Were you lucky enough to find your life’s passion early in life? I wasn’t, and I know I’m not alone.
I’ve been in search of my passion for a long time. In my first undergraduate year, I thought I might major in music, but then I realized that I had no desire to take a lot of music history and theory classes, and I switched into something that came easy to me and not to a lot of other people: math. I ended up in graduate school, and I was never quite sure if I was happy. I talked and thought a huge amount about dropping out and switching to something that felt more ‘me,’ but I was never quite sure what that was. I liked philosophy and music, and I fantasized about writing, but changing majors and schools only to find out that I didn’t like those things enough never seemed worth the risk.
Still, when I finally took the plunge many years later and decided to stop what I was doing and go in search for my passion, I wasn’t quite sure which direction to head. I took a few classes. I wrote a few pieces of music and even made a couple of tapes for family and friends, and I tried my hand at painting before deciding that wasn’t going to work out at all. My elementary art school teachers were right about that one.
At some point I realized I had better figure out a way to support myself while I floundered around. One day I was taking a bath, and it suddenly occurred to me that I should go to massage school. I always loved giving massages to my friends, but I would get bored pretty quickly because I didn’t know what I was doing. Massage has also helped me enormously. So I followed through on this ah ha moment, and have been a massage therapist for eleven years. I enjoy this work, but I knew pretty quickly that it wasn’t ‘it.’ That special thing.
I kept searching. I read book after book on finding this magic purpose. What should I do with my Life?, by Po Bronson; Do What you Love, the Money will Follow, by Marsha Sinetar; Now, Discover Your Strengths, by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton; and The Purpose of Your Life, by Carol Adrienne are just a few of the tomes still sitting on my shelves. I took personality tests and career tests. I wore out a copy of What Color is Your Parachute?. All of these books are wonderful, but they somehow didn’t allow me to figure out what to do with my life.
I even worked with two different Life Coaches. It was fun doing all of their exercises, and, perhaps if I had been in a different place in my life, they would have helped me more, but nothing seemed to be getting me any closer to a career that I could embrace with all of my heart and soul.
It has only been in the past four or five months that I’ve realized I’ve fallen in love with writing, and that’s what I am called to do, even though I’ve been writing for years. The falling in love could only happen because I changed some concepts I had about myself and the people and world around me. I’ll talk a little about how I did this in a post next week.
I love getting comments. How have you found your calling/passion, or have you?
- Massage can have some surprising therapeutic benefits (essentialfeeling.wordpress.com)
- Massage and Fibromyalgia (massage-dude.com)
- Background about massage therapy (annstanleywriting.wordpress.com)