I don’t have a passion.
There, I said it. It feels good too
Well, I don’t have a passion that I can really make a “good living” doing. I’ve been wrestling with this idea that I have to know exactly what I want to do for at least a decade. Truthfully, it’s less like wrestling, and more like acquiescing or just accepting this idea as “just the way it is”. At any rate, my lack of career passion has always bugged me. However, I recently watched a highly insightful TED Talk, and it really got me thinking about this passion narrative our generation has been fed our entire lives.
The narrative starts at a young age. Parents, relatives, teachers, friends, etc: they all ask the same questions. You know, the questions that makes you feel like you ate a large chili cheese coney, large fries, and a triple scoop ice cream cone and then hopped on the twistiest of all rollercoasters (Yes, dad, I know “twistiest” is not a word. It’s my blog, I can do what I want).
They start as simple questions, really. Just table talk. It starts young with “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, which is just a cute thing to ask a kid.
Then, as you get older, “What will your major be in college?” At this point, I would just give them an answer: whatever popped into my head at the time.
After high school, the passion narrative starts to get really serious. There are questions about your major, what you plan to do with it, what’s your plan for the REST OF YOUR LIFE!?
Goodness. Life is scary, am I right?
Anyway, I was in my last semester of college. Graduation was approaching quickly, and I still didn’t have a passion. What a rip! I knew what I semi-enjoyed doing, what I kinda liked to do, and even some things that I almost loved doing, and all of those things seemed to involve traveling. But nearly everyone likes that, right
At any rate, I just wasn’t ready to answer those terrifying questions. Gabriel and I started doing some research on ways to make traveling and adventure our life. After lots of shared articles and each of us freaking out a few (hundred) times, we decided to teach abroad. We went eyeballs deep in paperwork, packing, flights, and saying goodbye to everything and everyone we’ve ever known.
But why did we do it? Well, I wouldn’t say I was “following a passion”. Not as far as a career goes, anyway. I’ve never had an overwhelming passion to teach. I like kids and I have an enormous amount of respect for teachers, but at the beginning, I was really just extremely passionate about the fact that I wouldn’t have to decide what I wanted to do with my life for at least another year.
As I’m writing, we’re over halfway through our contract. I will soon have to make another decision or answer another seemingly-impossible question. So, I’ve given it a lot of thought and I’ve decided:
I’m just going with it.
And that’s okay!
This weight we put on ourselves that we have to choose one thing and love it until we die is ridiculous. Let things happen. Stop stressing about that one passion that everyone seems to have except for you. That’s not to say you don’t have to work hard, but if you’re waiting for that one perfect thing, you’re going to be waiting for awhile. Do something. Just get out there and do it. It doesn’t matter if it’s your dream job, just do your absolute best.
You don’t have to have a passion to be passionate.