I know everyone always says you shouldn't have any regrets, only learning experiences. And I do believe that to some extent. Things in life that you do to yourself that go wrong, those should not be regrets - those are things you can learn from. However, things that happen to you because you are too young to decide for yourself.... there is no way you could possibly learn from that because they were not your actions. I feel like this is where anger and resentment come in to play in place of the would be regret.
Growing up I was set on one thing. I wanted to be an artist. I drew everyday. I loved Art Classes at elementary School. It was where I felt safe. It was where I felt I could express myself without anyone teasing or bullying me. And for my age I was good, and that made me feel special. All the kids in class would look at my art and praise it while I sat at my desk quietly and smiled.
Elementary school ended and middle school started. I joined an art club and my talents were challeneged. But, I was finally among some kids who were like me - they too loved art. It was the first and only club I was ever a part of. We painted a mural in the school. It was great.
High school. "Where do you see yourself in 20 years?" "What career do you want?" "What school do you want to go to?" "What is your major?" Yes. High school. I went to a very competitive high school. These questions were asked of me when I was 15. Everyone else seemed to have the answers but I was lost.
I kept taking art Classes though. I took an art class in the summer before high school even started because I was so excited. Then I took two more my freshman year. And then I stopped.
I stopped doing art for 3 years. My dark years. My parents told me there were no careers in art and I needed to find something that would make me successful. Accounting, architect, engineer, doctor... those were my options. So I tried to be an architect. I took a bunch of math classes that I did awful in.. but in my senior year I took a psychology class that I fell in love with.
I thought I finally found my thing. Psychology. I was going to be a psychologist. I was going to help people who are sad. And I was so happy with that life plan. But there was something missing. I took two art classes and of course I figured out what that was.
My parents wouldn't be happy that I took more art classes when those slots could have been used for math classes. So, everytime I had to bring a project home to work on it, I hid it in my room so they couldn't find it. I heard kids talking about getting into art schools and finishing their portfolios... meanwhile, I made a pretend portfolio so I would feel better about myself. My parents would never pay for art school. Ever.
So I went a regular state school. It sucked. I got lost again. But found my way out through art. Again. I left the school and went to a city school to pursue my psychology degree seriously. For two years I mapped out and planned ways to fit in an art class into my schedule. But nothing worked. Because I was a commuter, art classes were blocked off for 3.5 hours and I needed to have at least 4 classes a quarter. It was a mess. So I gave up.
My parents finally won.
Through my college years, I bought sketchbooks and fancy colored pencils and tried to do art on the side. But my schedule and lack of creative energy would not allow it. When I graduated, I came back to it.
I bought fancy markers, I followed art accounts on instagram and youtube. I learned so much. One thing I learned shocked me. And this is where my regret comes in. A lot of the people who made careers out of art, a lot of the people who I follow on all these social media platforms... they never went to art school. They were self taught. They never let anyone tell them not to do what they loved.
I stopped following my dream because someone told me there was no way I could be successful. I gave up my dream.
Art takes practice. I missed a good chunk of years of practice that were crucial to art development. I missed out on that chance to grow and learn. I let myself do that.
That is my biggest regret.
I can't learn from it. It's already too late. If I choose to pursue art, I need to get good at it. It might take 10 years, might take more. By then, technology might be completely different.
I could still do art for fun, yeah. But my dream was to have a career in art. I'm already too old for that.
I have no way of ending this blog post. Because this is such a personal thing to me and something I've been battling with for years. Anything I try to end this with, it ends up sounding super corny or sappy. So, it's done.
Blog post finished.