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...And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and Ió
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
- The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost
I've got this is my head today, not matter how much Adam & Joe jingles I try to push it out with. Don't get me wrong, I love this poem, it's one of my favourites, but today I have to choose between two paths, and I don't don't know how to decide.
At the end of the week, my dad asked me if I would seriously consider training as a dispensing optician, rather than them hiring one in the middle of their training, thus keeping the business in the family. And it is a great opportunity, one I've thought about before even though the idea of going into optics has never been a dream, but with dad as an optom, with a business of his own, it always seemed like a sensible path, one which I would be guaranteed a decently paid job with, especially as my dads business partner's children have also both gone through the course and therefore have jobs.
But if I pursue it, that's the dream gone. No more jewellery, no more thinking about PhDs and teaching at an art school, no more thinking about creating and being a jeweller, owning a shop, selling pieces I've made to people who will love them.
When I was seven, I sat with my friend Dawn and we both agreed that the only path we wanted to take was to go to art school and be designers. I know that's ridiculous, but it's true, we were sitting designing dresses on the slabs in front of my house, enjoying the summer sun and from then on, my goal was to get to art school, in particular DoJ and be a designer. And I got there, I did my bachelors and my masters and since leaving, I know I've floundered, I know I've gotten depressed and let it all get so on top of me that in the end, even though I want to be creative, I'm so blocked I can't be.
Over the past year I've been contemplating that there will come a point, where the line in the sand will be drawn and I would have to make the decision to let my dream go and just get a job so life could move forward. I just didn't think that that time would come now.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, but unlike Frost, I don't know which to travel. I know the sensible choice, but I don't know if I can let the dream go.
I know sod all people read my journal, I don't think many of my old friends on here are here anymore and the rest probably deleted me from their friends lists years ago, but I don't know what to do and I haven't spoken to any of my friend RL friends in so long, I don't have anyone outside my family to talk too right now and I don't know what to do.
How much have you talked to your Dad about this?
Would pursuing the optometry path leave absolutely no room for jewellery, even in a scaled-down way? One of my Discworld friends is/was a jeweller, most of his stock was Discworld themed. Except his 'real' job is completely different - some sort of engineering I think. At one point, possibly still now, he's had to work two jobs to keep the money coming in. The jewellery was always a hobby/sideline. He and his wife did eventually get a shop a few years ago, but a combination of things (not least the recession) meant they couldn't make it work, not the way they wanted anyway. Eventually, Barrie had to give up the jewellery entirely. All stock sold off or melted down, moulds sold, no going back. I think he might still do one or two pieces (not Discworld though!), on commission, but nothing like the work he was doing before.
Since I've started typing, I've forgotten what I was trying to say. I don't know what sort of timescale you've got before you need to start applying for courses and so on, but (obviously) don't rush your decision. Maybe you do have to let your dream go - in its current form. Maybe, sometime in the future, you'll get back that creative spark that seems to be missing at the moment. If you do, hopefully you'll still be in a position to make use of it, even if on a smaller scale than you'd originally wanted.
Sorry for not replying until today, especially after having such a massive freak out. I haven't talked to my dad much, but the last two days everyone at work was on holiday so I was manning the desk ( ) and helping my dad's business partner - a dispensing optician - run two full clinics. So on Thursday he asked me about it and I had a good chat with him about why I was finding the decision difficult.
Basically my paths, either way, probably involve another 3 year stint at university, either doing a D.O. degree, or design PhD. The former gives me a job because I would work for my dad, the latter would depend on whether a university would have me. The former also has definite funding as again a job would be mine and unlike others they've put through I wouldn't bugger off as soon as it was done and thus they've paid for someone else to get staffed and the latter I would have to find funding...
I don't know how long I have to think about it, I guess it will be like any other course and now, given it's April, I'm probably too late for applications, so have the best part of a year to explore my options, but I still need to do more research and some pro/con lists to be made.
Thank you for your advice, I have to admit I don't know if talking to Arthur on thursday has helped or just confused me more, but I feel better than I did at the start of the week and at least at their monthly meeting on Tuesday he'll be able to talk about it with dad.
And I also know I don't want to give up on jewellery, I wouldn't be struggling with the idea of training to be something completely different if I was, but maybe either way can allow me time to do both.
Only time and more research will tell.
Again, thank you Justin
Many years ago I had lunch with Joe Conley http://www.the-waltons.com/ikesty.html (my life is not usually that interesting, it is a long story), an important supporting actor in an American television series that ran over more than 10 years. He told me that he had always enjoyed acting from the time he was a young boy. Joe was probably about 50 at the time, and I was in my early 20's. After several years living in Hollywood doing many commercials, television movies and bit parts on many shows he told me that he could not get enough work to make a decent living. He then went into commercial Real Estate and made a considerable amount of money. He said that he could then return to his dream of acting, having the means to only do the work he wanted to do.
I do not presume to tell you what to do, but this might give you something to add to your thoughts.
It does make sense, it's one of the reasons the decision is hard, because one route guarantees me a wage at the end of the month...but, and given I'm not making at the moment this is going to sound ridiculous but, I hate the idea of going to a job where I don't make anything.
I'm not going to commit to anything yet, as I was saying to Justin, I've probably missed application dates now for this year, but I am considering both paths and after talking to Arthur on Thursday I do feel better about things. Though I think both him and dad would rather the job was kept it in the family (in a non Mafia way ) as they've been burned before.
I just don't know how good I'd be at it, I mean I'm terrible at maths, which in the course there is a lot of, and while I could tell you how jewellery and accessories are used as non-verbal communication or how to make any number of objects in silver using a hammer and a blow-torch. Optics is really foreign. My Masters was about dyslexia aids and how to re-design them, so I read a lot in that area, but that's pretty much it!
Right now I'm just going round in circles. Both options are good, but both also have negatives.
At least I'm not in total freak out mode now.
What kind of maths is involved in the course? Is it taught 'just' so that you understand the principles involved, or is it something that you'll need to be able to use if/when you become an optician/ophthalmologist?
Asking purely from a curious point of view... The only formula I remember from the A-level physics Optics module is 1/f = 1/v + 1/u (and even that I couldn't remember what everything stood for!)
That's actually what I'm worried about most, I got my standard grade maths (I got a 2, so that wasn't horrendous) but I needed extra tutoring. I was always terrible at formulas and I never did physics (I did biology and chemistry) and dad says there's a lot more you have to learn than you probably use. But I just worry that my basis isn't great.
That said, I always see Gary - Arthur's son - using his iPhone to do calculations, so I guess they don't shun you for not being able to do it in your head.
When it comes to maths, since school, the only formula I use on a regular basis is C=πR2 for working out what length of wire/sheet metal I need to make rings and bracelets, thus meaning I avoid too much wastage and time spent refitting. (I am jewellery .)
I did talked to dad a bit last night and they need a tentative yes/no some time this week. Which is terrifying, and I agree with why they think I should do it, I agree it's a good opportunity and I could go on to design specs or shops or something in that field rather than just dispensing. But, I dunno, I just keep swinging between the two, how I'll be able to decide by the end of the week is beyond me!
sorry havent been around for a little while work has had me going here there & everywhere...
this is just a quick stop by tonight , yup youve guessed it im on nights...however ill be back on here about midnight 18/04..
i feel for your dilemma ...not an easy decision to make sweet.., easy for me too say but if you love what your doing go with your heart & pursue that what you love doing.
anyway...dont be short of people to talk to my email addy is:email@example.com
it comes through to my phone & i'm always checking it so if you want a chat flower just send me an email., cant promise to find wise words or inspiration all the time but ill listen & try to help if i can.
be good em & hopefully we can catch up..
So, just to keep everyone up to date, I think I've decided not to go for the D.O. course. At least for the time being. I think I came to the decision that if my heart's still with jewellery and I was struggling so hard against moving away, then that's what I should pursue and since recently I have been feeling better about everything, I'm hoping that my designers block may also start to clear and I've been in touch with one of my old tutors who I may go visit to talk about other courses in the design school.
So, I shall stick to filing and may be being put in charge of the website revamp/running, so that will give me money towards my own work. And I'm feeling positive about that decision.
Plus, I started getting back in touch with my friends, only a few so far, but given I've been putting it off for the best part of two years, I think that's nothing to be sniffed at.
And I know this won't mean anything to either of you, but, I started wearing jewellery again. Which I haven't been and sounds incredibly trivial, but is actually a big thing for me since I couldn't bear wearing it when my depression was at its worst.
So, generally, I am feeling a bit more like myself again
Thank you chaps for giving me advice
Now, off to do some rebranding for work
That's sounding positive, well done you. Small steps forward may be small, but they all add up!
That's what I think
It's such a silly little thing, the not wearing jewellery, but I know for a fact that I'm not the only jeweller who's gone through that feeling. I met a jeweller I was a fan of, called Abi, through blogging and other means and when I mentioned that in my blog she said she felt exactly the same way. That wearing jewellery was like opening an old wound...especially given as soon as anyone who knows your occupation asks "did you make that?", when you say no they get that look and it's a total kick in the teeth!
I even made myself two new necklaces last weekend they're only wooden beads and fake plastic amazonite, which isn't exactly pushing jewellery boundaries or my skills very far, but it was nice.
Thank you for being so nice to me J. I know we haven't talked in a very long time.
When I got on here in the first place - back in 2002 I think - my addition to summerbayexile as my researcher name was 'Beaten Paths are for Beaten Men'. Glad to know you're not beaten yet! I would have taken the design path in your situation, but only because I would expect that the optician path will be open if I need it. Good luck Em and well done on wearing jewellery again.
You're more than welcome, Em. I know things got a bit messy (not quite the word I want, but it'll have to do for now) way back when, but you're one of several people I missed from here.
Things that appear silly, often aren't - when you understand what's causing it.
Well done on the new necklaces! Even if they're not revolutionary, or particularly challenging, it shows you really *do* want to get back to making things.
'Beaten Paths are for Beaten Men', seems very appropriate, my first h2g2 name "Halo" was off a beanie baby I was given... I don't think I've ever told anyone here that before, the day I joined I didn't want to use Emily because I thought it was boring, so I saw the bear and thought why not and she still sits in my bedroom, think I couldn't get rid of her purely because of here.
J, I missed you too, on top of the RL stuff it kind of killed me that I lost my h2g2 friends too. But if I hadn't left when I did, I think I probably would have just made things worst.
Anyway, I am off to try and blog something, having not done that in months, and cross another thing off my non-resolution list for the year. This being the first proper day off I've had in three weeks.
Hope you all had nice weekends
A non-resolution list? Is that a list of things you've decided not to do?
How was your day off? Manage to do anything nice? I've been playing around with my (old!) mp3 player lately - had to resort to connecting it to the (also old!) desktop pc to copy files over... Windows 7 just doesn't recognise it There is a linux utility to connect to it, but it seems a bit buggy. I wish manufacturers would support their products for longer - not everyone feels the need to constantly upgrade all their gadgets!
not quite. For the past couple of years on my blog I do a 12 days of Christmas, so every day from the 25th I post a design or product in reference to the number. So the 8th day, which is New Years Day, I make resolutions. The year before last I made 8 and kept 0, this year I made 1. "Try and be happier." But along with that were 7 ways I intended to try and get better. So they were non-resolution, they were just a crib sheet and so far I've done 3 or 4. Does that make sense? Years away from here, obviously hasn't stopped the rambling.
My day off? When was that again? Oh yeah, Monday...um, it was basically a bit rubbish, but I can't have done anything particularly inspiring since I can't remember Monday at all! That or it's because I've been in work 9-6 all week and am .
Sounds like you've been having fun then. I have to admit to being a slave to my iPod. I had to get a new one a year or two back because the hard-drive died in my old one and I nearly cried thinking of all the music I'd lost! Now I back up everything! I do get narcked at the inability for old tech to work with new tech. I dread the day when my copy of Photoshop 7.0 doesn't install on a new computer. I use it more than anything else on my computer - google chrome being the exception - and it works every bit as well as the newer ones...okay, maybe not, but it does enough for me and I'm used to it.
See! Still rambling! I swear this place brings out the rambler in me!
That does indeed make some kind of sense - for a given value of 'sense' I stopped making resolutions a long time ago. Partly because I could never think of any to make, partly because on the rare occasions I did think of something sensible, I promptly forgot about it for the next twelve months...
I wouldn't worry about rambling, you're not the only person who does it!
Oh yes, lots of fun. Having copied all the files off the mp3 player (a frustrating process, not aided by the inability to get the naming structure I wanted, and various characters such as apostrophes being replaced by underscores - both problems that the linux utility overcame, but couldn't seem to cope with copying more than a few files before crashing. Thinking about it now though, the Windows program did crash on a couple of files in particular... maybe the linux util had problems with the same ones?) I've started copying them back on (or rather, copying the original files from the back-up disk) - but this time making sure things like titles and album/artist names conform to some level of consistency. [At some point in the past I'd hurriedly copied a load of stuff onto it before a hard drive failed - without getting the names sorted first. A lot of them were probably things I'd downloaded from various sources...]
See, nothing at all wrong with rambling!
Well, to be honest I don't intentionally make resolutions, it just fits with the series for my blog. Plus the only thing I really want is to be happy. I mean there are lots of things which would be very nice, a good job, ideas for jewellery, to teach jewellery or have a shop would be excellent. A boyfriend and a place of my own would be lovely, as would it be to get married and have kids on day. But generally, if I can make it from one end of the year to the other and feel a little bit happier than I did the previous year, that's enough.
This time last year, I was unemployed, depressed and desperately trying to force my brain into designing because I was scared of turning 26 and being a waster. I turn 27 in a week or two and I am employed, I'm probably going to make one of the girls from work a necklace for her daughters wedding and I feel a little knackered, but happier. So that's okay
Anyway, ramble over :D
Where on earth do you find the patience? I copy my itunes library to my external hard-drive periodically and get bored. And that's just to save myself from having to ransack my families CD racks again. In that case it's not laziness, it's self preservation. My dad never puts his CDs back in order!
How can you unintentionally make a resolution? Happiness is always a good thing to aim for though; thinking of ways to achieve it can't be a bad thing either! Sounds like you're making good progress, anyways.
According to a recent valuation, my patience is worth £1820.54 (nut that's another story!) I guess I get a touch of OCD when it comes to things like that - once I start doing it, I want to get it done 'properly'. I'm glad I have done/am doing it though - I've uncovered a few more Pratchett recordings that I didn't know about, as well as a few resources for locating information about various series I've got as mp3s. So now I'm adding program information where I can... I must be a glutton for punishment! I've not even started on the music tracks yet...
I don't know how I can but I have
You're as bad as I am! We're inputting all the patient details, sight test, prescription and recall info into the new management system. The basics are there but the important stuff isn't, and so it means going on by one through every patient and more likely than not going through every active card in the place to make sure we actually get people coming through the door!
I'm getting slightly obsessed and there are thousands to be gone through.
The saving grace for both of us is once it's done, it won't need done again! (Hopefully!) <pray>
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