A former grad school teacher of mine posted two links this morning about following your passion. They are titled Quitting Your Job to Pursue Your Passion is Bullshit and
Everyone’s Obsessed With ‘Adulting’ And I’m Tired Of Pretending I Give A Fuck.
I always wonder if my parent’s generation had to face these questions. I don’t think they did. However, millennials face a much different reality than the Boomers or Gen X’ers. These pieces acknowledge that, however, I don’t think this is binary issue of either pursuing your passion or selling out.
After I graduated college, I gave myself five years to get out of my comfort zone and explore different places. I wasn’t teaching English in Asia, but I did volunteer two years with AmeriCorps, I earned my master’s degree, I performed standup comedy, I was caught in the middle of one of the worst tragedies a modern American city has ever faced, I had my own column, and I even got my own theme night at a job. These are all things that shaped my post-college experience.
But I wanted some security, so I searched for a better job back in the cities and I ended my job in Marshall almost five years to the day of when I moved out to Maryland right after college. While sports writing was fun and I was passionate about it, I needed to face reality that I didn’t enjoy working late, I wasn’t making enough money, and I wasn’t passionate enough about climbing up the ladder of the sports media industry. I wanted some security
So I took a new job in Minneapolis. I wouldn’t say it’s everything I’ve ever wanted to do, but I enjoy my work, I like the people I work with, I’m paid decently, and I get to end at 4:30 p.m. Not that bad.
My passions aren’t dead. If you’re reading this, you probably know that I’m pretty darn good at keeping my new year’s resolution (although, I am a few days behind with my daily blogging.) I also know what makes me happy: watching soccer, drinking good beer with friends, and writing about turkey sandwiches. They’re not movie worthy adventures, but they’re things I’m passionate about. I’ll also eventually make it to Spain. I know I will. You can have your passion and still be in a job that pays decently. (Finding one is another matter.)
I’m still not married. I’ve wrestled with that fact as I’ve seen more and more friends get married and start to have kids. Then I realize that, even though I don’t have those specific things, I’m still pretty happy. I’m content with who I am, my values, and the relationships I’ve made. I don’t think I’ve sold out, or that I’ve set out on some crazy adventure to find true happiness. I’ve taken risks, I’ve gotten out of my comfort zone, but I’ve also realized when I’ve needed to say no. A little security isn’t a bad thing.
I’ve given up on thinking that life is supposed to be lived in a linear fashion. Don’t go for those checkpoints. Life is a pomegranate. You have to just keep digging for those nuggets of happiness.