Screw Your Passion

Yesterday night an article came upon my Facebook wall that was too click worthy to pass up.

I don’t know anything about the author Mark Manson. I’ve never read his books. I do not subscribe to his newsletter. Honestly, he might not even be someone I would ever again share his content. But this article caught my eye and I had to squawk about it.

I am at the in between point in life. I still have one year left of school to finish a degree I don’t want to have a career in. I have two jobs, the full time one I don’t think I want to do forever and the part time one is still so new I’m not sure what to make of it. I have a lot of loans to pay back before I think about pursuing education or a trade. Quite literally I am an average 20 something still trying to figure it out.

Sometimes, I get down on myself for that. Look at my best friend, she went to college, got a degree and now has a job in that degree that makes her enough money to live comfortably. She has a boyfriend. She has me. She has a bunch of friends. She has her weekends free. She is blessed. She did things the traditional way and they worked out for her. She seems to have it together.

I get in the habit of looking at both our lives and make a decision about them. She is living her passion. I am not. I am not living my best life obviously because I don’t have X, Y or Z. I am living sub-optimally somehow.

When I read this article, I felt relieved because I began to look at myself in a different way. In a word, I said screw your(perceived ideal) passion.

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I don’t know what my passion is and you know what? That’s ok. I don’t have to have a passion for anything to live an optimal life. I don’t have to have a set direction to be my best self today. I don’t have to be the cookie cutter woman who did everything right. Because you know what? That still wouldn’t be “ideal”.

My best friend is sick every other weekend. She eats out too much (her words, not mine). She is wonderful and I love her, but what I am saying is that even living your passion or having this optimal life isn’t great all the time.

I love my coworkers. I work at a place that feeds on my energy. I have time to practice my hobbies, heck I took the second job because it’s basically my hobby. I love to talk about running, so why not get paid to help people feel that love too? I work for a woman who is so wise about training that if I ever had a question she would give me the best possible answer and help me figure out a strategy that works for me. For free. I was able to run for Strong Hearts Vegan Power and make tons of friends. I was changed so much by that experience and I don’t think I would have had that if I was at a job like my friend’s. I might not be living my “passion” but finding it (or never finding it) is the amazing thing about life.

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One (of many) statement stuck out to me in Mark’s post:

“Today I received approximately the 11,504th email this year from a person telling me that they don’t know what to do with their life. And like all of the others, this person asked me if I had any ideas of what they could do, where they could start, where to “find their passion.”

And of course, I didn’t respond. Why? Because I have no fucking clue. If you don’t have any idea what to do with yourself, what makes you think some jackass with a website would? I’m a writer, not a fortune teller.

But more importantly, what I want to say to these people is this: that’s the whole point — “not knowing” is the whole fucking point.”

Living for today is the greatest thing I can do. Being my best self now, in this moment is what makes me get out of bed. Enjoying the day is why I get up to run before work, why I eat peanut butter and jelly for every meal if I want, why I take naps with Sterling, why I take extra shifts, why I let myself go to bed early. I enjoy my life.

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I don’t know who said it, but I heard once that if we enjoy the majority of our days, then we are doing what were supposed to. Things can change, jobs, finances, life goals, friends, but that’s ok as long as we keep enjoying it.

No questions, just thoughts today.

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5 comments

  1. One year of college is not much. You should finish – no matter what the job is, having a college degree is a benefit. Moreover, if it is a last year at Cornell, the name of Cornell will help you A LOT and the networking resources it has. I encourage you to finish even – perhaps especially – if you aren’t sure what you want to do and are not committed to your major.

  2. I came across that article a few days ago and found myself nodding along as well. I hate how living passionately somehow became associated with having this epic, exciting life and doing all these epic, exciting things. It doesn’t have to be about that. Sometimes it’s just about making the most of whatever comes your way, and learning to love the journey. I doubt that anyone out there has it all figured out — some people are just better at pretending like they do.

    • YES YES YES! Exciting also means different things to different people. I get just as excited about a wonderful afternoon off work as I do about an epic day trip. 🙂

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