|A shot from my first gig shooting maternity|
Photo credit: ME!
It took a bad marriage to the wrong person and its fast and painful demise, becoming a single mother to the most precious gift there can ever be and being stuck in a stagnant career of almost seven years for me to get to this place. This place of overwhelming desire to start over and to do so in a way that is nothing but wonderful.
I've realized that I don’t want to just work for a living. Instead, I want to live while I work. And I want to enjoy living.
I want to use my creativity to do something fulfilling. I want to start over wonderful in so many aspects and my career and what I do to bring home the bacon shouldn't be excluded in this self-renovation process. I don’t want to be 50 years old and still working full-time in the same exact job that I’m working now. I might as well have stayed in my shitfest of a marriage, because the eventual death of me would be the same essentially. In the end.
And I need more than that.
I deserve more. I owe it to myself.
Someday. That's what I keep telling myself. But not in that sing-song-voice people use when they don't actually mean it. I say "someday" with a mean, punctuated and fierce determination.
Actually, I’m a prime example of why 18 years-young, fresh high-school graduates should not bolt off to top-notch colleges with price tags of $30-40K/year, gaily declared as majoring in “Biomedical Engineering” for pursuit of a life-long career doing whatever it is that biomedical engineers do. In case you don’t already know, I have an engineering degree but I am not employed as a real engineer. Instead, I examine patent applications for methods and devices of biomedical engineering applications for the U.S. Patent Office.
Note, this blog and the opinions expressed therein are my own and do not reflect those of the federal government, the Department of Commerce, the U.S. Patent Office or any sub-entities or employees thereof. (I’ve been waiting to find a place to stick that bureaucratic clause!)
In a nutshell, I decide whether or not other people’s engineering marvels are worthy of patent protection under the principles of patent law (trust me; it’s really not that interesting so cool ya jets … and no, I don’t want to hear about the super “invention” you've coined up in your garage). Becoming a patent examiner wasn’t a life-long dream of mine; rather, it was one of the few career options I had available to me upon realizing I had earned a degree (with some heavy-duty student loans tied to it) in a field I had zero desire of actually practicing.
Admission: when my step-dad first suggested I pursue engineering during the whole college search of high-school’s Junior Year, I scoffed “I don’t want to drive trains” because that’s how dense I was at the time. Book smarts? -- done and done. Common sense? -- a work in progress. Shamefully, when it truly came down to deciding between liberal arts and what was being dubbed as the more “practical” options by those guiding me, I chose practical with dollar signs in my eyes thinking that by pursuing engineering, I had a greater chance of striking it rich. What I would eventually learn, in addition to differential equations, how-to-kick-ass at beruit (if you call it beer-pong, I will cut you) and the total suckage of student loans, was that I would rather slowly gauge my eyes out with a jagged piece of glass over the span of a 40-year career than actually work as an engineer day in and day out over said same length of time. Yes, I graduated with a 3.0 from a top-notch school while simultaneously working 30/hours a week and partying just as much. But did I enjoy engineering? To say, “not at all” would be a horrific understatement.
So, currently, I’m working as a patent examiner for going on seven years now. It pays the bills and as a divorcing woman, that’s imperative for the foreseeable future. For the record, I do enjoy the job most of the time and I am fairly decent at it. There are a lot of perks (did I mention that I work from home 100 percent of the time?) and the benefits and stability of government work are unmatched in this economy. I don’t anticipate leaving the job within the next decade. I do, however, anticipate loathing its utter lack of creative expression well before my 40th birthday looms.
Before that happens, though, I have a plan. I’m building this blog in addition to my freelance photography start-up founded in the midst of my separation. Next comes a professional website for the integration of both and some possible marketing. My five-year goal is to have enough success somewhere with my creative endeavors where I can maybe drop down to being a patent examiner part-time versus full time.
I'm making this proclamation here as a sort of personal contract with myself. You know, that oddity where things seem more "real" or "true" when you can read them in 12 pt font?
If I continue to turn out exquisite work like I did this past week during my first real maternity photo session, I'll be that much more confident that my plan is a realistic one with an extraordinary amount of potential. That’s what I call wonderful. How about you?
|Another shot from my first gig shooting maternity|
Photo Credit: again, ME! :)