I’m at an impasse. When I was little, I wanted to be a teacher. There were enough chalk scrawls on the back of my room door to demonstrate, at my young age, my ability to teach all my stuffed animals both big and small. But that desire, although not completely gone, doesn’t hold the kind of childhood amour it used to. And so as I look at the various threads of my life, what I loved when, what I enjoyed, what I learned, what I feel I’m good at, I realize though I have many threads running through my life, I haven’t yet found where they all cross.
When I was a little girl, I played Barbies, like most girls did. But Barbies for me wasn’t about the outfitting. In fact, clothes really wasn’t a big part of why I played Barbies at all. No, my Barbies had custom made accessories, toiletries, dishes, books, household items that no other Barbie in the world had. I made them, you see, often out of tin foil and toothpicks, paper and tape. My Barbie was simply a conduit to the world I could create for her. Most Barbies had hair brushes and mirrors, but mine had toothpaste and deodorant. It was in the details that Barbie’s world came alive for me. It was the stories I told through the things I made her, that made Barbie any fun at all.
Making stuff, it appeared began at a very young age for me. And I realize that’s one of the things I love to do is to make stuff – with my hands. I used to do origami. I folded paper cranes, tulips and roses. But I excelled particularly in making tiny origami. Roses that were a mere centimeter in width. Tiny tulips and even smaller cranes. I made hundreds if not thousands of them. The smaller they got, the more interested I became in making them.
I also loved ceramics, sculpting. In high school, I would spend afterschool hours wet cold clay between my fingers, scratching and smoothing clay into some thing – irregardless of what it really was. I thought out of the box once I held onto something moldable. Things always felt real and purposeful when I could form it, shape it, touch it.
And so fast forward, a few years still and I find myself in university studying Communications. A major I decided upon because of my love for making yearbooks in highschool. I thought I would go into publishing, or something, a vague indeterminate path spurred on simply by a desire to create. But when I got there, I realized the real world of publishing wasn’t about creation at all. It was simply a stark business with interests not in creativity or words even, just advances and markets.
Though, Communications opened up another world for me. One where I learned about media analysis, structures of power, deconstructionism, semiotics, structuralism. It gave me a more honest view of the world, one not drafted in black and white, but muddily gray. It opened my mind to the possibilities for thinking that were outside of what I believed were static truths. And that, in it’s entirety, gave me the tools to create better maps and filters of my world.
But coming out of school, I was left with a rather odd conundrum. I find myself seeking to create, yet not finding the medium in which to do it.
I realize, although I did at one point, and still do enjoy creating websites, I feel at odds with the fact that it simply isn’t satisfying my desire to create, to pull the threads together, to mold and sculpt as I desire.
So I am at an impasse. What do I do from here? Where do I go from here?
I envy those who have found their craft and are doing it on a daily basis. I envy the certainty in their work. And yet, I do realize that envy does not get me closer to my own place in the world. Where do I want to put my hands to?
That’s the question… I suppose…