Now is it essential to follow your passion?
A big resounding, Yes!
Let us dive into understanding why!
I had always loved writing for as long as I remember, but ditched it 20 years ago when I decided to join the corporate world of banking instead of getting into a writing career. I don’t blame myself because then media was not significant as it is now and as much as I loved it, I also wanted the comforts money could buy, so writing went in the back burner, and the banker in me became more prominent.
Of course, I promised myself that I would write, maybe do freelance gigs and a whole load of baloney, but I did nothing. I got busier with other shiny things, marriage, kids, and the whole nine yards till three years ago when I was running on empty.
I had everything perfect in my life, the house with a picket fence, the car, kids in good schools and after school clubs and a decent career. I had checked all boxes that I wanted to tick, but I was feeling unappreciated and had this gnawing feeling that something was not right. I couldn’t point out to what it was, but I knew I had to change or the repercussions would be severe.
I felt that I owed to my self, more importantly to my kids that I remain a functional adult and so I went to this journey of self-discovery with a vengeance. From that journey, I felt that there was something missing inside of me. I didn’t quite know what it was, but for some reason, I thought of writing about it.
Writing as always been my friend for a long time, a friend that I had ignored and mistreated, but I felt that it would guide me to the missing piece of my puzzle. So whenever I felt crappy and not my best, I started writing about all that I felt, the good, bad, ugly, nasty and insidious.
I opened a Penzu account, and that became my online therapist and my canvas. I wrote and wrote to my hearts content. If I was pissed me off, I wrote. Sometimes it was bare abuses; sometimes, it was thanksgiving and gratitude. But after all, that writing I did, I would feel cathartic and also get a better perspective of the issue.
Soon I started using it as a strategy. When conflicted or confused, I wrote. In all my garbled talk, I could find answers, sometimes immediately, sometimes in a week or a month. So I used it more to get clarity. I finally figured that the thing that I loved and ditched so much came back to me as a saviour; giving meaning to my dull life.
I decided to give it more time and importance and wanted to get out beautiful /art-inspired pieces like Shakespeare. All I got was only crap and or throttled piece of writing. The perfectionist control freak side of me started grabbing its throat and forcing myself to write. So it all felt forced. I got frustrated with the progress, but the gratitude that writing brought back a lot of joy in my life, allowed me to loosen the noose I had tied on it.
So I kept writing whenever I felt like it. When I let go of pressure, I sometimes get something beautiful. But, when I treat it like a chore, I get the same chore-like output. I learnt to accept it as is.
Now, after three years, I have found my passion, started a blog and started writing for major publications. Besides enjoying the pure bliss of it, it blossomed my family life, my career. I am now a self-employed finance professional working on my terms. Through my writing, I learnt self-love, self-care, drawing boundaries-all these strengths that I had within which lay buried.
I believe a hobby; a creative interest is an intrinsic part of ourselves which we blatantly deny in a fast-moving modern society. We trivialise it because it comes across as ‘not smart or intelligent’ enough, viable enough as a career. In our fast track life, as much as we soar upwards in one direction of our lives, another significant part of ourselves lay diminished and without life.
Art and Creative pursuits is there for a reason. It is there to enrich, to rescue our saddened souls and to influence/ inspire ourselves and others to change and lead better lives. It helps us to stop us leading lives of robots and connects us to the divine. Like the divine, it is the only place where we get all parts of ourselves, even the nasty details in one roof. The divine is the only place which accepts our fallen selves and imperfect selves.
Because of this particular connection, it gives meaning to life and makes our living more worth it. An experience only in the rat race leaves us as robots, but when we bring our creative spirits to the mix, the combination is dynamic. Would you like to give it a shot and include it in your life.