I now have 3 years and some change before my time will be up in the military. To say I'm excited would be the understatement of the century. Since I just got advanced to the next rank, some people are trying to persuade me into possibly re-enlisting, but unless I have the biggest change of heart known to mankind, I don't see that happening.
Although 3 years seems like a long time from now, I'm sure it will be here before I know it. That and the fact that I want to have something to look forward to when I get out of the military, has me thinking a lot about what my future plans will be. I'm probably about to regurgitate a lot of information that I've talked about before on this blog, but bear with me.
My "dream" career as a young girl was to be a fashion designer. I kept my face buried in fashion magazines, and I had sketchbooks filled with designs that I hoped to make come to life. I had grand plans of moving to New York and attending the Fashion Institute of Technology by the time I was sixteen. My mother quickly squashed those dreams and told me I wasn't going to New York because she was sure I would be eaten alive by the fast streets of the city. In retrospect, she was probably right, but we'll never know.
Anyway, since New York was out of the question, I set my sights on attending a 4-year university in Columbia, Missouri, that offered a fashion program. However, since it was a private institution, the tuition was pricey and my parents weren't going to take out any loans for me to go (and I had a hard time finding enough scholarship money to foot the bill). With another option knocked off my list, I ended up taking classes at a community college in St. Louis. I was there for about two and a half years, and I graduated with an Associate's degree in Fine Arts. It wasn't fashion, but they had a lot of the basic art classes that *should* have transferred to a 4-year school. While I was at the community college, I heard about an art school in Atlanta called Savannah College of Art and Design, aka SCAD. They had what was rumored to be one of the best fashion programs at a four-year institution, and from my research, it appeared that a lot of their alumni had gone on to be successful entrepreneurs or worked for well-known fashion labels. At this time in my life, Atlanta was appealing to me because it wasn't quite as big as New York, but it still seemed to have the city vibe that I was looking for.
However, SCAD's tuition costs were on the pricey side as well, and around that time, I also had a weird obsession with wanting to be in a predominantly black environment. I had grown up in a mostly all-white neighborhood in the suburbs of St. Louis, so I guess I wanted to be immersed in a crowd of people that looked like me. Because of that, I started making plans to attend Clark Atlanta University, an HBCU in downtown Atlanta. I moved to Atlanta in Fall of 2008 and embarked on what (I thought) was my journey to starting a career in the fashion world. While I was at CAU, the fashion classes that I took were interesting, but I really didn't feel that I was learning any "new" information or being challenged. An assignment we were given in one class was to write a 2-page essay on what we wanted to do in the fashion industry. The whole thing was very "What I Want to be when I Grow Up" and frankly, seemed a bit elementary for a college course, in my opinion. I also began to realize that I didn't really want to be a fashion designer. As a child, I sketched a lot of designs, but never learned the art of sewing. By the time I was in college, I was feeling way too lazy to attempt to learn how to do it. Besides, I have always been a behind-the-scenes personality, so I started thinking that I would be better off exploring fashion journalism. This is when I was first introduced to the world of blogging. A few other students and I started a fashion blog that was supposed to be like a virtual campus newspaper. However, the typical female drama ensued, and the blog was over before it ever got off the ground. I still enjoyed the idea of blogging, which led me to start this one.
Eventually, due to financial issues and general dissatisfaction with the education system at CAU, I stopped attending, and I told myself I would go to another school in Georgia....but that never happened. As a matter of fact, that was in Spring of 2009, and I have yet to step foot into a college classroom since then. As the years have passed by, I've wondered if I should even continue to pursue fashion as a career field at all. Due to an issue I had with an old employer, it piqued my interest in possibly studying law, and being a lawyer that specializes in employment law. On top of that, even though I'm working in the military as an electrician, there are opportunities where I can switch over to working in the legal field and get a degree in paralegal studies, which would go along with the whole lawyer angle.
I don't know though. Something inside of me still has dreams of doing something with fashion. I know it probably sounds silly, but if this were a perfect world, and I didn't have any bills or any responsibilities, I would want to be a professional fashion blogger. I wouldn't even have to get paid for it. I just like doing it. But this isn't a perfect world, and I doubt that I will have completely eliminated all the debt I accumulated over the past few years by the time I'm out of the military.
I guess my tentative plan is to save as much money as I can now so I won't have to work for a while and just go to school full-time. There's a public school in Georgia that has a fashion program, and I believe most of the GI Bill that I will get for college will cover the tuition costs, so I won't have to come out of pocket. After that....I really don't know. Something is better than nothing, right?