During our junior and senior years of high school the pressure to apply to colleges and figure out what we wanted to do with our lives was of utmost importance. All the kids were excited and talking about what Universities they got into and what they would be majoring in. The thing for me was I didn’t care. I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do with my life and I felt no reason for why I was being forced to figure it out so soon! I didn’t feel the need to go to a specific or well reputed school. All I knew then was that I wanted to move away from home and get out and live.
I once told my mother that I was going to have multiple jobs in my life, and her reply was, “That scares me Jessica.” She pushed jobs with security on me. I have always been an artist and so she would say, “Be an art teacher.” Not for me…
So without concern about anything but leaving home I decided to go to a community college in Rochester, which was just far enough away from Syracuse (my home) for me to escape.
During that year the pressure from my mother continued for me to choose a major and a potential job. And after immersing myself in Sex & The City reruns at the age of 18, I decided to move to NYC and become a designer. The rest is history and I currently am the Head Designer at a handbag manufacturing company in NYC.
Now, I can be found at any given bar or social gathering avoiding the well known question, “What do you do?”
“I design handbags.” My insides cringe as I hear the words slip from my mouth.
“Oh how cool!” People say. “How amazing for you, that’s wonderful!”
The thing is, I am not happy with it. Over the years I have found minimal joy in actually designing and the rest of the time I am sitting at a desk looking at fashion magazines that I could not care less about. Worst part about this job for me, the overzealous fashion industry people. The second worst thing, sitting at a desk.
I know I need to make a change. I have spent the past four years since I have graduated doing some real soul searching. As my life has changed with different apartments, roommates, boyfriends and bouts of solitude I am certain now of the path I will be moving forward on. The problem that remains is how I can possibly muster up the strength to deal with my job that has been tearing at my insides for so long as I make the necessary changes to get out.
I’ve felt guilty at times because for years I have been in this career that has rarely made me happy. I have always known that it is my choice to subject myself to the environment that is my job everyday, and that if I really wanted to leave I could leave. Sacrafices would have to be made financially but in the end there is no one forcing me to continue but myself.
If I wanted to (and I have) I could sit around and think of a thousand and one excuses as to why its a good idea to stay at my job, all the logical reasons. I have often found ways to place blame on others for telling me what I am and am not capable of. However, if you put blame on someone else it means that only they can change it. If you take responsibility and blame yourself for everything that happens, then you give yourself the power to change it.
There is a transformation of myself on the horizon. I know we are all capable of doing anything we want if we work hard at it. There is not a doubt in my mind that this was all part of my journey and everything will make sense in the end.