I’m not sure I have a ‘dream job’. I used to but the funny thing is that dreams change, people grow and realisations happen that every job has its little bugbears to deal with. What I’d love to be doing now does not bear any resemblance to what I’d have said 10 years ago.
From age five, I wanted to be a writer. By age 11, this had turned into a pretty sure bet that I was going to be a journalist – I never really questioned this; I wanted to write for a career so I would become a journalist cause that was the logical thing to do.
Aged 19, I went off to university to do just that… and it took me almost three years of studying a journalism degree to discover that I mostly hated it. I say mostly because I did actually find that I liked (and was good at) research, the feature writing bit and practical production (setting pages, editing video, etc.) but the rest was just not for me. It was ultra-competitive and I just didn’t want it enough to fight for it. It took another year of going through numerous graduate scheme interviews to finally admit that to myself and set myself on a new course. Not that I think my degree was wasted at all. It was really practical and gave me tons of skills that I use every day in digital marketing.
For a while longer I continued with this idea that I wanted to be a ‘writer’. I wasn’t sure what kind of writer, but I was pretty sure that I had a book in me. I walked around all day with words rolling around my head and I have notebooks from this time in my life full of disjointed prose, but I never had believable characters and my storylines were weak. Over the last few year, my interest in literature has waned. I love reading non-fiction stuff and I actually enjoy researching and writing for that genre too. I would like to get back into feature writing, but being ‘a writer’ isn’t really my dream anymore.
So what gets me all fired up now? Six years ago I started drawing again (I had kind of fallen out of the practice whilst I was at university), my mum reminded me how to knit, then I took a few sewing and dressmaking classes, started making jewellery and learnt new craft skills like screenprinting, bookbinding and crochet. I think I was really just looking for another creative outlet and wanted to try out a few things but what I found was that I really enjoyed the process of designing and making things. My sister Fiona was really getting into her illustration and toy making at the same time – and thus Fi & Me was born.
Being realistic, I’m not sure that I can see myself making a living from making and selling a few purses, but I do love the idea of doing something more creative and working with my hands rather than at a computer all day. In the last couple of years I’ve got more into dressmaking and reworking vintage dresses too and it’s something I’d love to add to the business side of things.
I also think I’d like to do something that involves working with and helping people a bit more. I know that sounds a bit mushy, but I enjoy work the most when I feel like I am making a positive difference. I know I’m not motivated by money or status, but rather feeling like I’m doing good things.
So, in summary, I’m not still trying to work out what I want to do ‘when I grow up’… but I’m kind of enjoying the journey involved in finding out! In reality, I have so many different interests that I’m not sure just one job would fulfil my dreams.
What did you want to be when you were little?