What’s your passion?

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This is going to be super vulnerable and transparent. So brace yourself.

I feel like I’ve spent my entire life so far wandering around aimlessly. I’m hugely jealous of people who have direction and focus. My sister knew since she was in 9th grade that she wanted to be a doctor. She is a single mother now and she’s going to medical school. I’m so impressed that she has stuck it out and I am so proud of her. But I am also jealous that she’s always had this sense of definiteness. She got knocked around by life and went what would seem to be off track a few times but now here she is killing it in medical school. With a son to take care of.

What is my direction? Where is my calling in life? I honestly have no fucking idea. My brain gets filled with all these ideas of things I think I would like to do. And then something happens. I freeze. Sometimes I have a full-blown panic attack. Other times I just cry. Sometimes I just sit and stare at nothing. Those seem to be the only reactions my body knows to do to process things. But I still feel paralyzed. And I can’t make a decision because it’s as if my brain doesn’t even know how to choose. It feels to me as if finding your passion or your calling in life is this huge thing that you have to choose and I’m afraid to choose the wrong thing.

I bought this journal a few months ago and it’s been sitting under my bedside table with empty pages. I picked it up a few days ago to read through it and I just cried. It’s an idea journal. And it asks a lot of questions. Questions that I can’t answer. Some of the questions throughout the book are: “Write some beautiful things I’ve seen, heard, felt, dreamt, thought”, “Name 20 things that make you happy”, “What is your ultimate dream: job, car, vacation, party, adventure, place to live, date?”, “People that make you feel good about yourself and why”. And it goes on and on with similar types of questions about what you want to do with your life and what your plans and goals are. And I am again struck with this feeling of immobility.

I enjoy my job and I am supporting myself. But I don’t know where to go from here. It doesn’t feel like enough.

A lot of thoughts that I have about things that I like end up making me feel guilty or shameful. I’m not supposed to like this. And I’m supposed to like that. And I’m supposed to want to do this. And I’m not supposed to want to do that. I should do this. And I shouldn’t do that. These thoughts beat me down sometimes and make me feel like nothing in me is okay or worthy of just being what it is. Not okay because I’m a girl. Not okay because I’m single. Not okay because of where I come from. Not okay because I’m expected to act or be a certain way to be acceptable to people. Just not okay. Which means who I am is not okay. How do you find what you’re passionate about when deep down you feel that who you are as a person is not okay?

I’ve been following a workout and nutrition program to try to get to a healthier place. It’s been going pretty well. I’ve stuck with the workouts and mostly done well on the nutrition end. But I will never love working out. I kind of hate it. I don’t end a workout with a feeling of euphoria. More like “thank god that’s over!” I don’t excitedly look forward to my next workout. I will never be one of those people who just can’t wait to get to the gym again.

The way I’ve been getting through it and sticking it out is literally by zoning out. I make myself go sort of numb in my head so that I’m not really thinking about the workout, I’m just doing it to get it done. Sometimes this works, sometimes not. Working out often makes me cry. I know. Weird and embarrassing. That’s me. But when I do a particularly strenuous workout, I go to that zoning out place in my head, and often I find myself crying half way through the workout. I’m not crying from physical pain. I think it’s some kind of other pain coming from somewhere I don’t even know about. It’s been really confusing me lately. Thank goodness I work out at home.

I like music. Scratch that, I love music. I’m pretty certain that if I didn’t have music I would die. Music feeds me in many ways. When I can’t or don’t know how to express something–which is often–a song can do it for me. Sad songs, happy songs, painful songs, heart-wrenching songs, dance songs, sexy songs, thought-provoking songs. They all feed me in a way that I can’t really explain. It’s not even just that music makes me happy. It literally feels like food for my soul. I would shrivel up without it.

I don’t know what that means though. Do I do something with that? Is it something I should be pursuing? I used to sing. Back when I still went to church, I used to sing a lot. I don’t miss church at all. Too much anxiety. But the singing, the singing I miss. It’s one of those things where I can’t really explain what it does for me. Music just makes me feel whole. Complete. Safe.

I like something I’m not supposed to like.

I like reading.

When I have people to cook for, I like cooking.

What am I passionate about? I don’t know. I think nothing right now. My question is how do people find their passion? Is it accidental? Do they just fall into it without intention? Does someone else tell you what your passion is? Do you just pick something randomly and decide to make it your passion? Is everyone born with some hidden passion that you have to go look for? Is there a formula to follow to discover what your passion is?  Tell me. I want to know.

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2 thoughts on “What’s your passion?

  1. To be honest, I don’t think most people have “A Passion” and even fewer have one that relates to a career. For most people, it takes more than one thing to fulfill them. Others will be deeply passionate about one thing and later find that they lack the interest in it that they had before. That’s all pretty normal, I think. Furthermore, many people develop a love of something simply because they pour a lot of time and effort into it. A passion is something you create as much as it’s something that you /have/. We are inundated with stories and narratives of people who had a dream and pursued that dream to the very end as if this is the only model for living, but that’s just not reality for many people, and other stories and ways of living can be just as fulfilling.

    I don’t think there’s any set formula to discovering a passion for things, but I think the best way to develop that is just to involve yourself with things you enjoy. Set aside the idea that this has to be productive or career-oriented, maybe. If you love music, set aside time to listen to and appreciate music and/or find online communities to discuss music and/or anything else that you enjoy regarding music. It doesn’t have to pay the bills. It’s a hobby and that’s valuable in itself. With cooking, maybe consider looking for a cooking class or see if you can volunteer at a soup kitchen or something like that. Try new recipes and maybe collect some of your favorites onto a blog. Just do it because you enjoy it and, if you find your passion keeps developing, then you can think if you want to make a career out of it, but just because it doesn’t make money doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile. Those are just my thoughts. Good luck!

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  2. It feels like I wrote this post! Fear of “the calling”, workout coping mechanism ,love of music , singing and dislike of choir drama. I still go to church though :) . I hope I get to keep reading stuff you write. 💝

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