In 5th grade I wrote a lot of poetry.
I was sort of in the beginning stages of my angst, cute enough that my bitterness about some aspects of the world wasn’t all the way formed. So my poems were happy and filled with hope.
For the 5th grade talent show, I wore all black, a large floppy hat with a big flower and proudly read my poem to a gymnasium full of kids who had no idea what they were listening to.
But I wasn’t doing it for them. I was doing it for myself, because it’s what I loved to do.
Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about how my teachers reacted when I read my poem. Some were shocked that a fifth grader had the patience to compose poetry in her free time. Others were impressed that I had the courage to stand in front of an entire school and perform.
But each of them offered me words of encouragement, support and praise.
According to my Mother, I’ve been performing since the day I was born, so this was not the start of my performance career. But it helped to know that even as a 5th grader, I was doing something I loved- and I was good at it.
Somewhere along the way, I feel like I’ve lost touch with that passion. The joy I had when I simply wrote and performed my art because I loved doing it so much.
At a certain point, I began to associate doing what you love with finding the perfect job and career. Something that will pay my bills and look great on my resume.
And lately I’ve been asking myself more and more, why aren’t you doing what you love?
As you grow into adulthood, it becomes so easy to push aside your passions because they aren’t making you money right now in this moment. But what if they could someday?
I know why patience is considered such a virtue, because man is it hard. Especially for millennials. Our lifetime has been a series of instant downloads and same day shipping. It’s easy to think that our careers will develop the same way. We either want it all now, or nothing.
But living the all or nothing lifestyle hasn’t worked out too well for me. I’ve created a fantasy for myself that happiness and success can only be achieved when i’m doing what I love. But lately, I haven’t even been writing for myself at all.
I make plans to carve out time to write, to create and to research ideas. But instead I find myself making a thousand excuses that lead to binging Netflix or reorganizing my closet, my laptop sadly neglected. How can I expect to someday do what I love all day everyday, if I can’t even make time for it now?
Do you feel this way too? Finding yourself dreaming of your passion as a career, but neglecting to nurture your passion now?
What is it that’s holding us back from doing what we love now? Personally, it’s fear. I’m so afraid of committing to my passion, only to fail.
What a stupid reason not to try.
If you have a baseball fan in your life, the odds are high that you’ve been told to “never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game”. And I believe that Babe Ruth’s words apply in all aspects of our lives. Especially when it comes to letting fear hold us back from all that could go right.
I tend to avoid new year’s resolutions, because I find I am terrible at keeping those in check. So instead I will focus on completing this simple goal for 2019… write more.
That’s it! Start doing what I love everyday, until one day that’s all I do.