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Hey guys,

I'm actually not quite sure where to post this because it's not exactly about relationships (except between my brain and my heart) but I'll leave it here for now.

The reason I'm posting is because I feel like I've been turning in circles, emotionally, for the past three years, when it comes to choosing my career path for the future. I thought I'd finally got it all planned out but again and again I find myself back where I was in the beginning and it's a really nerve-wrecking place to be for three years.

Now, I'm kind of terrified generally of having to choose a career path. Pick one thing that will define my life for years and years and maybe FOREVER? Yikes! I've always been creative and good at languages, so something along those lines was always clear for me. Except now I'm not sure. Again.

For three years I've had plans now to go to an animation school in Denmark and am right now in the process of applying, already having taken a 190 English exam that I need to be accepted. Actually, I should be working on my portfolio right this moment, but doubts are getting bigger. Do I really want to live off art? Within an industry that will 99% take me out of my home country and force me to leave my only and disabled brother behind in Germany? In an industry that focuses on CGI these days where I would be spending 8+ hours a day staring at a computer screen? I think I'd go mad. I love classical animation and I'm so so so excited about upcoming films like Pixar's 'Brave', I love reading about animation and have dozens of books on character design, animation technique, etc. But now that I might actually stand a chance of doing it myself I feel claustrophobic. It's such a narrow, specialised field of art too and living as an artist generally is really hard. You don't make a lot of money either and while I never minded the thought, I've realised more and more that keeping up my other artistic hobbies requires money too, you know.

I think if it didn't require moving away, if the animation industry was more like it was fifteen years ago, I would do it immediately. But suddenly I'm scared.

Just, what are my other options? I've thought about linguistics, I'd love to study Japanology (plenty of good options near me) but what would I do with that afterwards? Don't know if I want to be a business dolmetscher or something. I love books but I don't think being an editor would be for me. If I could live off my writing or dancing or hoopdance, that's what I'd do in a blink, but those aren't careers you plan securely, you know? I love crafts and carpentry, for example, is kind of awesome but would I want to do it? My voluntary ecological year has me out and about all day, taking care of animals and the environment, and I love it. But I don't know if I'd want to study biology even though it's interesting - most of the money there is in lab work and I'd rather do outside stuff. Working as a seamstress would be interesting too but there again, would I really want to do it?

I just don't know. I finally had a plan and since first my rabbit and then my dad had their respective health problems (still do) everything's just so awfully uncertain again. I feel like I'm being ground up, like I'm turning in circles and just don't know what to do.

For now I think I'll just work and save up money for another year even if I do wind up accepted in Denmark because with my father's hospital stay and rehabilitation it's really hard for us to drum up the money.

Gosh, sorry for ranting so much, I just needed to tell someone. If I told my mother now she'd get a fit because I'm indecisive again, even after I put so much effort into it... I know you can't make this decision for me but maybe someone outside my own head can see this stuff more objectively.

Well, I guess I better get back to working on my portfolio...
 

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Do what you love. If you're uncomforable leaving your family, then don't. Just remember, there's only about .001%* of the world that gets to do what they love, and the rest either felt they couldn't do it, make a living at it, or were pressured by various (well meaning) family members to go into a different career because of $$$, job security, etc.
*Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Mary Ellen Mark, and Jodi Cobb are some of the people who spring to mind. I'm sure there's others out there, and I didn't mention them. Good luck, and I hope you make it to Denmark.
 

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For what it's worth, almost everyone goes through this internal conflict at some point.

I'm not gonna say don't do what you love, but be aware of the reality of the job market. Retail cashier positions are full of people who studied what they love but were unable to find a way to actually do it. Do your research, and do it extensively. Learn how to market yourself. Don't simply study what interests you and then expect that dream job to land in your lap. If you want something, you have to pursue it like you've got blinders on and can't see anything else.

I will also say that a large part of enjoying what you do is simply state of mind. Don't be one of those people who gets a job and then habitually looks for problems to complain about. For them, there is no dream job. Their own attitude has made that decision, not their job or the nature of the job market.
 

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I would never advocate pursuing a career simply to make as much money as possible or to increase security in employment. However, getting an education in something technical like math or computer science does put you in a position to make a living while you explore other options (also enabling you to afford that exploration). It also, very often, makes you more desirable to prospective employers (and graduate schools) when you choose to go after another career since these are universally sought-after skills and show that you can think critically and analytically. Your education isn't a commitment, just part of your background. My early education was in math and computer science and I and my peers from the time are working quite successfully in music, business management, social work, archaeology, biology, tourism, investing, and other professions. There's even an award-winner brewmaster among us!
 

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You're not ranting, you are sharing. And it sounds like you have a number of talents, which would open up more doors than most people. That is a good problem to have. My son is very talented too, so he has had some conflicts choosing. However, he smokes, so he choose a good paying job
(the place the money goes), then developed a forum for his artistic inclinations online.

Remember people are living longer, so are taking on various careers. I have spoken with people who did a few different careers, then were stuck figuring out the next one, only to find that their previous careers gave them an edge in their next career.
Very thoughtful of you to think of family too.

It seems that your resistance to the animation path is from researching the trends. If this is so, maybe also further research on your own, plus a Career Coach may be helpful. How about charting the options for side by side comparisons?

I suggest also a book I read called Strengthsfinder 2.0. It also has a code in it where you can take a personalized test to determine your most significant strengths. Knowing this may help guide your career choices too.

Remember you can go on one path and change later. There is nothing wrong with that. I have had 3 significantly different careers and each strangely led to the next. I really like it this way too.


All the best
 
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