Injecting a Little Passion in my Life

Written by Heather Rae


As life goes, I used to think I was doing things right.

Now, I’m not so sure.

I went to college, then grad school – I got a solid education.  I studied things that interested me, but I wasn’t necessarily following any great passion.  I was trying to be practical.  I should also confess that I was trying to make other people happy. If I wasn’t attempting to impress a professor, it was a boyfriend or some family member.

After being out of school for a while, life really looked good – on paper, that is.  I worked at a prestigious university, had a seven year relationship with a wonderful man, lived in a sought after zip code.  Yet, I looked around, and something just wasn’t right.  All that time spent impressing someone else left one person completely unimpressed – me.

So I decided it was time to make change.  What kind of change?  I had no idea.  I just knew I needed to inject a little passion in my life.

First things first, I had to figure out what to do about my career.  My job might have looked good on a resume, but it certainly didn’t look good on me.  It was boring.  Really, really, mind-numbingly boring.  The good thing about doing work that made picking my hangnails seem entertaining was that I had a lot of time to think.

So I did just that.

I researched, examined, even tried out, nearly every job that seemed remotely interesting. I read every career guide on the library shelf.  I took quizzes in magazines, had a psychic read my fortune and met with a career counselor.  They all told me the same thing:  my personality suited science and research.

What? Seriously, that’s what I already did.  The career path was logical, practical and, it seemed, perfectly matched my natural tendencies.  Only, I was miserable.

So in the midst of all this career planning, and a seemingly endless lack of ideas, I did something different.

I stopped looking and took up hobbies.  I took classes at night at a local community college.  I started reading voraciously.  I took hula dance lessons and pole dance lessons.  I took drawing classes and bought books about art.  I started blogging.  I started writing.  And that’s when it hit me.

I fell in love with the idea of creating something. I wanted to write, make art, dance.

Of course, now that I had this newfound love, what was I supposed to do with it?  I’d always been told all this creative stuff made for great hobbies, but it sure as heck didn’t pay the rent.  Only a select few got that lucky.  And I wasn’t one of the lucky ones.

But then I had this thought:  why not? That’s right – why couldn’t I make a career out of writing novels or painting canvasses?  What made me limit myself to jobs that seemed practical?  There was no good reason.  I realized it was all just fear.

I told my fiancé about my wild ideas, perfectly ready to accept the disparaging look he was sure to give.  But instead, he cheered.  He said I should do it.  He was behind me 100%.  Wow, maybe I am one of the lucky ones.

So here I am, staring fear in the face.  I’m turning it all upside down.

As of last week, I officially quit my job.  I’m giving myself one year in which I’ll attempt to have it all (I would give myself a lifetime, but I really do have to eat and pay the rent) – I’m working to finish a novel, exploring the possibility of selling my art and finding time to travel.  I want to sleep under the stars, soak in hot tubs in the snow, go cycling, go rock climbing, go skinny dipping, learn another language.  I want to do all the things I’ve dreamed about but never had the guts to try.

Maybe I’ll fail.  But at least I’ll fail trying.  And perhaps – just maybe – I’ll be wildly successful.

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