After two nonstop years at Art Center, it was clear I needed to pump the brakes. Last term I was spending 12-18 hours at school and I was burnt out. So this semester I decided to take a leave of absence. The first couple weeks were spent at home in Florida visiting my family and friends, and I didn't do one piece of art. Taking time off is important. It's a chance to recharge and sometimes re-evaluate things.
I came back to L.A. and less than 24 hours later I was at Art Center. I'm also taking classes at Concept Design Academy and the Animation Guild. Plus an artistic competition that is now in full swing. I'm still in the computer labs or at school at least 5 days a week. People think I'm crazy, but the hustle never stops.
There's a lot of cliches on working hard and doing what it takes, and I love hearing those motivational messages. However, they're only background noise if we don't act on them. Every successful person will tell you how much they worked to get to where they are, and it's terrifying. There was nothing I was doing that I was willing to give up such a huge part of my life for, until I found my passion. So since I'm working toward that, it's not a sacrifice. I'm still terrified, but for different reasons. I still make sacrifices, but for the right reasons.
After hearing everyone else talk about their hard work and success, I decided it was time to do some of my own. It can be a trap if you listen to those things and don't go out and do it yourself. Don't live vicariously through other people's hard work. Don't convince yourself that you've put in the same amount of effort when you haven't. If you're not seeing results, there's a reason. Look at what you're currently doing, and look at what you could be doing. I realized I could be doing more, so I am.
The path to following your dreams is not as idyllic as it sounds. It's a struggle every step of the way, but it's not impossible. Believe in it and do it.