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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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One of these days i would love to add woodworking to my skills.

I would love to live on a few acres, have a full size vegetable and fruit garden, my own wood shop with a full tool kit as well as professional grade tools and spend my days woodworking, gardening, drying herbs and creating. That seems like it would be a dream life. I haven’t learned much with woodwork outside of basic burning and the basics of sawing and nailing but I also don’t have room in my small apartment to learn something that messy.

I am working on learning how to quilt. My first was successful but I have too many pieces cut that don’t match and no one off the top of my head to give a baby quilt to.

I’ve been watching embroidery videos and practicing the stitches they are teaching. I just dyed my first piece of fabric and already have plans for what I’m going to do with that.

Sewing is fun, it’s a creative outlet but there is something about the smell of wood- after you finish wood burning or when you’re cutting into it- it smells amazing and the results are beautiful.

One of these days i would love making tables, chairs and even beds.

I am planning on starting an herb garden this year and dry them out.

I also have plans to plant one or two small vegetable plants.

I’d love to get my 6 year old interested in doing arts and crafts with me, but I did get my 2 year old to paint her first birdhouse a few days ago and she loves coloring, painting and everything else.

I have been practicing Wood burning- letters and numbers. I know it’s not a hard craft to do, but I’m still learning. That was my first attempt- it was messy and sloppy so we turned the piece I was working on into a shelf so you can’t see what I was doodling.

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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?