on my career pt.2

Disclaimer: This was transcribed and lightly edited from a voice recording.

So I’m thinking about my career choice, what I want to do in life, how my trajectory came to be and I think I’ve noticed a pattern.

At first I was really into graphic design. I really latched onto that as a career path. I remember quite vividly telling my parents that it was my passion and what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

That passion resulted in some pretty substantial things. I ended up running a business based mostly off of my graphic design. The purpose behind that business was never profit, it was just about gaining experience.

So anyway, I’ve sort of noticed a pattern about my attitude towards a career.

First though, this dialogue is not meant to say that graphic design is what I really should be doing because I don’t think I’ll ever know what I really should be doing; this is not meant as an argument in favour of graphic design.

Anyway, I started out with graphic design. I was very passionate about that. But eventually, I said to myself that it wasn’t good enough. So I went to architecture.

There’s another way to look at this too. Graphic design is wholly creative, there isn’t math or physics or any kind of science involved generally. Then architecture is a pretty practical blend of creativity and the sciences.

Anyway, I chose to pursue architecture and that was at about the time when I was applying to universities.

The reason I just jumped from graphic design to architecture, if I’m honest with myself, is that architecture looked cooler and looked harder. I am quite certain that it had nothing to do with my passion to design buildings because, although I find it interesting , I do not have that passion. That said, I do have a passion to solve problems, whether it be with math or science or architecture. To sum up though, I know that the main reason why I jumped from graphic design to architecture is because it was more challenging. So I started focusing on that.

The grass is always greener on the other side. I began to idolize and really focus on achieving a successful career in architecture.

So I applied to a good architecture program and got in.

It’s at that point that I came crashing back down.

There are many reasons why I didn’t feel as motivated about architecture after I got the offer versus before. At first, my drive was mainly to overcome an obstacle. I really wanted to achieve admission to that program.

So, once I received the offer, the other side became too clear and defined. It scared me to think about a career path in architecture. That said though, from an outside perspective, it seemed obvious that architecture was my desired career path. In my head, however, f I realized that I wasn’t sure about architecture and that the reasons for my attraction towards it were unfounded.

So I decided to take year at King’s college in Halifax, where I am now, and my plan was to do architecture after.

But over the winter break the pattern remerged. I wanted to do something more difficult. I wanted to make it harder for myself and so I panicked. I became really uncomfortable with the idea of going to Waterloo next year and there were a couple of reasons for that.

First, the fact that I am not passionate about architecture. Also important is the isolated campus and vast dissimilarity to Halifax. I wouldn’t have access to a campus or electives. I would see the same people everyday. That freaked me out.

So I gravitated towards engineering. I became quite obsessed, and still am, about getting into a good engineering program. To justify the switch to myself, I made up a lot of reasons that I’m still not sure are true or not. Reasons like: I need a masters in architecture to get certified as an architect; the job market didn’t look great; the program in Waterloo was very specialized, etc.

To elaborate on my worries about the program: It felt as though once I got into that program there wasn’t anywhere to branch off to. The program lead to one place and that was a career architecture. Had I been passionate and really interested in architecture maybe I would’ve liked that idea. I know now that career paths are unpredictable and often never end up where you expect them to, but that imagined certainty was a really intimidating thing.

But with all that said, then, and even now, I have this weird mindset where whatever your undergraduate degree is, that is what you will be doing for the rest of your life. Of course that isn’t true, but the Waterloo architecture program made it seem like that. Anyway, I got cold feet about the program and decided that I would to go into engineering. My logic behind that choice is I would be exposed to a lot of more subjects like computer science, physics, mechanics, etc. Just a bunch of things that I think are important to know.

This all relates to the pattern I was talking about before.

I started with graphic design and wanted something harder so I went to architecture and wanted something harder so I went to engineering.

If I have these skills; if I had the ability to do these things, and why shouldn’t I capitalize on them and get the degree that will make me successful and well-payed and stuff.

I’m certain that had I not been good at math or physics, I would have passionately pursued graphic design. I think I would’ve truly enjoyed that career path. But with the knowledge that I can do all these things, it makes the pursuit of graphic design all the more pointless seeming.

And thats where I’m at right now. I think this chat has kind of cleared up some things for me. It’s a really weird thing to think about.

I don’t know.