Maybe Don’t Follow Your Passion

I’ve had a lot of difficulty trying to identify what my passion is. I used to think my passion was medicine, but now, I’m not so sure it is. Don’t get me wrong, everything about medicine fascinates me, and the fact that I will literally be able to save lives in just a couple of years is so. damn. incredible. But there is so much advice out there about “following your passions,” and how “if you do something you love you won’t work a day in your life.” These idealistic notions can make things confusing, and even a little scary. Not everyone has a clear-cut, perpetual passion, which is why this whole concept is insultingly oversimplified.

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Full disclosure: my search for my ultimate passion has paralyzed me for three years. I haven’t moved in any direction out of fear of making the wrong choice and committing to the wrong “passion,” consequently wasting time. I don’t have just one main interest that I want to follow whole-heartedly, I have multiple things I’m interested in. For example, there are three things that top my list of interests as number one:
1. Medicine: this is something I have studied for my whole life. It gives me the power to heal others, and save lives.
2. Animal welfare: this is something I feel so unbelievably deeply about. I feel it in my core; it’s my heart & soul.
3. Entertainment: this is something I really enjoy, and have fun with. This is work without feeling like work.

Which one of those is my dominant passion? I devote my time to all three of them, so which one do I dive into head first and commit to? Those are supposed to be rhetorical questions, but if you can read this & decipher the chaos in my brain, message me and let me know (no, really, please do). Because for three years I’ve had to deal with this ongoing battle.

But! Recently (finally), I’ve started looking at things a little differently. Maybe, just maybe, no one ever really has that one passion. Passions can change– I know this because people change all the time. We’re dynamic beings who are constantly evolving. Everything from our feelings to our cells can change from one second to the next, so why wouldn’t our passions change too?

Therefore, I’m not going to wait anymore to know what my passion is before I take a step in a certain direction. And if you are stuck in the same rut, I encourage you to do the same. Stop waiting to see if your passion becomes clear. Your passions may be ever-changing, and that’s okay. What’s important is that you have to start moving so that the Universe can start blessing you with opportunities. And even if you end up not liking the decision you committed to, you can always change it. After all, everything is temporary. The challenge is to adjust, embrace, and learn from all of the changes we go through. We may have an assumption, or an educated guess (at best), of where we are going in life, but the truth is, there is no telling where our paths will lead.

Now, with all that said, I’m not giving up on my other passions, I’m just using a little more logic, and a little less emotion, to figure out how I’m going to get to all of them. This is why I’ve made the decision to focus the majority of my attention on medicine and school for now. I’m choosing to build on the skills that I’ve worked so hard to develop over these last few years. The entertainment industry will always be there, so I can postpone that for a little later. Or I can even write during my breaks and continue making YouTube videos, just to keep the creative juices flowing. Animal welfare is something that I can continue to do on a smaller scale while I’m at school.
When I look at things in a logical and decisive manner, school is the only thing that has a strict deadline. For example, if I choose to forego it now, but then want to come back to it at a later time, I would have to do my (many) prerequisites all over, all of my volunteering and shadowing experience would have to start from scratch, I’d be waist-deep in applications again, and I know I would be miserable having to repeat everything I’ve already done. So, I’m making a decision, and I’m going through with school. Who knows, I might really master medicine, land a dream job, and be entirely thrilled with the decision I made.

I guess what I’m trying to say is stop listening to everyone who tells you to “find and follow your passion.” When you aren’t sure what your passion is, that advice can stump you instead of fuel you. So, just start moving and making decisions, and maybe today’s decision will become your passion.

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