Following Your Passion

What is your passion? Is that an easy question for you to answer?

Do you feel that everyone has a passion? What does it mean if you don’t know what yours is? Or do you have the opposite problem—do you feel like you have so many pursuits that you feel lost?

Austin blogger Jenni from The Story of My Life wrote about this the other day. She concluded that everyone has a passion, it just may not be discovered yet. As an example, she tells the story of how she used to be interested in photography, but she didn’t feel any sort of pull to become a photographer. It wasn’t until she held a DSLR camera in her hands one day that she knew it was something she wanted to pursue.

I’ve had various forms of this conversation with friends over the years. I’ve known several people who have felt sad, even lacking, at times because they’ve never felt a strong pull toward one path or pursuit in life. They’ve had deep friendships and meaningful relationships, sometimes even a spouse and kids, but they have wondered if there needs to be something more. Do those things count as a passion?

I’ve always had the opposite problem: too many interests. Writing has always predominated, but in addition to that I’ve had a million pursuits over the years, and I have often felt like a dabbler that can’t commit. You may remember me writing about this feeling in the post The Trouble(s) with Being Authentic.

When I think back on my last twenty years, I realize that this pressure to discover my passion was much greater when I was in my twenties. (I did watch a lot of Oprah back then; perhaps that explains it.) During my thirties, I have been taking care of my kids, and for the most part I have been too tired and focused on them to think about my personal interests too much. (This is not a good thing! But it has been a relief to not be worried so much about discovering my life’s calling.)

My youngest child just started kindergarten, and I’ve noticed that now this issue is back on the table. Now that my kids are taken care of by someone else most of the day, a new opportunity presents itself; I can pursue my “career” again. Great! But with that comes the pressure to know what my calling is.

In my case, I know more or less what that calling is (writing, plus my myriad of smaller interests: art, product design, home design). But now I have the pressure to make it happen. Again, a good thing, but it does come with its own stress.

I don’t have any neat and tidy solutions to share. One thing I’m learning from all of this is that a lot of us struggle with these issues; it’s not just me like I once thought. And maybe the struggle is a good thing. Maybe it’s how we work out all these questions—how we figure out what to do next with our lives, what choices we should make, and how to live our lives in the most meaningful way we can.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of this! I wish you a very peaceful Sunday.

© Amy Daniewicz

The Story of My Life is hosting a blog challenge during the month of September to post 20 times during the month. I’m going to participate. It’s a little scary—20 posts in a month is a lot!—but I think the challenge will be really good for me. I’ll have a link up starting on Tuesday. Check it out to see all the other bloggers participating!

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