which way is forward?

for about the last year, i have spent a significant amount of time considering how i got to where i am now.  i suppose i am not the only person who thinks that way, but i certainly feel that others have a more certain and straight-ahead path than me.
the idea of what to be when you grow up is fascinating, mostly because i don't have any idea what that means for me.
yeah...i know that some folks might technically think that a 34 year old woman is grown up, but that's just an irrelevant detail.
this quandary is most recently triggered by my thoughts on work, "career" and talent.  you see, i went to college for something drastically different than what i do for a living now.  i have a degree in illustration, but work in non-profit human services.  how did that happen?  it's a long story and one that even i have a hard time following.
i am a talented artist, but i am also a very successful and (dare i say) talented case manager.  i enjoy seeing my clients do well and am motivated to help them improve their lives.  i have built a reputation for being thorough and effective in field work.
but have i left something behind in the process of following this path?  i certainly was not practicing art, or perhaps my case work is my art too?
needless to say, i feel that there will come a time where i jump tracks again and focus on art as work.  right now though, it feels i am walking through fog with no orientation or direction.


  1. doing human service work WELL is a craft; a work of art in its own right. you do all things so passionately...it will be interesting to see what is in store for you.

  2. Well, I certainly relate! I'm 34 and haven't decided what I want to be when I grow up, despite a career as a successful environmental lawyer (for now). So many passions, so little time to devote to them. I like to daydream about all the other things I could wind up doing, including finally pursuing my art full time. I guess it's consoling to think we CAN reinvent ourselves.

    Major props for doing work that's so desperately needed, and for actually caring about the people you work with.

  3. @corin you're right. human service work is an art, although sometimes it'll leave you used up at the end of the day! only a small few of us can keep going back without becoming jaded!

    @woodswoman extraordinaire ahhh...too many passions indeed! that has always been one of my biggest issues and why it took me five years to get a four year degree. thanks for the props and cheers to self transformation!

  4. I agree with Woodswoman Extraordinaire: We can reinvent ourselves. And we don't need to fit any "labels." I'm 32 and follow my gut making artwork and selling it and showing it. It's difficult to really describe what I do and how I do it to people, but the ends get met and I'm happy. And that's what's important to me. I think it's all right to switch up what you do too, for no reasons but that you want to, and that you can, because your life is your own! Life leads us in different directions at different times.

    ...And it took me 7 years to get a four year degree, due to extra classes of interest, and lots of travelin'!


  5. Aw, I hope you find art as work, too. I definitely want to work for a not-for-profit. Perhaps you could do some commission work. Illustrations for calendars for not-for-profits??


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