I don’t think I’m unusual when it comes down to the fact that I, as a schoolgirl, cultivated an ‘image’. This image was a protest against the stereotypical ‘popular’ kids and so I cut my hair to my chin (oh, such a bad look), dyed it black, went around school with shag bands (teehee) up to my elbows, along with the ever-so-edgy top ear piercing, so much black eye makeup I looked like a panda, and the obligatory black nail varnish.
In other words, I was an emo before that word existed. I listened to terrible rock music and above all, I was creative, god dammit!
In high school I studied Art and Drama and the technology I chose (when technology was still compulsory) was Graphic Design.
I was always ok at these subjects: I received an A in art, a B in Graphics and a C in Drama (I was never very good on the analysing text side of things).
But then when I went to college and into my second year, things changed. I got an A in A Level Law, a B in Psychology and a C in Drama.
But NO! I am creative! So I studied Drama at uni for a year and a bit. And then I dropped out.
Recently I am in a place where I have to decide where to go, careers wise. And I have come to the conclusion that maybe I’m not that creative after all. Oh sure, I was ok at drawing, but I was always better at copying: I was pretty rubbish at coming up with something truly original. Same with Drama: I could be bossed around; told to stand there and say this and act pretty well, but when it came to devising something, I froze up. Ideas would not come.
It’s a hard truth to face, but: I am only averagely creative.
And to be honest, I’m pretty pissed off I have only just discovered this. As a kid I had an abundance of ideas but as you age it gets harder and harder to keep that imagination going. Therefore I have ended up an ok artist who has nothing to draw; a decent writer who could only write essays; an alto who can’t write music.
In hind sight, I should have studied Electronics as my GCSE technology. I was pretty good at it, and wielding a soldering iron is pretty much as good as school gets (although one of my best friends burnt my awesomely cool holographic ruler with one… you know who you are!). I was put off because only boys were doing it, and they were the sort of boys who bullied me.
At A Level, I should have done Computer Science. But my only experience of computing in education was making a PowerPoint presentation, writing a letter or creating a bar chart. Stuff I could do in my sleep with one hand tied behind my back.
So with this in mind, I have started to teach myself basic web coding, with an eye to… well who knows what? The beautiful thing about humans is that you are never too old to learn new things, to change direction or say, ‘You know what? This really isn’t for me.’ Don’t be scared to change direction just because you’ve put so much work into it. Sometimes learning something new can open up opportunities and doorways you didn’t even know existed.
I’ve tried a few things in my 24 years: acting, waitressing, working with small children, tour guiding… none of which are for me (well, the acting gets to stay as a hobby because nothing beats the thrill of being on stage). But I’m not afraid to admit it, to say, ‘Shit, why did I study Art History?’
What I always bloody wish I had studied is Anthropology. Maybe in another lifetime!