I went to a careers talk recently and it made me think back to the advice I got back in the 90s. The difference!!!
I remember sitting in a cold office answering questions that were hardly inspiring. A series of 'would you like to be a xyz' came and I still to this day remember the question 'would you like to design wallpaper?' I thought 'uh that sounds fun' but the lady's facial expression made me say 'gosh no! How boring!' Her attitude to anything non law or medicine related made me slip into answers I didn't want to give, or didn't believe in anyway. I walked out confused and unsure of who I was and who I was meant to become.
Fast forward 5 years and I was offered a place at St Martins, a huge honour! A member of my family commented on my choice of subject (design) 'and how will you earn money with this? A more sensible course such as engineering would have been better' another set back, doubts creeping in, 'Am I doing the right thing?' 'What will I do after this?'
Fast forward 20 years and looking at the huge amount of pattern design books surrounding me in my office, the Rob Ryan Wallpaper, the Orla Kiely home wear, the Cath Kidston dress, I clearly was meant to say I freaking love wallpaper to the careers adviser. As for how will I earn money with this, well here is the news, it isn't all about the money. I can afford to treat myself to Rob Ryan wallpaper, but that isn't what happiness means to me, happiness is turning off the studio light at the end of the day feeling fulfilled and proud.
Why do we put so much pressure on finding all the answers when we are so young? Why is is all about the money? And what if your neighbour, friend, niece or cousin tells you she wants to set up a turtle conservation centre, don't question her, support her and ask how you can help her to get there.