A Round-About Journey To Finding My Purpose
For me, the path leading up to the moment when I knew I was meant to be a designer was not linear. There were a lot of detours. I seemed to know early in my life that I belonged in a creative career, yet after the birth of my daughter, my path was not so clear.
Early on I had many creative interests
When I was 19, I started working at a fine jewelry store and fell in love with gemstones and jewelry. I used to stay up way too late drawing different designs for rings and pendants. I mean, pages and pages of these things. Fantasizing about having them made one day.
Outside of drawing I loved photography. I saved up money and bought a nice little point-and-shoot Canon camera. My favorite thing to photograph was (and still is) scenery. I found myself seeing beauty everywhere around me. From close-ups of the frozen ground to stunning shots of the sun over the horizon.
In my first go at college, I majored in graphic arts and design. I took Intro to Computer Graphics, and I was in love. I was so excited about the things I was learning to do. I remember waiting in line at the grocery store with a friend, talking about what I was doing and how stoked I was about everything. I picked up a pack of Wrigley’s 5 Gum and said, “graphic design is everywhere! Look! Even THIS is graphic design. someone designed this packaging! I would love to do something like this!”
Early in my 2nd year of college, I became unintentionally pregnant. At that moment, my head spun, and I felt an urgency to get a career fast so that I could provide for my child. I knew I wouldn’t be able to stay in college at that time, so I thought, “what is another creative field I could work in, but like, really fast?” Cosmetology!
Yeah, that didn’t work out….
As satisfying as it is to literally cut hair, I wasn’t great at it and I hated having little prickly hairs in my clothes every day.
So I took a few years to just be a mom.
Once my daughter was around 4 years old, I decided it was time for me to go back to school. At first, I was majoring in art and design again, but then changed my major to biology! What?! Yeah, the story with this is that I watched The Big Bang Theory and I thought Amy Farrah Fowler’s work as a Neurobiologist was absolutely fascinating, so I totally changed gears thinking that that was what I wanted to become.
Well, after a research internship, I discovered I didn’t care too much for lab work, so I thought, what else can I do with an educational background in biology, and an interest in the brain and behavior? How about psychiatry?!
I was an exceptional student, so I was not intimidated by the thought of medical school and felt completely confident in my ability to succeed. I transferred to UC Davis and earned my bachelor’s in Psychology in 2019. All that was left was to take the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) and apply for medical schools! So simple right?
No. Not simple at all actually…
This turned out to be far more than I bargained for. The amount of time required to study for this massive 8-hour test, on top of prep all the elements required for the application was more than I could commit while taking care of a family. I threw up the white flag and went back to the drawing board once again.
I looked into other careers in the medical field, including sonography and MRI Technology, but I decided to try using my Bachelor’s degree by applying for an office position with the State of California. This idea came from a friend of mine who had a job with the state and really liked it. I never got an interview and every application required an essay, which was becoming very time-consuming, so I became discouraged and looked for other office jobs to gain experience.
I started working for a company as an administrative assistant, where I was making phone calls all day and was miserable, but this became the turning point.
The Ah-Ha Moment
There were two guys working in the same office as me who worked on creating advertisements for the company and did video editing because the boss man made vlogs and webinars. I found myself obsessed with what they were doing. I was so distracted; I could hardly focus on my own job duties. I kept staring over in their direction, thinking, “I want to do what they’re doing.”
This was when I finally knew that I was meant to work in the world of digital media and design.
I promptly looked into design programs and enrolled in Maryville’s online bachelor’s degree program in Digital Media. After the first course, Intro to Digital Media, I got to explore Adobe’s Creative Cloud Programs and got back in touch with my creative self.
I have never felt as certain as I do now. Looking back on my early years, I was always meant to end up here. It just took a lot of detours to circle back and figure it out.
I don’t regret my major detour though, because through my biology major I met my best friend, and because of her, I met my husband.
Now I bring my love of the arts, my enthusiasm for design, and my appreciation for the creativity in the world and in myself to my work as a designer.