This quote rings so true to me and countless others who have struggled with the idea of finding and following their passion. You may be 25, 30, or 39 wondering why you haven’t found your passion, and how do you go about pursuing your passion. The answer lies in by first, following your curiosity.
My Curious Journey
I went from wanting to be a journalist and going to journalism school then wanting to go into sports management and then deciding at the end of my junior year that I wanted to change my major to Family Studies. But, even then I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I had an interest in juvenile justice, so I followed that interest and it led to a job in the nonprofit sector advocating for juvenile justice policies. But, I was curious about working directly with juveniles and being on the ground and seeing the direct impact of my work. When I think back to most of my work experiences, I was curious about helping and working with different populations, even though sometimes I felt like I was flapping my wings and going nowhere. After being passionate about working with adolescents for years, I found that I was curious about working with adults, and then finally, women in their 20s and 30s. That’s what I know and love! It took me a while to arrive at this destination, and in hindsight it was at times fraught with frustration and burnout, I always ended up at the place I was meant to. I learned something new and different from each experience, and learned what I did and didn’t want.
Living Beyond Fear
I recently listened to a podcast, Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert, author of recently published book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, which is about reconnecting with our creativity and uncovering all the blocks that keep us away from it. The format of the podcast takes questions from ordinary people who haven’t been able to fully connect with their creative spirit, whether it be writing, art or podcasting. I think we all on some level have something that we always wanted to do to, but fear kept us from doing it. On episode #9, Liz takes a question from a woman who is a photographer, who has an interest in podcasting and but is scared of completely walking away from photography. She shares she doesn’t know where or how to start and is fearful of stepping outside of her comfort zone. Liz talks about how our “fear reflex” can save us, but it “doesn’t have any perspective.” She gives the caller the following assignment and I invite you to participate in this exercise yourself!:
Personify fear and curiosity, and give an identity to each; think animalistic identities.
Write a letter to both – the more you can relate to them the more you can cope with them.
Both need to write a pleading letter to YOU about what they want.
Put yourself in an administrator/manager role and respond to their letter – tell them what you’re going to do – layout your plan.
Be sure to listen to this podcast episode, and if you want to share your letters or what you learned from this exercise, by all means send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!