Reclaiming Passion or Finding It For the First Time

I walked out of the front door that day. It was my last day. I could feel myself breaking. I loved that place. I truly found joy there.

Everyday was an adventure. I was responsible for changing the organization. Getting it on a good track. We did that. The process meant a lot of change, generating a lot of ideas and taking risks to see what would work. We did that.

On a typical day I was able to do everything that I loved. There was a constant flow of people to connect with. There were meetings in the community, events to plan, administrative work to complete, social media to update, processes to create and improve. It wasn’t work. It was my life. It was my passion.

It also drained me. I was on the brink of exhaustion. It was time for me to move on and start down a new path.

I didn’t know when I walked out of the door on my last day what would happen. I didn’t know that it would take me two years to get on a strong career path and that career path would be the farthest one away from what I could imagine.

A Job That I Hated.

I ended up in a job that I hated. Then I worked hard to land a second job that I hated. The process, however, was good for me. It helped me to see what so many other people struggle with and made me look outside of my job and circumstances for something that was fulfilling.  I had to.  I felt as if I was dying.  Do people really live like this?  Going to a 9-5 job they hate and living to do it all over again tomorrow.

Passionless Lives.

Perhaps we are not in a place in our life or career where we have passion for what we spend most of our time doing. If we know what we are passionate about we can begin to take steps to align our life and work with our passion, but until then let’s do what we are passionate about after work. Genius right? But, oh so difficult. (by the way I am a MBA student and am having so much fun writing outside of APA standards)

I learned that I am passionate about helping people, writing, reading, creating, learning, travel and good food. What I can’t do in my day job I do after work which right now is everything on my list. I plan my time to ensure that I can do these things and when I do I stoke the passion within.

This looks like:
Taking adult education classes at a local university
Enrolled in a Master’s program
Go on day trips
Eat good food, too much, and then exercise later.
Create. Carry around an idea journal and try new things.
Just signed up to serve as a chaplain for a business. Provide support for employees who just want to talk. Ahh, helping people. I can feel relief in doing that. I have to do that. It’s who I am.

Who are you?

Do you feel restless, unhappy, lifeless, joyless and down? Does the thought of getting up and going to work tomorrow fill you with dread? Can you tell me who you are outside of work? Can you tell me what makes you come alive?

If you feel like this then finding your passion isn’t as hard as it seems. What you are doing now isn’t it. Right? So then it’s outside of that? It could be that thing you haven’t told anyone about, that idea you are afraid to try. Perhaps it’s something you do once in a while but haven’t identified as a passion in your life.

I called my brother one day shortly after I was in the second job that I hated. I told him this sector wasn’t for me. I was being micromanaged, there was no ounce of opportunity to create, there wasn’t opportunity for advancement like they promised, and the field I thought was a good fit for me wasn’t.

He said, Marcy. Don’t be too prideful to admit you made a mistake. Admit it and move on. You realize the place you were at before was good. It provided you with a good career/life balance, gave you more time to work on your dream, paid the bills, and allowed you to be around people who really care for you. Though the work wasn’t what you wanted the environment was.

He said, Marcy. Sometimes we just have to feed the pigs. We just have to get those bills paid. We aren’t living out our passion at work, and that’s okay. Then work somewhere that gives you the opportunity and time to live it out after work.

When I accepted this is where I am in my life I found peace. My work is not my passion right now, but my life is.  I have found ways to live out my passion. Perhaps one day the two worlds will collide, but for now it’s okay that they don’t.

My day job continues to demonstrate what doesn’t make me come alive, and makes me hungry for what does. When I get the opportunity to do what I was made to do then I shine, and step back into the door of the place that I loved, and that embodied everything that I am.

May you find your passion and may it help you to achieve things you never dared dream of.

Marcy Pedersen

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