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On Pursuing Your Passions [Or Something Like That]

June 1, 2018

By:

Erin Schrader

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about what it looks like to pursue our passions and what that term really means. Sometimes, okay most of the time, I’m convinced I don’t even have passions. Have you ever asked yourself what are you truly passionate about? It can actually an uncomfortable and awkward question to ask yourself. I mean sure, it’s easy to come up with my standard answer of macaroni and cheese [truly, I don’t love much more than those noodles oozing of cheddar] but to go a little deeper with the question is hard. And here’s the thing that I am discovering as I get older – we often don’t know what we are passionate about until either a) a life circumstance happens and all of a sudden we care a heck of a lot more about a topic than we ever did before or b) until we dive into something new and try it.

I think we have this whole misconception that passion[s] come to us rather than us having to go out to work hard to find them. We think it’s unnatural and “not meant to be” if it’s not a natural spark of excitement, love or “OMG YES!” when hearing about something, doing a job or whatever it may be for the first time. I think that’s where we can get caught up in our heads, stopped in our paths and get to a place where we become stagnant in this walk through life – when we start to believe that “because I don’t have a real passion speaking to me right now, I shouldn’t do this, that or the other.” The passion is often found in the action. 

If you would have asked me ten years ago “where do you see yourself in ten years?” the last answer that would have rolled off my tongue would be “A full-time blogger”. Mostly because ten years ago I didn’t even know what a blog was [ha!], but additionally, I never enjoyed writing, I didn’t have any experience [other than AOL Instant Messenger] communicating online, I’ve never had training on taking pictures, putting outfits together to post all over the internet would [and still does] sound ridiculous and the list goes on. But here’s what I would have told you “In ten years, I want to be doing something that I am happy in.” I’ve never genuinely cared that much about what it is that I am doing, as long as I enjoy doing it. And that can be a heck of a lot harder than it sounds, but maybe it’s a good place to start in this whole “pursuing your passions” thing. I was just as happy being a bank teller as I am today being a business owner, but both are built on the same principle – helping people. And so in being a bank teller, I figured out that maybe one of my passions is just that. We can be in the most mundane or “average” jobs and be gleaning pieces of what makes us feel alive in the smallest of ways.

Additionally, I think we have to be a little naive or ignorant when it comes to pursuing those passions or at least trying to figure out what they are. We live in a society that tells us that we need to be experts on something before starting. If I would have waited to know everything about blogging before I began, I still wouldn’t have started. There is power in being dumb. For example, I am still not equipped to lead a team of people, but here I am blindly leading a group of six brilliant women who teach me daily about how to do just that. And the only way that I can become equipped to lead, is by leading. We learn we as we go, but to have that knowledge before we start is often impossible.

All of this to say, is there something that you’ve been holding out on trying or doing that you’ve always wanted to? It’s time to take action and make those things happen, as you never know what may be waiting for you on the other side. For me, it’s taking a hip-hop dance class, traveling to the Mediterranean, creating a LIY store or clothing line and the list goes on. I am a horrible dancer, I hate flying and fashion design is on the list of things I know the least amount about, but the thought of what might be waiting on the other side of these things is exhilarating, breathtaking and wildly exciting. Expect your passions to change and grow with you and know that’s okay. If it wasn’t, we’d all be crying about every episode of Barney we missed and our Polly Pocket that just broke. Here’s to a journey of exploring, experimenting and unraveling those things that we call passions.

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