August 26, 2011

Closing one door, opening another

Today is kind of a big deal. It's the last day at my job of nearly two years… but really it's ending a chapter of my life that started more than seven years ago.

In early 2004, I stopped mucking about and decided on a career path. Time to stop all this mucking about! I thought determinedly. I'm 26 now and it's high time to be an adult! I then promptly began to go about it in the wrong way.

I went to community college and plowed my way through a year of generals just to get them out of the way. My second year of school I was working a 40-hour week, taking 16 credits at another school 50 miles away, and commuting four days a week to go between the two. I look back on that year and honestly, I have no idea how I didn't go completely mad. (I reserve the right to assume I'm not mad on my own blog, so there.)

By the third year I had begun to realize that I wasn't doing as well as I wanted to in school (despite quitting my full-time job and moving much closer to school). But I had already invested time and money, and I wasn’t going to just give up. I graduated by the skin of my teeth and started to slog my way through a field that was showing its true (and not so pretty) colors. After two years of clawing and scraping, I backslid into a position which was related to my field, but not doing what I had been aiming for.

I've spent most of my time at this job slowly and painfully coming to terms with the fact that I had failed at what I wanted; that I'd wasted my time and money on a career that was not meant to be.

Fear not, faithful reader, this isn't one of those tragic emo stories.

With the help of a therapist, I finally figured out that I already knew what I really wanted to be doing. Writing. Acting. Creating. I discovered that all those dreams I'd had when I was a kid were still there, they'd just been buried under years of defeat and self-doubt and forced adulthood. So I dug them out and dusted them off and put them back on. The coolest part was that they still fit, even though I hadn't worn them for the better part of two decades.

The end result of this seven-year process is that I'm starting over. I'm off to school at the University of Minnesota, entering as something between a Freshman and a Sophomore. Because one thing my first try at school gave me, besides a hell of a lot of hindsight perspective, was enough credits to skip most of the boring stuff (like Math… we hates Math, yes we do precious). I'm giving myself a few years off from being an adult to give my childhood dreams a second – well, really, a chance.

All of this has been about six months in the planning, and now this denouement is at an end. I'm about to turn the page on this chapter after a long, long time. Too long, perhaps; or maybe just long enough. I cannot wait to see what the next chapter has in store for me.

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