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What’s your passion?

“What’s your passion?” It’s a phrase asked by a lot of different counselors and coaches but how many people truly know what their real passion is? What exactly does passion mean? Does everyone have at least something they’re truly passionate about and can you have more than one if it’s truly a passion?

I read a status a friend posted recently and it had me thinking about the subject. My husband was really obsessed with computers when we met- until taking a class and burning out. He has also been into cars as long as I knew him. The difference was that he took a course in mechanics and is now working on cars professionally as well as for friends and family on the side and our cars and still far from burned out. He’ll swear up and down it’s not, but he is passionate about cars. He talks nonstop about cars. loves car shows and cars are his life. I always envied that. I have had friends who grew up super obsessed with stuff and now they are living it. The hobbies are now in their careers and those hobbies are enmeshed in their lives.

A passion is more than an interest, you can easily burn out from doing something you’re interested in too much. You can burn out or find out you’re not as interested in something like you first thought. If you’re passionate about something, truly passionate, you will never burn out. You could spend your whole life doing it and do it 20 hours a day and you’ll still want to do it. It could be a mechanic who goes home to work on his own car or play video games where he fixes cars or the make up artist who spends their free time studying make up techniques and practicing 24/7. It could be music, sports, dancing, a hobby that isn’t a career but you want it to be a career or you could be lucky and have it as your career.

Passion gives you motivation to get through the day, to wake up and get to work. You will never get tired of it like you do everything else and if you do manage to make it into a career, you will never work a day in your life. Passion is what it takes to truly succeed, you just have to find it. Everyone has the ability to find their passion, some have more than one but most haven’t fully realized it.

To find it, just look at every job you have held, everything you have burned out on and everything you love doing. You will likely find one thing you dream of doing and one thing you’re able to see yourself doing for years to come without it getting old.

After years of looking, I finally found mine- what’s yours? Can you pinpoint what your true passion is?

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Looking back through my life I am learning

I just left my second longest job.

2 1/2 years and I left.

I enjoyed working there and I’ll miss my coworkers, but I needed to move on.

As I’ve been applying for jobs and working on leaving my comfort zone, I have had some job apps asking for my full employment history. It had me going through and recounting and made me realize something. I have burned out on nearly everything but two stay in my mind.

Skincare and writing. My first job was in high school. It was my longest running job and only ended because I went to college. It gave me a firm love of writing articles. I loved pitching, researching, interviewing and writing. I loved taking the pictures for the articles and attending the meetings. I loved everything about it.

Back in 2011, I was looking at a website devoted to 30 day challenges where I ran across NANOWRIMO which quickly became my favorite month. It gave me a fierce obsession with writing and as soon as I finished the rough draft of my first, inspiration quickly hit me and I started a new draft. Then another.

The first was my first win and so far, only, but I have planned and started yearly since. This year will be my 7th year doing it and will be my second win. I have a finished rough draft of a short story from a few years ago and am planning the next several in the series. Once I get all 7 finished, I’m planning on publishing the full short story series and releasing it.

I read a lot about finding and following your passion and finally realized I found mine a long time ago. I’m a big advocate of following your passion, I guess now is a better time than never for me to listen to myself.

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How do you find your true passion?

From the time I was 7 until I was 18, I wanted to be a professional vocalist. I didn’t even care about the genre- I wanted to sing. I have been classicly trained. I have also taken dance and I’m trained in acting. After I hit 18 (and started smoking), I realized I just wasn’t being realistic. I knew back then I needed to get an education in something practical, but what seems practical also seems like something that would burn me out quickly.

When I was a young child I was told I started singing before I even spoke. My whole world revolved around music and basketball. I always had my Walkman in, was in chorus in elementary school and even took vocal classes. I also tried “strings” (violin) but was told I had musical dyslexia (I read the music backwards). I also didn’t get along with my instructor very well. I tried out for all school plays and won one of the lead roles in fourth grade. Unfortunately, I had to share the role with another student and she got the solo I wanted, but I got a duet so I did get to sing. I did all talent shows I had a chance to do and was always singing for family and classmates. I also played the drums in the school band in sixth grade but gave that up as well. I still loved doing it, just wasn’t a fan of the other people in the group. My senior year of high school, I went on stage at the talent show and forgot the words. I literally walked off stage (they thought I was doing a comedy thing and had no idea it was actually the most humiliating moment of my life). After that, I started having problems performing. I would blank when I saw the crowd and quit even singing around other people. At the end of my senior year, my classmates voted me “best entertainer” and “most likely to be a teen idol.” I was also pretty well known, even though I didn’t have many friends.

For a good part of my life, I also wanted to work in the fashion industry. I wanted to model but stopped growing and was only 5’5” but was also too fat to be able to get into it. I read a lot of fashion magazines and dreamt about writing for them- I thought being a writer for Vogue would be a dream. I was interested in design but my cousin went into interior design and couldn’t find a job. I thought fashion design seemed like fun as well but can’t draw. I always had in the back of my mind how much I love writing and was constantly praised on it. In high school, I wrote for the paper and everyone who knew me would search out my articles. More than a few said they expected to see my name as one of the writers in the paper. I also wrote for the literary magazine in high school and the newspaper in college. I loved being involved in those publications but I knew, realistically, someone like me would be a longshot and likely fail so I gave those dreams up before I let them play out in my head. One of my favorite pass times as a child (and teen/adult) was walking around on Sundays and walking in open houses. I collected house papers and wanted to work as a real estate agent.

I was given a Little Tykes basketball hoop when I was three years old. It moved up to a normal hoop in our driveway as I got older. I played daily at home and would play at church with the middle, high school and college age guys. I hated if they gave me an easy time because I was a younger female. Luckily for me, most didn’t. I got to the point I would shoot one hundred shots a day- and I’d count the number I made so I could figure my accuracy (I got up to a 95-99% accuracy by high school) but I never played at school. I did play for the YMCA for several seasons, I also played soccer, baseball, tee-ball and I dd try out for the tennis team in middle school. I had exercise induced asthma that wasn’t caught, so my teachers always thought I was lazy when I’d quit running laps. For years, I wanted to be the “first woman in the NBA.” When I learned about the WNBA, I watched a bit but slowly lost interest. I never liked playing with other women, it didn’t challenge me as well as I wanted it to and I was afraid of hurting someone. By middle school, when I started meeting women I wasn’t afraid of hurting, I had lost interest in playing on a school team even though a lot of the other parents at my mom and dad’s church thought I’d be capable of getting a scholarship to college.

In high school, I took theater and was in the theater program the whole time they had it (unfortunately, it was during my senior year when they started). Once again, I absolutely loved going to the rehearsals, practicing and then performing. I didn’t have a lead role but I really acted out the scenes I did have. Back in high school, I did everything I could to make people laugh- even if it was at me and not with me.

When I was in high school, we had to choose majors. I chose business, although I wanted to choose writing. While I was studying the business classes, I loved the idea of working for yourself. I even enjoyed my accounting courses. I got the chance to go to a free enterprise camp where they chose the “most promising” male and female business students. I got a full scholarship to the camp and the teachers pooled together and gave me spending money for the canteen. I fell in love with the camp. At the camp, we were put in small groups and ran through the stages of starting up businesses. I always chose to create the advertisements since at the time I was interested in the marketing aspect of business. I went to college the year I graduated and started my major in communications with an interest in broadcast journalism. The main communications 101 class I took was deliberately held at 8am. It was the only option and we had to have the class to progress in the major. I ended up kicked out for literally leaning my head against the wall (I didn’t fall asleep but was accused of sleeping) so I had to choose a different major. I chose marketing. I ended up dropping after the second semester. I was able to get back in (was booted for a year on academic suspension) and they lifted financial aid suspension. I had everything set up two times to go back. One year I even had my schedule selected but both times financial aid fell through. Both times, I was torn between what I wanted to major in (writing) and what was realistic (something that would guarantee me a job at a hopefully livable income). I was constantly torn. I would decide to go back, then the next week I would already have a different major in my mind. Needless to say, it’s been ten years and I still haven’t gone back. I’m actually no closer to making my mind up since.

As a way to gain access to the fashion industry, I did go back to school (beauty school) and studied skin care/cosmetics. I wanted to vecome a make up artist and hopefully get a job behind the scenes one day (in the distant future) during one of the shows during fashion week. Fashion week is a dream for me. Either LA or NYC, I would love to get the opportunity to attend. My dream of being a model ended over a decade ago, close to two, but the dreams I had of either writing for a fashion magazine or working as a designer or artist never fully burned out. I know I’d be miserable as a model, but behind the scenes is a different story. The Devil Wears Prada is still one of my favorite movies and I would love to get my hands on a copy of the season of Running in Heels that made me a huge Marie Claire Magazine fan. Now, I’ve moved on to reading HGTV, parenting and BHG magazine (and similar). I’m more interested in reading lifestyle parenting blogs than I am fashion blogs and I still have several magazine subscriptions.

I’m hoping in the near future, I’ll be able to see one of my long time dreams come true. I have a finished rough draft of a fantasy novel. It’s 100 pages and I call it my baby. Thanks to procrastination, I have 3 or 4 short story drafts I’m currently working on. One is 11 pages, will be part of a seven part short story fantasy series, I have 2 rough drafts started for 2 other fantasy novels, 1 sci-fi graphic novel started (but I have no artistic abilities so I’m stuck) and there is a card game I designed to go with that. Confidence is a big issue for me. I am so close to finishing several works, but I’m terrified of failing. I have been doing things I know I’ll be rejected from as a way to get used to rejection (I submitted a tossed together article to a website.

I’ve had too many interests. I consider myself a jack of all trades (master of none). I will go through phases where I’m seriously interested in doing things, then I’d lose interest. Then, I would gain the interest again. I call myself a burn out since I’m always burning out. I’ve been working in retail for years, my current job, about 2. It’s my longest job by over a year now. I love my coworkers and I don’t mind what I do, the benefits are pretty good and it’s a reliable pay check but I always wanted to do something both professional and creative. I’m currently selling decorative pillows and I do online tarot reading and dream interpretation on the side.

My husband just graduated Friday. He started with an interest in computer repair, started a course then burned out. He later returned to a different school and just graduated the auto tech course. I envy him. He always had those two interests- cars and computers. He didn’t have a long list of things he loved then ruled out although he did start a four year, like I did, but he was studying radio broadcasting then lost interest.

I read a lot of blogs, articles and I keep reading to go into something you’re passionate about. How do you find something you’re truly passionate about? Something that won’t fade? I am 30 years old now and no closer to knowing what professional career I want than I was at 18. I have a bunch of things ruled out- but nothing to go on. I have to ask, how do you find that one thing you’re passionate about?

 

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I’m turning 30 in just under a month

I try to always set New Years Resolutions. I do it mostly for fun but this January is a milestone for me. I’ll be turning 30.

I know 30 doesn’t seem old to many people, but I thought I’d be further along than I am. I feel like I’m right back at 19. I’m working back in retail (not by choice- I went in to skin care but the highest paying job I found was retail)

All my early adulthood, I wanted to be married, 2 kids, own a home and have my dream career. I’ve been married 7 years, have the two kids (technically 3) but we rent and I work a job- not a career.

At 19, I dropped out of college, got into an abusive relationship and was stuck until I finally got away from him at 21 and ended up homeless. I bounced around from couch to couch and ended up on harder drugs. I finally woke up and cleaned up, moved back with my mom and dad and got a stable job.

At 22, I met my husband. We fell in love fast and were married in 3 months. Our oldest daughter came along a month after we eloped. (we celebrated our 7th anniversary last August, so I definitely do not regret marrying that fast nor that young- he was 10 days past 20 when we eloped and he also has no regrets). At 23, I lost the job I had and went to school- the plan was to take the six month course, graduate then the baby was due shortly after graduation, then I was going to take 6 weeks to recover and start searching for a job. Instead, she came half way through the course and I had to take maternity leave. I went back and graduated almost on time (stacked up hours before and after she was born- it was a 600 hour course) while she was still in the NICU. She had to transfer to a different NICU in a different state right after I graduated so I went on to live in the NICU room (and Ronald McDonald House) with her while my husband and parents visited occasionally but all three worked. During that time, I started loom knitting and making earrings to deal with boredom from being alone while she slept and with the hats, Bethcessories was born but not well thought out. It was just put on Etsy and forgotten. After she came home, we took her out grocery shopping one time, she got sick and ended up in the PICU and on the vent. It was that moment (along with some bad experiences with a few home care nurses) that made me realize I’d be unable to work and put her in daycare and at that time, we were unable to find jobs that would allow us to work around each other’s schedules.

During that time, I found I was unable to get into the local colleges but was able to get the financial aid restriction lifted at the college I left but I’ve had the major issue of- do I want to go into debt for a job that doesn’t pay well but I am passionate about or do I want something I don’t really like much but makes more money?

The logic vs emotion disagreement has had me torn apart and is why I’ve successfully been re accepted 4 times, had almost everything planned out perfectly but then one tiny thing always falls through.

The very last New Year’s Resolution I kept was back on January 2, 2010- I promised myself I’d stay away from all drugs and as of right now, I’m going on 8 years clean. It’s something I’d be proud of- if it was a challenge, but it was my way of dealing with the trauma of what happened to me in those two years and lasted such a short time, it was very much against everything I have ever stood for and due to my nature, I know I’ll never be tempted to go back. It feels like it threw off my life path and since then, I’ve lived in regret and even shame that it happened. I know it’s me holding myself back from my goals but it feels like that one year threw me off so bad.

 

Most of what I have wanted to do ended up being dead end or low paying.

My cousin got a Bachelors in what I was originally wanting to get into (interior design), spent a year out of college (my senior year of high school) and couldn’t find a single job- back when the economy was better so I changed my mind.

I started off in communications (journalism) then switched to marketing before I dropped out.

My first job was writing for the local newspaper in a teen section they had weekly. I loved going to the meetings, doing the interviews and writing the articles. I had a friend who did it professionally (a huge dream) but it was lower paying. I went to beauty school to get into make up artistry (it’s always been a dream to either write for a fashion magazine or work behind the scenes at a runway show, now I’m too old to get into that. I’d be in my mid 30s by the time I graduated and I’m sure most places want an early 20 something fresh out of school to intern and I only studied skin, most make up artists need to be able to do hair as well, I believe)

I’ve read so many blogs and articles on so many different websites that seem to reinforce the fact that women are pretty much useless both career or otherwise after they hit the mid 20s, that what you make in your 20s is the highest you’ll make and if you’re not lined up to move up in your career by the time you’re 30, you’re screwed so it does kind of give me the mind set of “why bother?” I wouldn’t say I wasted my 20s. I loved staying at home with my oldest, I wanted kids young and the biological clock is a real thing but now I’m out of that stage (I very happily signed to be sterilized after my third c section) and as my youngest gets older, I’m thinking more seriously about career (the plan- first kids and focus on education then focus on building career while kids are older and in school. I didn’t want to have to freeze a career for 6 weeks to go on maternity leave- it happened when I was in a salon and it killed the career I was starting to build but I also wasn’t a proper fit in that particular salon)

People always tell me to not plan so rigidly- that life always throws curves into plans, but trying to have a plan is one of the best ways my ADHD mind is able to focus.

I had another plan to have my main work ready to send to try to get traditionally published by the time I was 30. Thanks to my OCD perfectionist personality, I literally spent 4 years editing the same 3 pages and am no closer to finishing it than I was when I finished the rough draft (the story is fully written from front to back- but I want this one traditionally published so I want it perfect). Once again, I had friends who have been published telling me I needed to stop being so hard on my work, stop overthinking and to not have such high standards for myself. My new goal is to have it ready by 35. I actually have several others started (thanks to Nanowrimo- a fun challenge I do every November)

I’m not sure why I’m writing this, I have severe anxiety over turning 30 and I guess I need to just get it out.