Thursday, March 5, 2015

Chapter 29 | LIFE

Grab yourself a cup of something hot & yummy, & get ready for a roller coaster of emotions, ramblings, rants, & digressions because this, folks, is about life after college ... when you drop out.

First thing's first: my name is Cassandra (Cal), I am 29, I went to a junior college for a semester after high school (when I was still 17), & decided to head to art school where I stayed for three years.  After art school, I dabbled back at the junior college part time until I finished with enough transfer credits to head off to a university but not get an Associates degree (because they're useless & I don't need to take physical education in college).  After making the Dean's List, I transferred to a university ... only to realize that 1. holy-hell it's expensive, & 2. I'm totally never going to use this degree.  The combination of these two points solidified my thoughts that, even though I was finally having fun at school (besides the random elective History/English/Astronomy courses at the junior college), the cost of this fun just wasn't worth the expense.  Taking those elective courses for free at the junior college was way more fulfilling to me due to the fact that parking was only $20 a semester, & that I could continue to do that as I pleased - learn things for free, without them being classes I was required to take.  That they weren't required somehow made them more fun for me.  I'm odd, I know.

This got me thinking about how I can still buy books & learn things on my own free time, with no deadlines, for free (plus the cost of any book I buy, which is a lot already!).

When I decided to quit going to school, it was for very practical purposes.  I wasn't going to use the degree, & I was spending too much money for something I would never use.  The practicality of this made me wonder what exactly I would do with that free time.

Around the same time I quit school, I was planning my wedding & subsequent honeymoon.  Our honeymoon inflamed my wanderlust - I was more than ready to plan the next big road trip!  When we came home, I immediately had to buy a van to convert into a campervan to drive around the country.  We bought Ranger Russell, & were ready to start planning, but of course, life got in the way.

Jonathan decided to tear apart the false ceiling someone installed in our living room, which led to completely redoing the drywall, which led to "Oh shit, the walls are crumbling when we try to mud the corners, so we have to wait until we get our tax money so we can drywall the entire living room."  Yep.  With that, & the pressure for time off for family vacations, we haven't really had much time for fixing up Russell & wandering.  Which makes me sad.

But what is it I want to do with my life - for a living - that isn't working at a desk?  Surely, I can't simply travel for a living.  I have a house to take care of, dogs, cats, a garden...  I have to do something.  The questions kept coming:

How do these people make money being artists for a living?  Would it be enough?  Should I go to school for art?  Should I go back to school for forestry, or something that will put me in nature for a living?

The problem with these questions, is that no matter how hard I try, my upbringing in the mindset that education is a make or break seems to be so ingrained in me that I can't see myself being successful at something without it.  Blogging, traveling, writing, making art, selling art, making music, playing music ... these are my passions.  There is a question lingering in my mind:  "If money were no object, what would you do with your life?"  My answer will always be travel & make art.  My worries are that I'm not good enough (always).  Some people are persistent NIKE ads who tell me to "Just do it," as if it were so easy.  I am used to a steady income.  I am used to a way of life that includes going to an office & having a set schedule every day.  But is there any reason I couldn't make a steady income or build myself a daily schedule that would fulfill this habit for me?   I am used to the idea that a career comes from an education.  Is there any reason that I couldn't make myself successful without a degree?  I don't think so.  Many people do it.  I guess NIKE might just be the answer to my problems.

I know I can draw.  I could probably even do it professionally if I knew how to make an income with it.  I suppose that's another issue.  I need to retrain my brain to know that a degree & a desk job aren't the only ways, & I need to find a way to make money through art.

Being half way done with 29 (aka Chapter 29), I think it's about time that I find out how to make a living by doing the things I love.  Traveling, camping, sketching, doodling, whatever you want to call it - these things are my top priority for the remainder of 29.  Hopefully, by Chapter 30 I'll be able to make this life a reality.  Why not me?  Why can't I be happy making a living doing what I love?  The only answer for that is: you can.  Or, rather, I can, & I will.

1 comment:

  1. You have a tremendous ability to create. Whatever we need to do to nurture that, let's do it.