The Grass May Not Be Greener, But You Can Choose Which Lawn to Stand On
Kat Hoppe is a Washington Women in Need (WWIN) Star Scholar, and her story shares how she decided to make a change in support of her authentic purpose. Washington Women in Need is an organization that believes a woman has the wisdom and freedom to make her own choices and design her own future.
I will be turning 29 years old in a few months. That might not sound like a big deal, or very old, for that matter. But perhaps it is in the eyes of a potential employer, or to someone starting a new career or even going back to college.
Just a little over a year ago, I decided to do just that: change my whole career and go back to school.
I like to joke that this was my quarter-life crisis, but in reality, it’s not a crisis at all. Be it changing your career, going back to school, or any sort of large life decision, it shouldn’t necessarily be viewed negatively but positively. You as a person looked at your life and made a choice to change something about it. You saw something that could be better, and that should be celebrated. Even if the thing that you wanted to act upon was already good, you saw more potential than what was already there.
Over ten years ago, I looked at the school I am attending now. I was overwhelmed by fear at the idea of a career in the arts. Stories of layoffs, poor pay, and contracts were thrown into my impressionable ears. My love for the arts wasn’t enough to overcome this, so I sought an Associate’s degree at a local community college and later pursued a career in the veterinary field, because my other love was animals. I started off triaging patients in the ER and worked my way up to becoming a Veterinary Assistant, and then an Animal Technician. I even spent time volunteering at the zoo and being a Butterfly Keeper’s Attendant.
With each new job title, I thought the grass would be greener on the other side. I thought I would become happier, but the grass was always the same. I believe that no matter where you end up in life, there will always be some negatives that go along with it. But I learned that you must decide which battles you want to fight long term. It took me a long time and a lot of self-exploration to finally see I wasn’t going to be happy doing this for the long run.
Being able to come to terms with this allowed me to finally be ready to chase after my first dream: to create art and become a Video Game Developer. My self-growth and newfound skills as an adult gave me the tools I didn’t have fresh out of high school—the confidence that’s feeding my success now.
This has been one of the best choices I have ever made for myself. I cannot fully express how much happier I am compared to just over a year ago. I feel as if I finally found my place, my people, where I was always meant to be long term. The most important part of all of this is recognizing the negatives in my new career while knowing that this time, it’s a battle I want to fight.
No matter how far you’ve come, how old or young you may be, it’s never too late to make a change, to make a difference. After all, the grass will never be greener on the other side—but at least you can pick which lawn you stand on, so make the most of it.
|Kat Hoppe, a current Washington Women in Need (WWIN) Star Scholar, is attending DigiPen Institute of Technology, studying for her BFA in Digital Art and Animation. She loves animals, and telling stories through animation to bring friends, family, and strangers together. Her goal of working in gaming is to help balance sexism and promote other women to join her in the industry.|