You already know your passion

Yes, you do. (A tale of the office girl who has had enough)

The past few years I have been looking for a career change. Something that could support my family, but keep me sane. I’m lucky to work for a great company with great benefits, but after working in a call center for close to 5 years, I felt like I had entered a certain level of hell. If you’ve ever worked at a call center, I’m sure you can relate.

I want a career that was more than a paycheck. I wanted to be proud when I talked about my company and my job. I wanted fulfillment, I wanted happiness, I wanted a challenge. Let me tell you, I spent plenty of time looking for answers. I was low, and I mean real low. I would cry, silent tears from the time I woke up all through my 40 minute commute and in the elevator to my cube. I would fantasize about getting into a car accident so I could avoid work. These are not healthy thoughts, which I recognized after a few weeks, and sprang to career boards to find out about career transition.

One trendy topic that kept coming up on career sites was the topic of passion. Articles would advertise that if you took a quiz, you would find your passion! Go to a career seminar, only for $50, and see what you are passionate about! Talk to a career counselor to find your passion! All this talk of passion had me wondering if I was even passionate about anything at all.

After listening to a few TED talks about careers and reading the anecdotal stories of others who found a satisfying career I came to realize a common thread. People who valued their job, who brought home a paycheck and felt great about it they were living their passion.

The thing is, you don’t even have to search for passion. You already know what you are passionate about. Think about it.

What experiences I read had in common is they would go back to their childhood, and dig into their more innate and pure character. Some people saw a theme of teaching, they loved to teach other kids, and were only happy with their adult career when they could pursue teaching. Some found a theme of healing, playing doctor to stuffed animals, reading anatomy books in elementary school, and nursing ill family members with ginger ale and crackers. Story after story, I found so many people look into their pasts, and remember “oh yeah, I used to teach/nurse/explore all the time!”

For me, it’s teaching. I would always foster new kids in class (from pre-kindergarten to college) and get them caught up on academics. I would befriend them until they realized I was not a cool kid. I loved learning, even now, and sharing the new knowledge with others and seeing the inspiration it creates is so satisfying to me. I’m now 26 and starting to work on getting into teaching (although I may do it for adult learners with my experience in insurance).

If you are ever stuck with the thought that you have no passion, no desire, nothing that drives you, I suggest taking time to reflect on your childhood. It may not be there for everyone. However, own yourself. Take control of your story, and learn from your past to guide your future.

You got this fellow passion finder, you got this.

Site note: Change is in the wind!

To anyone who has come across my blog:

In previous posts I’ve focused on the ever elusive happiness. I have since decided that perhaps it was best not to chase happiness. Instead, I will use this blog to share advice (and create a conversation about it), share my experience in TTC (and everything after), and about being a part of the Tone It Up community. 

So, please do not be alarmed at changes you may see! We are all growing, and hopefully by shifting my focus from happiness alone, I can help to create a more balanced world.

 

Have an AWESOME night everyone!

No One Talks About: Breaking up With Your Best Friend

When ever we talk about break ups, we usually imagine a romance ending. Some combination of guy and girl calling it quits after an epic argument or something deeper. We see in movies the post-relationship partying and blues; the tubs of ice cream consumed while friends work on lifting each other up.

What about breaking up with your best friend?

A person, who for years, you built a non-romantic relationship with. Seemingly inseparable, you could finish each other sentences and would often share talks of futures together (wedding planning, being god parents to each other, binding college and career choices).

This is a different type of break up, and one I want to keep present in conversations.

This is what happened to me. I had a high school best friend (we shall call her “D”) who built me up, but on occasion tore me down. She would help me to recognize my own intelligence and helped to give me confidence to join AP classes. We worked on drawing comics together. We planned on being each others bridesmaids, and godparents to our distant future children. As we grew, we grew apart. Towards the end of high school, we had fights. One mutual friend, “L,” I remember her specifically saying that perhaps we should no longer be friends after she found me distraught and in tears. At the time this was a devastating though, but it was something that came to fruition a few years later.

What ended our 4 year long friendship was a complex combination of actions. It’s been a few years so smaller details are fuzzy. She dove into astrology and used my Leo zodiac sign to tear me down as egotistical whenever I was proud of an accomplishment. She cheated on her boyfriend (a mutual friend of ours), lied about it, used religion to guilt him into forgiving her. She wanted me to remain silent, which I did to the most part, but after they broke up and she continued to lie to him; I shared with him the texts between us confirming her cheating so he could move on. Our relationship and all attempts at healing ended when she got married to a very controlling man. I told her I would always be there for her if she needed me, but I could no longer take her guilt trips, and being talked down to. There’s more that happened, but these are what stands out to me the most.

After I was done, I boxed up all of her belongings, and dropped it at her front door. A liberating move at the time. I spent some time moping and mourning the relationships end.

Breaking up with your best friend is messy. It involves tears as you put a chapter of yourself to rest. If you are reading this looking to commiserate, you are not alone being broken hearted by breaking up with a close friend. It hurts, and that pain is real.

If you are looking for advice, look to new adventures. L and A (I’ve mentioned then before) remain close friends to me, and are constant sources of positive energy. Spend time redefining your future.  My future no longer included D, but I was able to broaden my view to include romantic interests, college, travel, and careers. It’s amazingly liberating to re-imagine yourself.

If you’ve ever ended a friendship, share your experience below! It can be cathartic, and help guide others to a healthy way to move on.

A Happy Person

As a child, I never worried about happiness. As an adult it seemed elusive.

Birthday selfie: Happiness is cuddling up a to a book with a super soft blanket.
Birthday selfie: Happiness is cuddling up a to a book with a super soft blanket.

In elementary school I was always the kid teachers would send to comfort a crying child. I would always welcome in the new kids, even though I was shy myself, and make them feel comfortable. In middle school I moved states and suddenly my southern friendliness became a reason to ridicule me.

I started to grow my interest in psychology in high school. I would stow away in the school library during lunch (partly because I never had lunch money). I would visit book stores and read magazines that usually talked about finding happiness, and how to be happier in 30 days. In high school it seemed strange. Happiness seemed so natural, I couldn’t fathom why so many people struggled with it.

Then I became an adult. 

I graduated high school early, went to college and spent 4 years getting my BA in Psychology.  After getting swallowed up by the overly saturated job market, I finally got a job with a great company making good money.

About a year into my career with a manager who didn’t quite work with me, I realized that I wasn’t happy. I could pay my bills, but the fact that I wasn’t really helping anyone made me depressed. If there was an apocalypse, no would need (let alone want) an insurance agent around. In the workplace morale is the quickest way to change productivity. The agents around me all had coping mechanisms. Many people in my workplace really just chose to ignore their unhappiness and not think too deeply into their work. We made money, we had good benefits, we could take care of our families.

When you are unhappy, it’s not just affecting yourself. Your work tends to suffer; either your career or your home life. Your family and friends notice that you seem to complain more or are quieter and less apt to join in. But, you know what? Happiness is as equally contagious and grumpiness.

Glitter is my favorite color.
Glitter is my favorite color.

I want to change this. I want to make everyone happy. I want that to be my job. Let me make you smile. Let me help you share happiness.