After several months of living in panic- I hate my job! Now I don’t have one! Where am I going to live?! Am I wearing out my welcome?! Am I going to have to go back to Kentucky?! What the hell am I going to do?!- things have finally settled down. I have my own apartment, a steady(ish) stream of income, and the confidence that everything is going to be ok. Now that I’ve gotten the basics of food and shelter out of the way and I’m not an emotional wreck, I can move onto other concerns.
My original purpose for quitting college and moving to Atlanta was to discover what I wanted to do with my life. That process was set aside while I got back on my feet, and now I’m ready to go after it again. Here are my interests and possible options at the moment:
- American Sign Language: I love ASL. I love the energy and emotion of the language. I love interacting with deaf people and I ache to sign more. (Especially since moving because I don’t know anyone here who signs.) Of all the subjects I’ve studied in school, ASL was my favorite. I never missed class and I would frequent as many extra-curricular signing events as possible. I was a deaf camp counselor and I became great friends my ASL professor and my classmates. (Team Awesome!) I constantly sign without realizing it and I’m eager to get back to signing regularly. And although I enjoy trying to interpret songs, I don’t think I want to be an interpreter. I’m more interested in the language than playing communication middle-man.
- Photography/Video: Photography has been a long-time passion for me. I started sophomore year in high school and by senior year was known as “the girl with the camera”. I was Miss Journalism, spending half the day (and many evenings) in the newsroom working on the newspaper and yearbook. I was absolutely sure that I was going to be a photojournalist and work for a newspaper. I went to Western Kentucky University, which boasts one of the best PJ programs in the nation. It was in the program that I realized I wanted nothing to do with journalism (I hate hunting and invading people’s personal lives). I did however love my studio and multimedia classes. I often dream up portrait and video ideas. I realized I wanted to work the business side of photography, using the craft to promote businesses. I’m still pretty new to video, but I’m just bursting with ideas.
- Working with Kids/Teaching: This one is a bit more vague. I like kids, but it seems I can only work with other people’s children in certain capacities or my brain melts. Nannying? No way. Teaching at a homeschool co-op? Totally! Chaperoning high schoolers? Oh god. Shooting photos with high schoolers and helping their technique? Completely satisfying. Herding a large group of deaf kids through their camp schedule? Oh dear. Interacting with deaf kids one on one about their interests? Love it! I think I like talking and interacting with kids, even teaching and guiding them, but I absolutely loathe disciplining kids. That’s the mommy’s job! (Especially because I feel closer in maturity to the kids sometime more so than the adults.) I’d much prefer to hang out with a kid and talk about awesome stuff.
- Pretty Things: I like pretty clothes. And pretty decorations. And pretty knitting patterns. And pretty crafts. And pretty photos. And pretty page design. I notice a large bulk of my free time is spent looking at pretty things on the internet, in thrift shops, in knitting books, and just imagining things in my head. I have no idea how that translates into a career path, but damn do I think about pretty stuff a lot.
- Blogging: I really enjoy blogging. There are slumps and dry spells, but I do enjoy thinking up posts and the pride I get from publishing them. It’s been a great way to track progress in my life over the years and to meet new people. In fact, blogging is what led me to Atlanta. (That is reading Jenn’s blog, meeting her and the Atlanta people, then deciding this was the place to be.) I really want to devote more time to it so I can produce more creative and consistent material. I’m constantly inspired by the fashion/decorating blogs I read and I want to be as successful as they are.
- Art Modeling: I’m coming to really enjoy it. I love meeting the artists, seeing the artworks progress, and knowing I had a part in it. Modeling is also revolutionizing the way I view my body. And the pay is great.
So, I’ve got a lot on my plate. Having too many options was one of the reasons I left school. Now it’s time to dig through them and see which ones work best for me. At the moment, this is the plan for each:
- American Sign Language: Take classes at Georgia Perimeter College and possibly get the interpreting certificate there. It’s not a degree and it doesn’t qualify me as an interpreter, but I don’t think I want to be one. It’s a great way to keep up with ASL, meet other signers, make contacts in the deaf community, and test the waters in ASL-related fields. If at the end of the certificate I do want to interpret, I can always transfer the credits and finish up a bachelors, which is what I’d have to do anyways to be a nationally certified terp.
- Photography/Video: I hope to push myself creatively by working on a personal project relating to Atlas Shrugged and doing promotions for the Atlanta Objectivist Society. I might try doing some regular videos fro the blog too, if I have time. I also want to get out of the motivational rut I’ve been in since college and start taking pictures regularly again. Not sure how to do it yet, but there’s a post in the making about it.
- Working with Kids/Teaching: I’ve been teaching ASL and photography at a local homeschool co-op. I don’t know if I’ll be teaching again next year, but I hope to offer more classes in the future after working on the curriculum a bit. I’m also interested in doing some baby-sign classes with local mommies. That’s more of a long term goal. I plan to do deaf camp again, but hopefully more as a photographer and less of a counselor.
- Pretty Things: I’m going to focus on prettying up the apartment, working on my various knitting projects, and my photography. I also want to work on honing my style, so lots of visits to the thrift store!
- Blogging: I hope to be working from home soon, which will allow me the flexibility to blog when the mood strikes, as opposed to having to wait till work is over. I plan to try to expand my readership, create more in depth posts, and post more of my photography. I hope one day to get sponsors and monetize the blog a bit. I have no idea how that would work, since most of the blogs I see making money are fashion blogs with accompanying online shops. I have nothing to sell and I have no desire to post pictures of my daily outfits. But I figure that working hard to create a better blog will lead to the solution of creating wealth from it.
- Art Modeling: Working from home will also give me the flexibility to book more modeling gigs. I’ve been pretty successful so far and next year looks promising. Till then I plan to network among local artists and possibly set up a website for myself once there are more finished paintings of me.
That’s the plan. There’s a lot in the works and I’m very excited. I’ll update as things progress. Please leave any suggestions for the blog or pursuing my interests in the comments. I’d love to hear from my readers and get a dialogue going.