The leaves are changing…
I took this picture back in 2008 with my point-and-shoot Panasonic Lumix that I bought back in the mid 00′s. Looking at this picture reminds me of how creative I tried to be, with limited technological means. It’s not an award-winning photograph. It’s pretty pedestrian. But I still love it. And it’s completely metaphoric to me.
Change happens when it has to, and sometimes I struggle with it. And so it doesn’t make it easier when it’s pointed out to you by loved ones that you need to change. Plateauing happens to the best of us. We usually recognize when it’s happening, but it’s never easy figuring out what change needs to occur.
But what do you do when you still don’t know what you want to be when you grow up? The 10,000 hour rule is pushing me in the direction of photography, even if the practical direction is web development. My passion just isn’t quite the same with the latter. But how much of a difference does that make today? Short of winning the lottery, I’ll have to work for at least another 40 years, so I need an actual skill to get me through. The idealistic college student in me still believes that I can find a job I completely love and make a difference, yet the newly 30-something part of me says I need to be realistic and move on.
The problem is today’s web development job descriptions expect the candidates to not only be designers, but also have extensive programming language experience in no less than 3 front-end languages, in addition to a variety of the very math-centric object oriented languages. And if there’s one thing my liberal arts education has taught me: my art brain is more formed than my math brain. And yet even my art brain isn’t fully formed. Either I lack confidence in my work, or I’m just not creative enough. Either I have to work my photography towards that 10,000 hour rule or I accept that my work just isn’t that good and perhaps try to develop the math part of my brain and go full-force into web development.
Maybe I’ll do what Rob has done: develop a skill for a job that makes money, so that my creative outlet can be available to me for fun only. A decision has to be made. Stagnation isn’t helping. And time is being wasted.