A long time ago, back in my freshman year of college, I was in a class called Freshman Seminar. My professor gave us an assignment requiring a detailed plan for our futures. What is your long term goal? I wrote about my struggles with mental illness and desire to become a school psychologist to ultimately revamp guidance counseling centers across the U.S. I want guidance counselors to actually counsel students with mental health issues. I had a great counselor and a great friend who helped me through very dark times. This a still a dream of mine, and I do plan to accomplish it.
I’ll be reaching the quarter century mark age-wise this year. I’ve procrastinated my whole life. And now I feel like I’m old and running out of time! In reality, this is the perfect time for me to start discovering my hobbies and interests so I have a distraction from my somewhat grueling 40 hour work weeks. When you start feeling like you live at work, it’s probably best to start mentally distancing yourself. To take a break from the boring and doing something fun to keep your life interesting.
Ever since my dad bought his first point-and-shoot camera, I have been obsessed with taking pictures. I used to sneak and take his camera late at night, after everyone was in bed. I’d take some pictures for my social media accounts, upload them to my computer, and delete them from his camera. After safely tucking it back into its box, insuring it looked undisturbed, I would go sit at my computer and start editing. I taught myself how to use Corel Paintshop and, eventually, Adobe Photoshop. I posted pictures for likes and comments. The appreciation made me feel good and I soon realized this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. My parents, however, did not like this idea too much. They told me that I wouldn’t make any money and that I would need a “real job” instead.
Well, that hurt. Ay this time, I was still battling mental health issues, about to come out of high school, applying for colleges, and completely terrified about the rest of my life. I went to college because I wanted to make my parents happy. I wanted to be the first one in the family to graduate for them. I wanted to just go, and see what happened. An interesting chain of reactions took place, where I was accepted into every school I applied to, had the happiest day of my life (still) when I graduated from high school and felt an enormous weight lifted off my chest.
How the hell did I get through that?! I asked myself. I vowed that no one else deserved to go through high school without having an outlet for help. Psychologists are expensive. Teens don’t like talking to their parents. Why not have a safe place to talk in the same place they are required to be five days a week? Since no one seemed to have an answer for me, I decided to be the answer myself. I declared my major as Psychology and set out to pursue my goal.
I failed my last semester and I haven’t been back since. Depression is a thorn in my side, sometimes it hurts, sometimes it doesn’t. It creeps back in abruptly, startling myself and others. Just when I think I’ve healed, life happens and I am reminded of my inability to cope. I’ve reverted back to the things that used to make me happy in hopes that they can make me happy again. Photography is an old hobby of mine but there’s something about it that gets my heart racing. Writing also produces a similar reaction.
I’ve learned so much about human behavior through my studies in psychology that have truly helped me become a better person despite my struggles. There is so much to learn about photography and so many ways to incorporate art into life. How can I align these interests? What can I do with this information?
My goal is to create Blushing Purple Photography, providing photo prints including large format, calendars, greeting cards, and stationary. I will also provide art therapy to individuals wishing to use photography as art for treatment. Upon graduation from college, I will attend graduate school for my masters in school psychology and provide art therapy services to students in high school.
The art therapy side may have to wait, since a license is required, however I plan to produce and sell photo prints within the coming months. A plan is a plan, and I intend to see it through.
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