I tend to fall off the face of the digital earth this time of year, save for a fairly steady stream of Instagram photos. Once Thanksgiving comes and goes, my schedule fills with Christmas parties, cookie exchanges, and holiday-themed community events. My December calendar is very much full, and I’m looking forward to each and every event, party, cookie exchange, birthday celebration, and concert.
(Pause for an excited squeal about the fact that I’m seeing Dawes in concert on Tuesday night).
Which leads me to the best thing I’ve read in a while.
I bought a duffel bag from Maika (this one if you want to be specific) on Cyber Monday – couldn’t pass up 40% off – and subsequently followed them on Twitter. They tweeted an article by Mark Manson called “Screw Finding Your Passion” and it hit me hard in all the right places.
The article essentially says you already know what you’re passionate about, you’re just too blind/scared/naive/whatever to see it. As Manson says in the article, you’re awake approximately 16 hours a day. What, exactly, are you doing in that time? That thing you do when you aren’t doing the things we “have” to do? That’s probably the thing you’re passionate about.
I woke up at 7:00 this morning. I had 45 minutes before I had to start getting ready for work. I could have slept a few extra minutes or did more to my hair than brush it. I could have scrambled eggs instead of throwing some tupperware with a piece of breakfast casserole I made Sunday night in my bag. Instead, I opened up my laptop and wrote until ten minutes to eight.
God bless flex time at work. Otherwise, I would have been quite late this morning.
Last night, feeling pretty far under the weather from the head cold I’ve been battling all week, I holed up in my room, again with my laptop, and edited my manuscript for a couple of hours before reading Flannery O’Connor until I fell asleep, face down in the book. I’m sure it looked as attractive as it felt when I woke up.
I want to write. That’s no secret. If I could teach barre and write all day, every day, I would be the happiest of people. Except, right now, at this moment in time, I have to show up to my full time job to pay for things like rent and student loans. And you know what? My full time gig doesn’t suck. It’s not always glamorous, but it doesn’t suck. Mason puts it better than I ever could:
Who says you need to make money doing what you love? Since when does everyone feel entitled to love every fucking second of their job? Really, what is so wrong with working an OK normal job with some cool people you like, and then pursuing your passion in your free time on the side? Has the world turned upside-down or is this not suddenly a novel idea to people?
I definitely work with cool people and there are worst things I could be doing than posting on social media and writing about trips I haven’t actually been on (yet). I get to write and do barre in my free time.
My childhood was a lot like the one Mason describes. I had notebooks full of short stories. Young Authors Month was my Super Bowl in elementary school. I spent more time lying on the floor illustrating my stories than I did playing video games. It’s cute, that I thought I could draw back then. Another great point by Mason:
If you’re passionate about something, it will already feel like such an ingrained part of your life that you will have to be reminded by people that it’s not normal, that other people aren’t like that.
That’s why this article is the best thing I’ve read in a while. Because it hit home. It reminded me that I do know what my passions are, and that I can follow them. There’s no guess work, no self-reflection. I know what I love to do. It’s as ingrained in me as the words to “Rocky Top.”
If you only read one thing on the internet today, make it this article. I can’t recommend it enough.
Meanwhile, I’m going to go finish up my full time job tasks, teach a barre class, and head home to write (and probably read some more Flannery).