When I was in college, I wanted to be a lawyer. I majored in English and Political Science and took the LSAT my senior year. And when it came time to start applying to law schools, I realized I had no desire to go. I’d prepared for 22 years to go to law school… and then I wasn’t. You’ve probably heard this before. I graduated, worked on Kentucky’s gubernatorial campaign, traveled to consult on other campaigns, and then worked for a politician. Then a bank. Then I landed my current job.
A couple of months ago, my boss asked if I’d be interested in another position at my company. I told her I wasn’t sure – would I still be able to write? The new position would not include writing. I asked if I could do both (as if I had the time). I thought taking the new position would help with my career, especially since we eventually want to move. But after it didn’t work out, I realized I would have been miserable.
I ran into one of my elementary school teachers some time ago and when she asked what I was doing, I told her I was a technical writer. She said, “of course! You always loved writing.” I didn’t realize that in the midst of my stumble, I was finding my passion.
We can’t all work 9:00-5:00 doing what we love, right? I need insurance and to pay the bills and that always comes first. But it doesn’t mean you can’t find some time for your passion. That might look like blogging at midnight or 5:00 a.m. or rushing home at lunch when the lighting is right so you can snap some blog photos or furiously texting your sister after a work meeting to say that you have a brilliant idea for a side business and need her help. It doesn’t mean you can’t find time to get your real estate license or go back to college or get your GED or your MBA or learn Photoshop.
You can hate your career. You can hate where you work. You can stay at a job because it pays well or because it’s five minutes from home and lets you take off early on Friday afternoons. But if you’re not finding time for your passion, are you living your best life? You’re allowed to find out who you are and what you love, and it’s okay if it’s not the same thing it was at 22. It’s okay if you wake up at 50 and realize that you spent 30 years in a career you don’t love. There’s still time. But why wait that long? You owe it to yourself to find it now.
Have you found your passion? Or are you still searching?