In Search of a Passion-Filled Life

…But what if we don’t know what our passion is?

“What am I doing? How did I get here? Do I even like doing this? Is this me?” I think we all have moments in life when we reach a stopping point and second-guess our decisions. I’ve been there numerous times over the course of my life, starting in high school. I remember one particular scenario when I was questioning whether or not to accept a collegiate volleyball scholarship. Which university should I choose? What happens if I get injured? Is it too far away from home? Not far enough? Wait, do I even like sports? 

Though I’ve had moments of clarity, joy and satisfaction, the lingering self-questioning has been a continued thread throughout my life. I am a person that wants to live a full life, experience as much as I can and have a helluva lot of fun doing it, so I am not surprised that I wake some mornings asking myself, “what else is there? Am I doing what I love? Is this the path I should be on?” Recently my therapist asked me what makes me happy. “What are you passionate about?” she questioned. I sat quietly for a minute as my mind filed and filtered through my past  – likes and dislikes –  searching for an answer. As hard and deep as I looked, I couldn’t quite answer her. There are many things in this world that excite me and make me happy, but hearing the word ‘passionate’ struck me harder than I expected. When I was younger, I would rattle off numerous things that I was passionate about – my family, love, fashion, helping others, nature, health, travel, music. But as I move through life and live different experiences first-hand, my passion for certain things changes. It’s not that I am less passionate, per se, rather I am more focused. With more experience comes more knowledge and self-awareness, leading to sense of self and honing in on our passions. We are also ever-evolving and constantly learning more about ourselves. The added knowledge we have means more defined passions or letting go of past ‘passions.’

My friends happen to be artists, musicians, fashion designers, photographers, and business owners – all with distinct paths, clear visions, and focused passion. Sometimes I am hard on myself for not knowing my “passion path” and meandering on off-road detours. But when I find myself starting to second-guess past decisions that may have caused my deviation off-course, I have to remind myself that it all takes time. Life is a process of learning, experiencing, living through mistakes, making hard decisions, and exploring our passions. It’s one exhausting, fun, painful, and joyful ride, but it’s our ride and we will get there, in our own time.

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Comments

  1. Thank you for this, it’s exactly the same with me. I see friends and people I know that have a specific passion and they make a living from it or just express it every day. There are many things I’m passionate about but I never been able to found “the one passion” of my life.

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  2. I definitely needed this. I’m a university student and I’m currently in a funk trying to figure out what I’m here for, and whether I’m going to amount to anything when I get out, and whether I’m happy now, and whether I’ll be happy in the future. I’ve been really struggling with trying to point to anything that I’m passionate about. Even in my relationship. I go to school and I do homework and I lay in the bed, I’m constantly exhausted and don’t really know what I love any more.

  3. Hey Jess, I’ve been there – lots of times – and I know how frustrating and exhausting it can be. I graduated from college years ago, but still struggle with similar feelings. Sometimes it’s easy to compare ourselves to the people around us or the timelines and expectations society sets in front of us, and that’s a hard place to live. But you know what? I’m proud of you and where you are in life right now. You are self-aware and contemplative. You are not rushing into anything, but rather questioning and curious. I think that’s a special place to be! I believe life is lived in seasons, and some seasons are warmer (easier) than others. It sounds like you and I are both in the season of searching. And that’s ok! Good luck with everything, and I’d love to hear how you’re doing down the road! xx, Joanna

  4. I’m 21 & also have no one particular passion. I’ve played instruments, taken art classes, traveled, picked up fishing and have yet to stick to one or label one as my “passion”. I feel jealous sometimes when I see my friends get inspired by their passion of choice then see the lack of fire in my own self. I like sprinting through hobbies and ideas. Variety provides more fun for me.
    I enjoy exploring, wondering, & creating. However these things don’t give me anything to talk about when I’m around others. This kind of thinking caused me to lead a depressed, lackluster life. Luckily I don’t feel this way anymore. It’s a change of mentality that requires time, patience, and love and acceptance.
    Life is bleak without excitement! I am on the pursuit to find my own happiness, and what it is that makes life lovely to me. I have loved many things in my life, and I live for the variety life has to offer.

  5. I have multiple things that I love doing and a variety of things that I’m passionate about so I really have to work on focusing on one thing at a time. The variety of interests inspire each other though and I hope make me more well-rounded.

  6. My question is why do we have to have one passion?
    We are such diverse beings with so many layers of personality and depth, skills, interests, why would we not want to cultivate and enrich our lives in more than one way?
    I see passion as a perspective or way of life rather than a “dedication” to one sole thing. To me a passionate person would be one who lives their life to their best ability believing in what they do, why they do it, and what they are capable of, who nurtures and seeks to gain/share knowledge of or evolve with said interests.
    Often we can get so lost trying to define one thing and fitting it into this box of what should or shouldn’t be that we loose that moment, that emotion, and the appreciation of what is in essence loosing that flow and that which we seek- Passion.

  7. Hey Jess,
    I have been there and felt the same !
    I work full time in marketing but I also question if this is my passion.. keep searching and you will find it !

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