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.

Pomegranate Ice
10 x 10 inches
Mixed Media Layered glass
© 2011 Pat Mitchell
Private Collection

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.

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “How I got here

  • October 22, 2012 at 8:41 pm
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    Oh Pat! I can relate completely to what you’ve written here. I also got an education in something which was utterly useless (bacteriology). I felt that I HAD to…because everyone told me I was so smart and smart girls do science. And instead of being pushed by a questionable human being, I married one. So for years and years I lived a life that wasn’t me at all. Things are all better now and like you, I’m busy creating the life I want. I’m so glad you’re not that drunk in the newsroom. You bring much joy to others now by living your dream life. Your work is really inspiring to me. Keep it up!

    Reply
  • October 23, 2012 at 10:59 am
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    Hi Pat!

    I think your new and improved website is wonderful – a real pleasure to browse through. Your way with words is evident and I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about you and your artistic journey. The banner image on the homepage is gorgeous!

    Reply

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