Monday, September 19, 2011

realizing what "i want to be when i grow up"

The last few days my thoughts have been all over the place..
On Friday, I finally received my diploma in the mail after many months of waiting.
To hold it in my hands and trace the raised letters with my fingertips was a feeling I'd dreamt of for many years.
After too many years and a major change from agricultural education to agronomy, I sit here unemployed 
and confused as ever. After all those classes and tests and papers I still don't know what I want to be.
When I graduated high school I proudly told everyone that I'd be an ag teacher someday and I truly looked forward to it. My first two years in the junior college ag department were really great. I took an intro to ag ed class and loved it. After junior college, I honestly did not have any idea where I wanted to continue my
education so I took a semester "off" and moved back home to take a few gen. eds. at our local junior college. I decided on Illinois State because of its close proximity to home. Once at ISU, I realized how disillusioned I had become. My education classes were not what I expected at all. I was the only student in those courses with an agriculture concentration and this forced me to "dumb down" all of my presentations for my suburbanite classmates. On top of it all, only 1 out of 5 classes per semester were even agriculture based. I felt overwhelmingly unprepared to walk into a classroom after graduation and teach my content area.

Knowing full and well that I did NOT want to be a teacher anymore,
I continued on anyways (due to my extreme avoidance of confrontation with my advisor, family, friends). Not until it came down to the last few months before I was slated to student teach, did I come up with the gumption to do anything about it. I bit the bullet and called my advisor and asked him what agriculture major I was closest to fulfilling credit wise. I didn't much matter what it was at that point. I just wanted to be done. It turned out that agronomy was my gal. I'd always loved plant and soil science and that's pretty much the gist of agronomy. I took the remaining two semesters of classes, barely a full time student credit wise..
Graduated. Moved into our home. Got married.
I'm currently an unemployed farm wife. I don't hate it at all. I cook, clean, and keep up with the yard. I'm here to greet my husband when he comes in for lunch. I have the luxury of being able to curl up on the couch with him on a weekday when rain keeps him from his work outside. I thank the Lord that we are financially able to allow me to do such things. But as I held my degree in my hands the other day, I couldn't help but think that even with a major change, I still never graduated with something that I really wanted.

I'm a creative person. I could look through a camera lense all day and still not grow tired of it. When driving I see a patch of tall, silvery grass swaying in the wind on a creek bank and think, "My God, that would make for a beautiful portrait setting." I spend more hours watching photoshop tutorials on youtube and browsing through the photography book section of Barnes & Noble, reading about f stops and ISO settings than most. I find myself browsing through random photographers' websites and mentally saying, "people actual paid good money for that?"
Maybe I have no idea what I'm looking at and not accredited enough at all to judge anybody else's work.
But I know that I have a talent. From the free sessions I've done for friends that send me skipping back home to my computer screen where I'm in awe of how my ideas turned out better than I could have imagined to the hours that get lost with my Canon hanging from my neck that felt like minutes.
I want to be a photographer more that anything else.
And I don't know what to do about it.


  1. If I am ever down in your area I would totally pay you to take pics of me and my doggies :-). I work for a photographer that started out a couple years ago doing $50 sessions for friends. She now is charging $200 a session and is booked through the roof. You can do it!!

  2. Thanks T! I would LOVE to take some shots of you and Serena and Darby! Seriously just let me know :) I know I want to do this for a living I just don't know where to start, ya know? That $50 friends and family sessions thing sounds like a good way to get started and get some practice while I'm at it. Thanks for the encouraging words!

  3. I find this a struggle many people our age deal with - having to choose your career path at 18 just doesn't seem to do the trick. I've graduated with a 4 year degree and gone in an entirely different direction. Waste of the last four years? Not entirely. Frustrating because I need skills I don't have? Definitely.

    Hang in there. What's meant to be will happen.

  4. Thanks for the encouraging words Stacey :) I agree 110%.. I mean, how are you supposed to know what your going to want the rest of your life at 18? And yes, I wish I would have realized photography could be a career for me when I was still in school instead of when I moved 100 miles home, got married, and planted my roots.


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