A Piece of My Academic Journey

This semester has been a whirlwind. In many ways, I’m more in-tuned with my academic goals. I created a system that works for me when applying to scholarships. I found ways to make my circumstances work for me so I can focus entirely on my studies. I’m fostering relationships and creating the engaging on campus experience that’s feeding my in class experience. 


A couple girlfriends and I were talking about being in a certain mindset to be creative. It was the first time that I verbalized why I was intentionally not designing jewelry. 

For years, I’ve carried this quote from Oprah, she said, “you can have it all, just not all at once.” My younger self could not fully grasp this concept. But I’m coming around to understanding and applying it. 


I told them that 2018 was not the year for creativity. And 2019 was going to be the year for it. It sounded weird saying it out loud, so let me explain why. 

2018 is my last year in undergrad and all of my efforts are in preparation for grad school. I talk about balance... a lot. And one thing I’ve learned about myself is I do too much at once. Even still with all my focus on school, I managed to fit in starting my blog, hosting events, and moving towards a zero waste lifestyle. However, those efforts still align with grad school prep. Whether it’s adding them to my CV or sharing my research on my blog. There’s a method to my madness. I find way to be creative because that's who I am. But my main priority is school which is not a creative outlet. 


This year I learned how to filter out filler goals, say no more, and really get laser focused on one goal. Unfortunately, jewelry design does not fit into my grad school preparation. 

There are ways I keep that passion alive, I never stop sketching designs, I do have plans for my next collection 🙃. But my day to day does not consist of making jewelry. If I tried to fit in jewelry designing, packaging, selling, promoting, managing with being a full time student, I’d burn out. Design is such a huge part of me and I had to mourn the fact that it’s not the season for jewelry making. 

About a year ago, a fellow jewelry designer and I talked about not wanting to make jewelry anymore. We were so sad, disappointed, and confused. We couldn’t grapple with how something we did for years, we didn’t want to do anymore. To be fair, it was the attachment to a talent that had us in disarray. Our peers identify us as jewelry designers but we wanted to explore our other talents. It’s not so much that we didn’t want to make jewelry anymore. We wanted the space to explore our other talents and remain true to that part of our identity. It was as if we felt an obligation to jewelry design and in exploring another talent was being disloyal. I remember how great it felt to process those emotions with someone who understood and was going through the same journey. 

Interesting enough, in 2013 when I wasn't in school and my focus was solely on jewelry design, the feelings were reversed. I felt guilty because I wasn’t putting enough attention on my intellectual capabilities. Nevermind the fact that I wasn’t in school by choice, that’s an entirely different issue.

But my point is, no matter what I focused on, I always felt like I was depriving a different part of me. There was a time when I tried to do it ALL, I burned out quickly, and went no where fast. 

Through internal work, I shedded my guilt (I can do a series of posts on guilt 🙄) and to be able to forgive myself, learn and understand how goals work. I can say with confidence that this is not the season for jewelry design without. Which does't mean I'm not designing other things nor is it the end of jewelry design forever. 


More in Academic Journey