Finding Your Passion and What Happens When You Don't
Updated: Aug 14, 2019
“Find your passion”
“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”
“Turn your passion into profit, girlboss!”
These are the sentiments that we are constantly inundated with in the digital age as millennials. The pressure to not only get a job that pays our large stack of bills, but also ~feeds our soul~, is overwhelming at best and debilitating at worst. Sure, it would be nice to be one of the lucky successful travel bloggers who gets paid the big bucks to vacation in Ibiza, or to somehow make a decent living from selling your art on your Etsy shop, but the reality is that for most of us, this is a fantasy we witness on social media and beat ourselves up about not having. It feels like we should have it all once we’re past our mid-twenties and if we don’t-if our lives aren’t as perfect as our filtered and posed instagram photos imply, then we secretly feel like failures. This insidious issue has become more and more apparent to me the further I get into my twenties. I bounce from passion to passion, hoping that each will be the one that I can latch onto and ride into financial bliss, immersing myself in that coveted state of artist flow. But as I lose interest with each one, and lose more and more time to working my dead end service industry job that barely allows me to get by, the panic of never finding my true passion rises like high tide within me.
Where are all these cool jobs? And how does one quality for them? Every time I peruse LinkedIn, I feel deluged with requirements that I don’t have: photoshop skills, at least 5 years experience, 3 years abroad selling homemade pottery while vlogging about it to my thousands of followers. Okay, I made that last one up, but you get the point. There is a ton of work you have to do just to qualify for an entry level job that isn’t necessarily what you even want to do. And that is scary. At least to me. I have a hard time even finding a job online that I fully feel confident that I have the skills and qualifications for. Maybe that’s on me--I decided in college I was going to be an actress and everything else (aka: bills) would just work itself out. Ha! Cut to me waitressing and not even being able to afford an acting class. Boooo! That’s reality. That’s why I’m exploring all these other passions: there has to be one that I can do better at and make money from, right?
I’m not trying to whine, I just have to address that not everyone is going to be able to find a profitable passion right away-or maybe ever! It sounds negative, but somebody has to be a plumber. Your jewelry making or card making or ukelele playing might actually be hobbies solely meant for enjoyment. Or maybe they WILL bring a profit someday, but not yet--these things can take time! And that’s okay. Or maybe there is that secret passion you’ve not taken the time to explore yet that will make every aspect of your working life fall into place. That’s the idea that I can’t shake off--there’s some stone I have left unturned that will change my life. I don’t know what is scarier-if that’s true and I have to keep struggling to find it, or if it’s not true and I should just buckle down and settle into an office job I don’t want. Or maybe I should just stop scrolling through Instagram. Personally, I'm not ready to give up on the idea that one of my passions could give me enough money to support myself fully. However, I do need to figure out a way to not be so obsessed with the idea while in pursuit of it because there's no guarantee it will happen for me anytime soon and I need to find peace until that day comes.
What do you think of this idea of our passion being the ultimate job? Do you feel this pressure? Do you buy into it or not?