All throughout my childhood up until age 19, I knew what I wanted to be when I “grew up”. Don’t get me wrong – it changed a lot. One year I wanted to be a policewoman. The next I wanted to be a fashion designer. There was probably a point where I wanted to be a princess. The biggest and most real aspiration was in my teenage years when I wanted to be a game designer. I actually went to university to study games design and I now have a degree in the subject.
The thing is, I don’t want to be a games designer anymore. As soon as I realised that, I felt lost. Why had I gone through years at university, studying a fairly specific subject, if I didn’t want to do it? I realised after completing my first year at university that it wasn’t really for me, but I didn’t know what else to do, so I finished my degree. I was actually fortunate enough to get a job in the games industry, a year after graduating. I became a games tester and almost four years later I’m a QA Lead at the same company. Despite knowing I don’t actually want to be a designer, I still pursued one of the routes I could take to become one as I just didn’t know what else to do. I couldn’t waste the four years of university and not do what I “trained” to do.
I see it too often these days; people state a role they dreamed of having when they were younger and blindly amble down the route, even if they don’t feel the passion they used to. When I pressed the button to apply to my university, back when I was 18, I thought I’d graduate and get a job as a junior designer, and become the lead designer for Final Fantasy XXXXXXXXXX in no time at all. How wrong I was. It’s not like that at all. It takes a level of passion to get there that I just don’t have. I don’t enjoy designing game mechanics at all, and I only noticed after I’d cemented myself in this “QA going on Designer” cubby-hole.
Since then, I’ve gone through a lot of challenges, mentally. I struggle on a daily basis to keep my calm, as I’m sat here, on the route to god-knows-what, doing something I will probably be good at, but might not love.
I’d rather love what I do. I want to be that scary, passionate woman that makes you sit up and listen. I want to make you feel that beat in your heart that sets something in motion. I want to be silently thanked, as someone smiles inwardly (or outwardly) at something I have said, or done. How am I going to do this? Not a bloody clue.
I know what I don’t enjoy, and I know what I do enjoy. I don’t like just plodding along. I do enjoy being passionate and showing people that passion. I have all this ambition inside me, and the younger me that thought she had all the answers is holding me back. I’ve been so damned scared to disappoint my younger-self that I’ve let myself feel despair at not becoming a games designer.
I can think, I can write, I can speak. This is all I need to be a passionate person.
Today I think I finally realised that I don’t know exactly what I want to be, and that is okay. I can be anything, as long as I’m happy and passionate.
I’d like to thank Meghan Rienks for helping me realise this, and for making the video that made me write this post.
P.S. Sorry about the Dean Ambrose GIF. I’ve recently got into wrestling and he’s my favourite.