Confused-- Hope the length doesn't make you click the x

I need a sign from God. Ever since I was a kid I thought I wanted to become an architect one day. When I finally applied to College, I didn't get in the University of Texas' Architecture School, only to the Liberal Arts School. I was sad, as I didn't want to go anywhere else (I also couldn't afford to) and wanted to stay close to my family since we had just moved to Austin. I decided to pursue a degree in Urban Studies and do Architecture as a Master.  A lot of people said that was a good idea.

After graduating, I was able to get a job at a small Architecture firm (where I work now). I was thrilled. I wanted to learn stuff, interrelate with architects, and perhaps even design something small with the help of my very basic AutoCAD and Sketchup knowledge. Months passed, and for some reason, all my excitement began to fade away. I am not sure why... maybe it was because I discovered I was in love with photography, maybe it was because I read that architecture is one of the most overrated careers, maybe because I thought about my future life and decided I didn't want to live for my career-- I want to be able to have time for me, for my family, etc-- or maybe it was because one of the architects in the office told me he would choose another major if he could go back in time. I am not blaming him...  each person goes through different experiences in life. Anyway, the point is that I woke up one day and said "I don't want to be an architect anymore, I want to be a photographer-- a popular one."

Well today, I talked to one of the new architects in my office. He used to be a T.A for one of the classes I enjoyed the most in college. He talked to me about the positive things about the career. He said there are firms that still do hand drawings and models, that in South America architecture has a high demand, that he absolutely loved architecture school. Unconsciously, he awoke some curiosity in my brain again.

I don't know what to do. I don't know when to do it. I will probably go to Peru for a few months in the middle of this year and I wish I could go knowing what I want to do with my life, so that I can prepare myself further while I am there, whether in photography, or architecture.

A few months ago I  discovered a Masters Degree that sounded very exciting to me. "Photography & Urban Cultures." They offer it in London only, though. Maybe I should just go to London? Why is it so hard to decide what I want to do? Why am I so indecisive? Some say I could do Architecture because photography can be a hobby. That's the thing... I wish it wasn't just a hobby. If I do architecture, then I won't be able to study photography and pursue it 100%.

I seriously need one of those rays of light they show in cartoons, when people suddenly know what to do.
All I want in life is:

- To have a job that I LOVE
- To be somewhat 'popular' with what I do, at least in the town I live in 
- To have extra time for me, for my future husband, for my family, always 
- To earn a good enough income
- To never feel I wasted any talents
- To enjoy life, places, people, nature, etc. You only live once...

Any suggestions? I know...  crazy huh.

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  1. you know i kinda completely understand ... it took me until last year (at the tender age of 28) to figure out that photography was hands down what i wanted to do. I've tried all kinds of things, got an HND in outdoor education before my photography degree, working in a high school teaching, bartended with the opportunity of becoming a manager of a new incredible busy restaurant & of course become a military wife living in germany.

    But in the midst of it all, with my husband by my side i want to be a fine art photographer. I want to own a little gallery somewhere one day (one of my best friends will have a little cake shop to the side) & sell fine art prints, & coffee table books & people to love my work. I also would love to do my masters in photography but have also considered going back to school for more "generic" degrees be it ones i would love also.

    I don't think there's a time limit of making the decisions, i believe that there will come a day when you know ... like the ray of light in a cartoon or the light bulb that sometimes flashes above my head. Maybe you need to take this year to explore your opportunities, Peru sounds awesome (why can't you do both) & talk more with this architect who's pipped you interest in architecture. Maybe see if he can take a couple of hours a week to sit down & go through things with you so you can try what you love.

    Ok this comment got kind of long but i guess what i'm saying is don't rush & enjoy experimenting with them both for a while. & who ever says photography can just be a hobby has apparently never known the thrill that goes with taking photos!

  2. it sounds to me you want to do photography, perhaps you should try it, I do not think it would be a waste to pursue something that I really love

    although, I don't think I'm to give advice to you but I want to give my opinion, however uneffective

  3. Fact is: all of the things you want to have are not common for most people on this planet. On a large scale people live to get food and clean water; something we can not even understand. On a smaller scale people right in your town people live on the street, do not know how to pay for their daily living and search for a job since many months.

    Only privileged people want all kind of things like you do. This will never make you happy, since when you have it you will find something you do not have but want more badly. You are already part of a very small class that has as good as anything and want more and more. Why should anything on your list make you want nothing more (since its "all you want")?

    This does not mean you should not try to achieve your goals. But be aware that what you want is NOT humble; it's what most people simply will never have. Never!!

    Try to figure out what really makes you happy in life. Do things make you happy? No, things make you want more things. A good camera makes you want a better one. Does a job make you happy? Maybe, but most time no. Does money make you happy? No, there's always something you can not buy or someone that has more than you.

    So what makes you happy? I have no idea. Try to figure it out and meanwhile be humble and happy about the great life you already have. Hunger, life threatening sickness, death of parents/siblings, living on the street, no eduction...any of this happens to you right now?

    If finding the best job on the world that you love is your biggest problem please consider your life a privilege you should enjoy and not whine for more.

    Again: this does not mean that you should not try to achieve your goals. But feel privileged, humbled and joyful that your life has not other problems for you to solve :)

  4. Yikes, I can understand your predicament. I love photography, and I appreciate architecture. I do love landscape architecture, and if I was to choose, it'll be hard. I think coming to Peru will confuse you even more. Architects are doing amazing things here. Remodeling old buildings, designing new trendy restaurants (a boom!) and you can see new and wonderful projects everywhere... But being that I do love photography, and being that it may be a while for me to think seriously about photography, I get very excited abou the prospect of someone starting a new career in photography.

    If I was you, I would start a journal in which I would write my goals and my plans into the future: this will allow you to realisticly consider your options and to revise them before you make your final decision. It all depends on what you want ouf of your life. I think. Good luck...! I wish I was you, some years younger... altough, I love chasing after my daughter (the youngest) and taking pictures of her...

  5. I've decided to go into architecture in college. Are you saying I should reconsider?

  6. Heidi, like I said on your blog... don't worry about it (and I hope you're not mad at me). I've always been an indecisive person, in many ways. Some people know 100% what they want to do. Since I've lived in two different countries, with different needs and markets, it makes it even more difficult for me since I might go back to Peru one day. You'll be fine, I am sure. Don't let my post scare you if you're in love with architecture... is it indeed a beautiful thing.

  7. Hey sweetie, after reading over a few posts on this specific entry, I feel like you might have felt bad for what you wrote and I want to tell you that this is your blog, your hiding place, and you should feel like you can write whatever you want. Wanting a change in careers does not mean that you are not humble and always searching and searching for more like M. may have hinted it. It simply means that you want to be the best person you can be, and you know what? It does not mean you are not grateful, it means that you want a career change, and nothing, nothing is wrong with that! Please follow your dreams sweetie, let no one or anything stand in your way - God is on YOUR side. XO!

  8. hi,
    I dont think u are in a state of indecisiveness - u are actually looking at the problem from all possible points of view - which is proof to a mind that is honest and practical. No one can really tell u what is good for u. You will feel it deep inside. Just start thinking and acting as if u are an architect and also a photographer and start preparing space for both in ur life ( I mean physical and mental space). In course of time the one profession which u are DESTINED to will just suck u in without u even realising that. God always helps people who are able to think and meditate upon even their dreams before following them blindly.I am sure u r heading the right way.
    I being an architect and a person who loves to spend time with family can perfectly understand ur feelings.
    All the best. -jjtecharchitect


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