s

casey said...

boy oh boy, do i know that feeling. it's part of the reason i never even finished college - i changed my major 5 times in 2 years and i still couldn't decide.

i hate the "when are you going to go back to work" question. hello, i work from home. noneya business anyway. sheesh!

sorry, ranting.

i still don't know what i want to be when i grow up. but i have a couple ideas, too, and they're nothing i thought i'd be doing now when i was 18. that's the way it goes, i guess.