Rant: Day Job vs. Passion

I’ve been going back and forth in my head for a couple of weeks now about this. I’ve been applying for a bunch of jobs and I’ve been tossing back and forth between applying for only what I’m passionate about or applying for jobs that I’d simply be good at. 

Whenever I mention passion to my much-older cousin, she says it’s dangerous to be fixated on mixing your career with passion. Passion implies forever, and our careers don’t necessarily need to be forever. Especially nowadays when people have several different careers during their lifetimes.

I want to find something I’m passionate about doing because whenever I meet people who are passionate about what they do, I feel a tinge of jealousy – I mean, obviously, right? It was always ingrained in me growing up that I should do what I love and what I’m passionate about, but is that not really the way it is? Just because a very small percentage of the population has managed to find a job they absolutely love, does that have to be what we all strive for? Because it’s almost as hard to find as finding your “soulmate.”

Why isn’t it good enough for all of us if we find a job that pays us so we can live our lives and pay the bills and take the occasional vacation? A job that we might happen to be good at, even though it might not be something we’re particularly passionate about doing? 

So, at first I was limiting my job applications to only companies for which I could muster up some degree of passion. Then I realized that those jobs are super few and far between and maybe my cousin was right: just find a job with people that you like (or can at least tolerate), that pays you well, and that you’re good at and, live your life outside the office. 

I went to school for theatre management and took an extra several-month course in commercial producing after graduation. I worked in theatre and the pay was lousy and the hours were even worse. I loved some of the shows I was working on, but even though I loved (and still love) theatre, I knew it wasn’t the end of the world if I didn’t work in the industry anymore. It was my passion and I could do it outside work. 

Isn’t that generally what passions are anyways? Things you do in your free time? Yes, I’d love to teach yoga full-time, but that path is hard as fuck, and you have to hustle, and I don’t know if I’m cut out for that. 

So, in the meantime, I’m going to try to teach (for $$ or volunteer) yoga on the side and then get a job that I’m good at. I’ll try my best not to work in an industry that I find revolting (again) and be content that maybe I’m not 100% passionate about what I do from 9 to 5 every day. My life outside of work is more important at the end of the day: friends, yoga, meditation, theatre, music. 

And if you make your passion your day job, is it really your passion anymore? Just asking. For a friend. 

One Post

I haven’t written very much in the past month because I’ve been in my yoga teacher training intensive which means I was busy from 9am until 6pm, Monday through Friday, then another hour or so for my commute each way to and from SoHo, so between the actual class and the homework, I had zero time to write.

But it was a transformative experience. It really was. The week before the training started when I saw my kundalini teacher for the last time, she told me I’d have a transformative experience and she wasn’t lying. I truly did. We all did. Every single person in the training with me is going to be a friend for the rest of my life. There were so many tears during our closing ceremonies. 

Today felt like the first day of the rest of my new life. It sounds so cliche but I’m just free writing right now to break the silence on here. I’m not sure what exactly I want to do next, but I know that applying for every-and-any job is no longer a good option. I have savings and I don’t spend a lot, so I can take my time. I’ll teach where and when possible. I have insurance, albeit not very good insurance, but insurance nevertheless. (At least until the ACA is repealed!)

Fear can fuck off for once. I’m going to try this my way. 

My “Group” of Anti Social Friends

Aside from a couple of years in grade school, I’ve never had a “group” of friends. Not to say I didn’t have friends but I had friends from all different groups and whom didn’t know each other.

I can safely say that this hasn’t changed. 

I love throwing the occasional gathering at my apartment or on my roof because I get to bring all of my friends together, many of whom I don’t see regularly. As an added plus, my friends all get to meet each other (sometimes again).

A handful of my friends also happen to be extremely anti social. Which is totally fine. No one wants a friend who needs them all the time, right? Sometimes I think I might be developing anti social habits, too. And that’s okay. But because everyone is always “busy,” (though usually by choice) and we feel so pressured to also appear this way. But I’ve stopped caring about how I appear and feel free to say, “Nope, I’d rather relax at home with my cat tonight and cook.” I’d rather go for a run by myself. I’d rather sit and meditate by myself. I’d rather go to yoga by myself. 

One of my very dear friends came over last week to help me change my guitar strings (and he also changed and then promptly broke my high E string, sigh). I asked him what he’d been up to lately and he said, “Just working. And avoiding social interaction whenever possible.” It was so refreshing to hear someone say it as non-apologetically as that. Zero fucks given. My reaction was something like, “Go you, but are you depressed? Are you still seeing your therapist?” I think this is a normal reaction but let’s stop making this our go-to when someone chooses not to participate in social activities, okay? 

I used to be extremely extroverted but I think that was more just to get attention than actually liking being around people all the time. Maybe it’ll change again and I’ll go back to being more extroverted, but for right now, I’m happy where I am. 

Epic Battle: Meditation vs. Anxiety

My spiritual guru Gabby Bernstein always says that when people tell her they don’t have time to meditate, she asks them if they have time to feel like shit. I think this is a pretty good way (although somewhat forceful) to convince people to meditate. 

I noticed as soon as I got into the office yesterday that I felt different and very anxious. I devolved into that hyper-paranoid person that I was (and still am, sometimes, just rarely) in previous years and it took a while to get back down to normalcy (what normalcy means to me, anyways). 

I spent a large part of the weekend with my dude and when I do that my meditation schedule usually hits the fan. I was still meditating for the last four days in my yoga classes but the morning and evening sessions weren’t happening. It’s not his fault; I usually just forget. Sometimes, and I’m trying to be better about this, I will sit for a session while he’s in the shower. 

Because J is great, he took note of my anxiety and ended up surprising me with a flower delivery yesterday afternoon. It was completely unexpected and immediately brightened up my Monday. 

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But incase a flower delivery isn’t an option for you, you can always turn back to your breath and sit in silence for a few minutes, coming back to a state of calm that’s always hiding somewhere inside of you. 

Laughing Into 2016

This picture is from last night. My boyfriend and I went to dinner at The Cellar for amazing mac’n’cheese and champagne before going to his best friend’s apartment for his annual New Year’s Eve party. I think in this photo I’m laughing because I just finished drinking all of the champagne (just kidding, but probably). 

There were lots of ups and downs, but it turns out that 2015 was lots of fun. I traveled to New Orleans, Chicago, as well as Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Estonia. 

I dated lots of questionable guys and then went on a date with someone who wasn’t my usual type (this was a plus as my type was usually a flaky loser disguised as ‘artsy’) and he ended up being a wonderful guy and I was so, so happy to be able to ring in a new year with him last night. 

I left a job that I loved because I felt like I was stagnating and i took a job that was presented to me with a higher salary and more opportunity only to be disappointed when it didn’t work out. But shit happens.

I threw a couple of successful parties during my first year in my apartment.

I strengthened some of my friendships and ended a couple of others that no longer served me.

I read 25 books. I saw tons of theatre. I went to a bunch of stellar concerts. I kept on meditating daily and took a meditation master class. I renovated my kitchen (with lots of help from my family, of course) and afterward I cooked a ton. I also de-cluttered, which was awesome. I watched all three Star Wars and saw the new one. I watched too many TV shows on Netflix and not enough movies in theatres. 

In 2016, I’m going to concentrate on really sorting out what I want to do professionally. I excel at everything that I’m super passionate about and if I can find myself in the practically-perfect job, I’ll fly. 

Being happy is also a top priority. Fitness is next. I will keep going to the gym more mornings than not, maybe finally do a handstand on my own, and tone my arms because I hate my arms. I’m going to keep de-cluttering my apartment. I want to play more guitar and journal more. I’m going to read another 25 books. I’m going to keep making time to see my friends, including trying to see those that I don’t get to see regularly. 

2015 was great, but 2016 will be even better. Onwards/Upwards.

Radical morning thoughts: Having children is not a selfless act.

I was discussing with a friend yesterday the act of having children. He said it was selfless, I disagreed.  It’s an argument that a lot of people use for biologically procreating. Look: I’m not begrudging most of the human world for procreating or having the desire as it’s what we’re biologically programmed to do so there’s nothing wrong with that. I know people with kids and lots of my friends want kids. That’s totally cool! Great even! I’m just saying look at it for what it really is

Calling it selfish has an immediately negative connotation, right? But why? Selfishness is acting out of self-interest, says my friend, but isn’t 95% of what we do every day out of self-interest? And who are you having a child for if not for your own self (and your partner)? You’re not having a child for your friends, or your boss, or the mailman, or the dude that sits at the end of the bar at your favorite pub every day. You’re doing it for yourself. And presumably so you can raise a child in the way you think is right (more self-interest) and impress your set of beliefs upon him or her (self-interest?). 

If a person was really being selfless they would adopt one of the many of thousands (millions?) of children without homes. But most people make the (not bad or wrong but) selfish decision that they want a child from themselves who looks like them because anything but isn’t really their child. 

And they call it a selfless decision. 

Spiraling

I had two very wise people reinforce to me yesterday that when someone close to you is spiraling (addiction, codependence, etc.) the best thing – the only thing – you can do is let them spiral and hopefully they’ll hit the bottom and start to work things out. If not you go through life feeling like an enabler if you condone their behavior or they’ll be mad at you all the time for “shitting” on their dreams and happiness.

A friend once came to me for help because he thought he was an alcoholic (I 100% agreed). I referred him to another friend who’d been through (and is still going through) the sobering up after bottoming out and after one conversation he thought the whole AA thing was “weird” and asked that I never mention it again. He’s never gotten help and his behavior has only gotten more manic.

If I say anything, I’m being a “debbie downer” but I feel like I’m being super judgmental (in my own head) watching him continue on this path. I don’t like feeling like that and I’m not like that with any of my other friends. So, he’s a good friend, but I’m going to try to detach from him for a bit and let him do his thing. (No, he doesn’t read here. I don’t think he knows this blog exists.)

Has anyone else ever been through this? I know the bottom for someone doesn’t have to necessarily happen soon but I’d be lying if I said I hope it does because I don’t want to not have him as a friend for long.

But then again, this isn’t about me. 

How to Stop Giving a F*ck What People Think

This article was sent to me by my friend Elliot today. Great article. Traveling alone? Best decisions I’ve ever made. I spent so much time worrying what certain people think about me that it takes up a lot of mental real estate. It’s not fun and it drove me to start seeing a therapist (otherwise I would’ve started taking anti-anxiety meds that my general practioner had been trying to convince me to go on for years). I’m now walking the fine-line between Not Giving a Fuck and Being An Asshole. Hey, it takes time. 

Last year I finally realized that there was nothing wrong with me and I was a good person. It was a nice realization. It helped me let go of my ego (as ironic as that seems), just let people talk, and not take it personally. 

How to Stop Giving a F*ck What People Think

Twenty Eight

When I asked my yoga teacher for advice recently, she said that twenty-eight is the year when you really realize you’re an adult and starting setting boundaries for yourself. You start living up to own expectations. The ones that make you happy. Because if you’re not happy, you can’t make anyone else happy either.

It was so nice to hear that. It was a nice reminder that I’m not living solely to make others happy. As selfish as it may sound, I’m here to make myself happy. Once that’s taken care of I will make those around me happy effortlessly.

To hear that it was okay to not worry myself about keeping others satisfied was a relief. Oh OK, so I’m not a horrible person for not caving to codependency.

I’m a pretty boundary-less (boundless?) person so setting them will be a challenge. But nothing in life that’s worth doing is easy. That’s at least what I hear.