Monday, July 11, 2011

Which way now? Important decisions in life.

At age 29, I have finally reached the time to make one of the biggest decisions in my life. 

I have always seen myself as a happy-go-lucky, optimistic, simple kind of person. Other than loving to spend $$ and the bimbotic urge to look pretty all the time, I don't ask for much in life. Yup sure, I love $$ and love branded goods, but if I can't afford it with my salary, I am not the sort to start blaming my parents for not being rich, or my husband for not making enough. I just deal with it and don't buy them. 

Being really dissatisfied with my previous job, I finally took the big step and QUIT after 3 years of talking about it. Reasons why I didn't quit earlier? Financial stability! Clear future! Iron rice bowl! Hahaha very cliche but very true… Nope, it's not that the job was too challenging/ my boss sucked (in fact, my last boss IS the boss I respect the most, out of 3 others I had). I just wasn't doing what I like and want to do. 

So what do I want to do? I want to be a makeup artist/ visual merchandiser (fashion, beauty). The sad thing is, I only realise what I want at the age of 29, and I don't have the qualifications. I don't have a degree in art, or even a diploma in merchandising. I can't take up masters (I need art!), or a 3-year course in Temasek Polytechnic, or go back to HK to take up some part time courses (can't find a relevant one in Singapore). I have a husband, and mortgage to worry about.

Just spoke to my uncle last week, who happens to be a visual merchandiser, and I realise how silly and ignorant I am. I know nothing! I know nothing about Art, or anything about visual merchandising. So if someone asks me to conceptualise the window/store display for, let's say, a German brand, what do I know about Germany to design an appropriate look for the store?? Nothing!

So my uncle said, that's because I don't read, so I don't have ideas, therefore not creative. Shame, shame on me!! Right on spot ~ sigh… 

However, he said that it's never too late, and advised me to go for my professional makeup course, at the same time start noticing things around me, and write down notes everyday about what I see. Why do certain stores look great, and why some don't. Also, start learning programs like Photoshop, Indesign etc etc. I told him I knew a little bit of Photoshop, and he replied me promptly that 'a little bit means you don't know how to use it'. Ouch! But… so true :) Create a portfolio, and go look for a job, if I realise that visual merchandising is what I want really, as compared to being a makeup artist.

I am grateful for his advice. Really! 
But… am I going to make it as a visual merchandiser? At this age? To be honest, doing makeup is my passion, and I just so love to share the joy of looking good with others. Visual merchandising is something I am interested in, but it is too late for me to start? Am I smart enough? 

On the other hand, my husband feels that it is better for me to become a visual merchandiser, as he thinks that being a makeup artist is not something I can do till I am like, 62.  I also promised him a kid before I turn 32… what if it takes me long to learn the craft and I am offered a VM job, but it is also time for me to give him a kid…? ARGH!!!

In summary,

Makeup artist - my passion, but filled with uncertainties and financial instability (at least the 1st few years), not something I can do till I retire
Visual merchandiser - interest, more prospects, but not sure whether I will make it 

This is how I feel for the past few days…

Never knew a person like me would reach this point in my life!!

But then again… no point regretting choices I have made in my younger days (like going down the safe route and enroll in JC and NUS, studying something I had and have no interest in). Just go for that makeup course and learn something!! Learn Photoshop, Indesign and what not and treat it as an extra skill if I don't become a VM!!!

Am I thinking that things are too simple… again??


Aicha said...

Hi Ashura!

Wow, there are a lot of changes and mind-boggling things you have to worry about now, and I sympathize with you so much. I would never believe I can go through the same, but you opened my eyes to the very possibility of it happening!

Is your previous job so very different from the job you want to have like make up artist or store designer?

ashura said...

Hi Aicha :)

Yup very different! Totally different… I actually never fit in in my previous working environment unfortunately!

Anna said...

It sounds like you're stuck in the middle, you want to do something, but you can't and this is the most terrible feeling ever, which I already had when I was only 14 and I'm 19 now and it's getting worse and worse. However, congratulations on finally quitting, I REALLY hope you'll do what you wanna do, YET have the financial stability, balancing these two is like.. the hardest phase of your life, but with a strong will and some discipline you can do it, I hope you're gonna make it!

peonyinlove said...

I personally think it's important to have a stability job first. If being a makeup artist is your passion you can simply do it as a hobby and do that as a side job by creating a portfolio until you reach to the point that you are good enough to quit the other stable job.

I'm a graphic artist and in the graphic industry is very competitive. They always tend to look for fresh and younger people. As for the Adobe and indesign softwares always being updated you have to always keep up with these programs.

Good luck in what you pursue and take your time at it.

ashura said...

'It sounds like you're stuck in the middle, you want to do something, but you can't and this is the most terrible feeling ever'

Anna: You are so right! Maybe I will have to face reality in the end and just do the jobs I have no interest in.

'They always tend to look for fresh and younger people. As for the Adobe and indesign softwares always being updated you have to always keep up with these programs'

Peonyinlove: Sad truth...

Anonymous said...

Hey girl..Kumeri here..heartfelt post...i like...take heart in the fact that u at least know what u want to do at the age of 29. There's people like me..who still don't know..and even people who go thru all their lives without ever knowing..
I don't know anything about VM..but it sure sounds like u wud make one helluva make up artist =).
It might be true that a person can't be a make up artist all their lives..but this cud just be a stepping stone to u setting up ure own make up company etc etc in the future, no?

ashura said...

Dear Kumeri,

Thank you for the encouragement!! I really feel much much better after seeing your comment :)

Anonymous said...

i think you're inspiring to to take the actual first step into doing something you want, myself i dont think i have the guts to bring myself to do that, it would mean sacrificng a lot which i cant bring myself to do. good luck in whatever you do!

Wanderer said...

Hello Ashura,

I change my career when I was 30 :)

Anonymous said...

Hey girl, mx here. That was a very true sharing and I can feel for you.

In our younger days, we just followed the general education system. As long as we did well in our studies, we continued to the next level and eventually got a degree to facilitate us getting a so-called job with a bright future.

However, I do wish I was exposed more to different corporate environments and different job options during my school days, and given the chance to do profiling instruments to know my preferences and strengths better.

Given a second chance, I would probably not have chosen Engin, and end up working in HR instead.

29 years old is still not too late to realise your preference. Though it's true that others who already knew what they wanted since young may have had an advance headstart, there are still many others who don't know what they want.

You make a great make-up artist - you have the sense and the curiosity to try out different styles. However, I personally feel it's not going to make a good career for you. There's too much financial instability involved.

For Visual Merchandising, it sounds interesting but I dunno much about it. Also, I feel only those actually in the job, will know the realities.

Perhaps for now, a good way to start off will be to take on more tuition jobs to occupy your weekday evenings and weekends. This provides some income to last you through. At the same time, see if you can get an internship job as a VM. See what the job encompasses and the skills you need before you go and take up these courses professionally (for which the investment could be very great).

You always come across to me as a girl with great perseverence (rem the sch days how you scrimped and saved for the comic books you wanted to buy). I'm sure you will succeed in achieving your goals. Even if in the end, you decide to take up another job you have no interest in, at least you have, in some point in your life, took the courage to go for your goal. This is worth commending already.

galpal.hi said...

I think that being happy doing what you are doing is most important. No matter how much money you are making, if you are not happy doing that job, I don't think it's good for your health or mental state. Good luck in all of your future endeavors!


ShinyPrettyThings said...

wow, i really have to commend you for having the courage to quit your job & go for what you really want to do.

i just graduated college & still have no idea what i really want to do. part of me just really wants a job, ANY job bc not having income is scary. but another part of me dreads that i'll be unhappy, like a lot of ppl i know. i've always wanted to go into fashion merchandising but know my options are limited. it really is a hard decision, esp w such a bad economy.

good luck & i'm sure whatever you decide it'll all work out great in the end!!! ♥

cream puff said...

Hey Ashura,

I was a little bit surprised to find out you're 29! You look so young that's why I always thought you were younger. I'm actually around the same age as you and I understand how you feel. However, it's never too late to start anew. That's what I've learnt for my current situation. Make the best of everything. Don't let mean comments (either online or real life) drag you down, just keep doing what you really want! ^^ I wish you all the best!

ashura said...

Thank you, thank you everyone for your encouraging remarks :) I am glad I didn't sound like I was only whining…