Everyone is always banging on about ‘doing what you love’, ‘finding your passion’, ‘following your dreams’, I know because I do it too. But one thing I’ve always said, is that your passion doesn’t always need to be found. Most of the time it’s right there, staring you in the face.
Some fail to see it as it’s too close, others choose to simply look right past it. This may be for many reasons, but the two most common reasons I see for people ignoring their passions are:
– Lack of time
– It doesn’t make money
I’m sure all of us can relate to using those excuses once or twice… or a billion times in our lives. (I can see you nodding.)
As you know, or should do by now, my passion is writing. It’s what makes me, me. And it’s always been there. When I sit down to really analyze where it came from, I realize how much it’s always been a part of my life.
I remember writing stories, both in my head and on paper, from a young age. I remember a story I wrote about a creepy graveyard, another about a magical land atop a mountain behind the main character’s home. I remember making stories up in my head (and still do), whenever my mind wanders. I make stories up as I ‘people watch’ while waiting in a queue, or siting in the park. It just happens, without so much as a thought.
When I was younger, from about the age of 8, I remember intimately analyzing song lyrics. I would grab my ‘Smash Hits’ magazine and cut them out, or just write them out by hand as I listened then paused the tape deck to write. I’d look at each and every word, every phrase and verse, trying to build a movie-reel image in my head of the story behind the words. I wanted to feel the connection. I’d often write short stories heading off on different tangets from the lyrics, again on paper or just in my head.
I’ve always been intrigued by story.
From high school I fell in love with movies. Books. Scripts. I wanted to become the characters, feel what they felt, wonder what they wondered, play with their emotions. At one stage, I was going to become an actress. I had my heart set on it. I felt the need to connect with a character and tell their story. It’s actually something I regret not following through.
I chose to ignore my passion, as it wasn’t a ‘career’. My Year 12 subject co-ordinator told me so.
Acting wasn’t something you did for a job. Neither was writing. Other people did those things. Lucky people. People who got breaks. Or were born into it.
And now, all these years later, after pushing through different careers, putting aside what I knew I loved, here I am. Writing.
As I look back, I can see that everything that brought me contentment revolved around story. Clear as day, staring me in the face. I didn’t have to seek it out, as it was already there. I chose to ignore it at first, and then I chose to use excuses not to follow it. I don’t have the time. It’s not going to make me money. It’s not a career.
And maybe it’s not. But does it matter?
Anyone can get a job. Any job. It brings in money. No, it may not be your dream career, but what if you could put up with that job and still get to do what you love each and every day?
For the past three years I have committed to writing every day. Whether it be a blog post, a journal entry, a story, an article, a website; just something. I’ve turned it into something that does make me money. No, it doesn’t pay all the bills. Yes, I still do all the (boring!) book-work for the family business to supplement my income (and yes, fortunate that I can do so), but each and every time I sit down to write, I’m happy. Even if it’s only sitting down for ten minutes doing my morning writing prompt, I’m happy; because I’m writing.
I am doing something I love. Every day.
Your passion isn’t going to make your life perfect. Even if it makes you rich and famous it isn’t going to bring you everlasting joy and happiness, but in the moments you choose to devote to it – it will make you content.
Don’t look past it. Don’t ignore it. You know what it is.
You passion, your love is the thing you do that brings that fleeting feeling of joy. The thing that you always fall back on.
It doesn’t have to make you money, it doesn’t even have to be your career, but you do have to choose to make time for it in your life. Once you do, it opens the doors of possibility and opportunity, and best of all, it makes you happy. Even if it’s just for five minutes of your day.