I have a love/hate relationship with writing. I adore words, any and all words. I was told at an early age that I had a talent for it and that it was what I should concentrate on as I grew up, so I did.
By the time my first year in college rolled around I was in a university I vehemently hated (chosen FOR me rather than BY me) in a degree program I despised, following in the footsteps of a relative who was a questionable human being . . . because I was told I had a talent for it.
I rebelled like most young people do, by dropping out of that college after a year. I wanted to make and pay my own way in a direction that made no sense to anyone but me. I worked for a time to raise money to pay my own way through college, and then returned to a much different university to obtain a Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in Ceramics.
Is there any more useless degree in the world? No classified ads for corporate potters, no openings in anything for which I was remotely trained. I never felt compelled to teach art anywhere, so I never pursued a Master’s degree. I wanted to DO, not to teach.
Fast forward more than a quarter century and I have yet to put my degree to use. Not the ceramics part, anyway. I use the design and fine arts portions of it daily in my pursuit of producing mosaic art. I occasionally pick up pieces of polymer clay and sculpt them to my wishes. But true ceramics/pottery? Not for a moment.
My degree was not wasted, not by any means measurable. Most importantly, it serves as a shining reminder that I CHOSE what I wanted to do with my life and did it by my own means and ambition. I paid back every cent of student loans granted to me, and now produce works of beauty and light that come straight from my head and my heart.
If I had followed the path set before me all those years ago, I’m sure I would now be a burned out drunk clinging to my job in the newsroom of a television station or a newspaper office as the world around me made me irrelevant.
I’m happy with the path I’ve chosen and followed.