Lisa left a comment for me regarding my choice in delaying my full time art career until after I had completed another career. I have answered her directly but thought I would share it with others.
I have thought about that a lot....the what ifs? If I had stayed in art and later gone for an MFA that would have been a completely different pathway to follow. While I was at CAl Berkeley I did not do well in the art department there...partly as I came in as a transfer student so I had not started in art with people there. I felt very out of place and had a hard time fitting in. During the school time, I was busy showing at art fairs and in a couple of local galleries. At that time I was doing painting, primarily. I don't think I had the maturity at that time to do a full time artist thing and have to work at making enough money to live on. The man I married right out of school was not earning that much money either and we had it pretty tight for quite a while. It was actually my job that gave us the health plan, etc. All during my early marriage I was still involved in doing art shows but when I was working full time it was just a lot harder to fit it all in.
During the intervening time I have frequently wondered what kind of artist I would have been. And, would I have been any good? I became involved in quilting and have used all the the years learning as much as I could and perfectly my skills to a level I was happy with...not perfect but fairly good. And then I started working toward incorporating my sense of art in to my fiber work. That is still coming along.
One of the benefits of doing this at a more mature time in my life is that I am very comfortable in my own skin...I can create my own work. I have taken some workshops over the years from big name fiber artists and have gotten a lot of support from them regarding my art. When I retired I had to spend over a full year working on a body of work and during that time my work changed a lot. It has changed even more since then. Now I have the time to do all the office stuff that goes with being professional and trying to get my work out there but I don't have to worry about starving if it doesn't or if it doesn't sell. I have been following a path I have chosen for the past seven years and it has been very fruitful and I don't see an end in sight yet!
So, to answer your question, yes I wonder but just three months ago I finally realized that I had to give up questions about what could have/would have been if.....many things were different...you know the stuff...my parents, my husband, my career. It just doesn't get you anywhere so I am fully in the now and very happy to be there. Honestly, I don't think I could have been there way back then. I don't know how old you are now but I went out on my own in 1969 or at least was married then and there were a lot of things happening at that time socially.
I have learned that we make our choices we can at the time and we don't get anywhere trying to second guess ourselves....we can always make more changes at a later time.