Second chances when you're 48 are not easy to come by so when I was diagnosed with stage 4 Bowel Cancer at the age of 39 I thought my life was over and that that the potential to live a full life was in question. Luckily I survived, and my health has never been better. The road to recovery has not been easy coupled with challenges in my personal and professional life all seemed to converge all at once and now we are living through some difficult times with the current Pandemic. All I can say is that I see the light at the end of the tunnel and this is where I need help to get my life back on track again so I don't stay stuck.
I had a good career in Architecture, but after my cancer journey my way of thinking changed and I began to question more my life purpose and where I fitted in, in this world. I thought life began at 40, but obviously not! Life seemed to have put a hold on my chances to find some form of happiness in my life instead I was busy getting better and ensuring I still have a roof over my head and food on the table. For me that was my reality, everyday I was going through the same motions as I did before the cancer journey and alarm bells were ringing loudly. If I didn't do anything or changed something about my life it would just go on repeat and I'm not sure if I would be lucky the second time round. I began to make micro changes and started my transformation by taking up yoga, living healthily and just thinking positively. My professional life on the other hand was still falling away like collapsing dominoes. I was made redundant years later and finding a job became increasingly difficult as my skillset needed drastic upgrade with the current times to keep up with younger architects in the industry. I decided to step away temporarily to reassess my career options and to do something different.
Teaching English to non-native speakers (TESOL) gave me the opportunity to learn new skills during time away from Architecture. It was a short training program and I was able to fund the course on my own. I currently teach general and business English to professionals and to design related individuals. In the short term teaching fits well with my current lifestyle as it has given me the flexibility where its needed and a sense of satisfaction when I see my student's language abilities improve over time. Financially, on the other hand does not give you a stable income when you work for yourself. Nevertheless the time away from architecture has allowed me the time to reflect on where I am professionally and in life and where I’d like to be 5 years from now. Revisiting my past has made me remember my journey and my aspirations.
Film and Architecture captured my attention and imagination during my formative years as a young Architecture student and this was the point my interest in film began. Although I never stepped away from Architecture I was always interested to break into Production Design in the film industry. I went so far as approaching entertainment designers and set designers but competitive as architecture, my applications didn’t quite get the attention I hoped for.
What I am searching for in my life particularly now is personal growth and in order to move forwards in life I have realised that my interests have never left me but has been waiting for me to activate it. Through life's obstacles I believe I am where I should be and this is my second chance. Going back to school to do a Masters in Production Design would not only get my skillsets reactivated but it will prepare me well to re-enter the design industry with a fresh pair of eyes and most importantly a chance to start over again.
I took a big step, tried my luck and applied to one of the sort after film schools in the US, the MFA Production Design course at AFI Conservatory in Los Angeles. To my surprise after a lengthy application process and subsequent interview I was offered a place. My next hurdle now is finding the money to fund the 2 years Masters course and this is really where I need help with donations. The amount to cover Tuition fees and living expenses comes to around US$180,000. I would be really happy even if the Tuition fees of US$130,000 are met.
Please see the attached link for more info: https://conservatory.afi.com/tuition-and-fees/
Any amount towards the fees would be greatly appreciated however I have been given a deadline by 16th July 2021 but I need to prove I could pay the First year's fee by 25 April 2021 as the term starts in August 2021. Thank you for reading and thank you for your donation if you have donated.