Forty Years ago, I achieved a dream that I had been thinking about for probably every day for 10 years prior to that day. From about the age of approximately 12, I dreamt of going to a design school in NYC that started with a ‘P’ to become an interior designer. Don’t ask me how I knew I wanted to be an interior designer. Don’t ask me how I knew there were two design schools in NYC that started with a ‘P’.
I was so hyper focused on that dream, pretty much nothing was going to stop me. It was not easy by any means. I was fortunate to have a great roommate and we got along famously. We were in the same program, but our work and study styles were very different. We would take breaks to walk to the corner for a ‘slice’ and when we really splurged we went to the Magic Pan for crepes. Chicken Divan crepe for our main meal and a fresh strawberry crepe for dessert. We had so much fun, even when we were dog tired from all nighters.
My longest was 48 hours straight on my balsa wood rooftop playground.
Heather passed away in 1992 and I still wish I could talk and laugh with her.
I don’t remember much about the actual graduation day, I do remember one of the speakers related the day to masturbation… really? All this work and that is your best commencement speech? Welcome to design school in the 80’s in NYC! My Father thought I was nuts to want to go to school in NY and now he gets to listen to this speech haha! But, it was one of the very few times that I remember my Dad telling me he was proud of me.
I moved back to Buffalo and three weeks later got married and a few months after that started a “big girl” job in design. I worked in design for almost 25 years, until after my cancer and then the market crash.
I no longer work as an interior designer and sometimes I have regrets and beat myself up about it. I was so focused on being an interior designer and graduating from a top design school and now it seems like a lifetime ago. I know my creativity and artistic ability that helped me to be accepted into the program and graduate is still with me and always will be. It does help that I understand the design process in my current field of work, so I talk myself down off the ‘regret’ ledge.
I obviously spend a lot of time thinking about the past and my path in life. I knew what career path I wanted to take from a young age, yet here I am 40 years later in a different field. Tomorrow my Son graduates with an Associates in Psychology, he really doesn’t know what his next steps will be.
I tell him it is okay, he will be okay.
All of our paths have ups and downs and twists and turns and that is what makes our lives interesting.
I guess I need to take my own advice, it is okay, I will be okay.