Do you have your life goals figured out? I know I do Not. I am still by most standards considered young at my age of 31. I have noticed a pressure among a lot of younger students and workers to know where they will be going in life, and I commend anyone who has it somewhat figured out. I just want to help alleviate those who may not know what their “thing” is. I sometimes feel just as lost as my younger self, even in mid-pursuit of this singular goal of mine.
If you talked to a younger me at the age of 15, you would have never heard the end of how I will become a tattoo artist, and how I drew a couple tattoos for friends. I once showed a tattoo artist my art and he said he’d consider taking me as an apprentice. Those all felt like huge moments for a younger version of myself, and I really leaned on the idea of even being considered, which didn’t mean I was accepted. I look back on it, and it was just me forcing someone to look at my art, and they probably had to be friendly (but also remember that the current me is a bit more cynical.) I started getting tattoos at the age of 16. I don’t think the modern version of myself time-travelling could warn my younger self about how much things will change over the years. I now get to stare at my tattoo choices, not all of them because some I need a mirror to see.
I’m not sure if it’s self-criticism, or just a bit of an aged outlook, but I don’t think I would be able to have done the job of a tattoo artist, not only on a creative level, I look at some of my art and am glad nobody else asked me to draw a tattoo for them. That dream was a huge one that only lasted a few years, and I am alright with knowing I am not meant for that world.
I almost forgot to mention my secondary school years. Oh, those glorious years of school, where the pressure to figure out life is thrown into your lap like a hot potato. Now, I was not the most attentive in my school years, I was a somewhat difficult student. When I did attend, it wasn’t to anyone’s benefit, mainly to be a distraction and go see friends. Since I did not have the greatest academic grades, my high school decided they would prepare me for a practical world.
In most of my high school years, I was put into classes that could be summed up in one category known as Forestry. I don’t remember much of these classes, I know we had to learn how to approach a plot of trees, seen how strategically they are cut, and what (as well as how) to preserve certain areas of forests. That’s about all I can tell you after a few years of these classes, partially my own fault because of the attendance issue.
Those were the two big plans before I even hit 20 years old, I was either going to work in the woods somewhere or put ink into other people who might end up with a tattoo they could possibly maybe regret, or love.
My 20’s were just a mess of mainly being a cleaner to random jobs I could pick up living across the United States and Canada. These were the years of enjoying the freedom of not having goals. I was able to do this one simple thing which is to find a mess and get rid of it. Everybody would compliment me on this straightforward ability. I did make a living off it, and I met many others who made quite a decent living wage from doing so. I just found myself at the point where I discovered that I enjoyed the people I was meeting in these workplaces, over the work itself. I will admit, in those years did I ever gain a crazy amount of travel and life experience, which allowed me to accrue many stories and new outlooks. There’s too much to list about my 20s, that the shortest way I can sum all my experiences up in my work and normal life would be cleaning up messes.
I’m good at making messes, and I wanted to close my 20s with some form of anything I could achieve on my own. I read about small goals leading up to bigger goals and tried taking that approach. I went around the Lower Mainland, looking at post-secondary schools and trying to figure out a new dream. I took evening school just to be able to apply to post-secondary. I went to career centers and took every form of self-help, career choice, or personality test you could take. I read that I was best suited to work in the medical field, or be a manager/supervisor of anything, I guess. I got certified in operating many types of machinery and tractors when I still never had my drivers license. (There was also a brief period where I was going to take over the vaping industry with my ground-breaking flavour ideas.)
After all the tests, suggestions, and training I have done through my years. I decided to go straight into school for Radio. If there’s anything that this article projects, it’s that I certainly know how to talk too much. The one thing I gathered from all my experiences of school and work is that I genuinely loved meeting people and hearing their stories (almost just as much as I enjoy dishing mine out there.) With that in mind, I hit the ground running 16 years after finding my first dream job of a tattoo artist at 15.
I still don’t have the full confidence in my choices yet, and I respect anyone for trying to pursue their dreams/goals. It isn’t easy, because I still sit here in the evenings wondering where I’m going to go after all this is said and done. Right now, I’m just enjoying the experiences, and appreciating the great people I met along the way. From one undecided person to everyone else out there, I hope that even if you don’t know what you’re doing just yet, you find some good moments while trying.