I came across this video of Elizabeth Gilbert(author of one of my favorite books Eat, Pray, Love) speaking on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday months ago and I felt immediately connected to the message. Never has any one been able to articulate the feeling of failure when it comes to finding my passion than she has.
Ever since I can remember I have been on a relentless pursuit to find what exactly I was put on this Earth to do. I remember I had a journal when I was in elementary school and it was divided into sections based off age or grade in school(I can’t remember which). At the beginning of each section there was a “What I Want to be When I Grow Up” section which listed professions that you could check off.
I can remember how hard this always was for me. I could never check off one single thing. From what I can remember, I checked off at least doctor, lawyer, and actress every year. These are the professions I can remember but I’m almost sure at one point I also checked off: athlete, writer, singer, nurse, artist, & zoo keeper. Everything fascinated me. I had some level of curiosity in all of these professions.
Fast forward roughly ten years later.
I started college as a business marketing major, finished as an english literature major, and my first job out of college was as an Assistant Fashion Buyer for a department store.
Now what now? Like, huh? How is that even possible? Sometimes I still ask myself these pressing questions. I wasn’t even a merchandising major in college so how the heck did I end up in fashion buying and merchandising? In fact every time someone asks me that question, this is always my answer: I had a curiosity in fashion and I interview very well.
From the outside it appears as if I’ve had a focused career because I’ve stayed in the same industry. But internally, it’s been a much different story. I’ve been knocking my head against an imaginary wall trying to figure out what I’m REALLY supposed to be doing with my life. What exactly is my passion, not just what I get paid to do? What is my purpose? Are passion and purpose different? Yes, I think they are. Nevertheless, I’ve been grasping at straws just hoping that one, just one will turn out to be the one.
I admire my close friends and peers who seem to have made some type of deal with Jesus when they were mere fetuses that would allow them to know their passion at an early age, or at least by the end of college. I’m not envious as much as I am inspired by those who have found their passion(okay, maybe I’m a little envious. Okay, maybe I’m VERY envious). I know everyone has a different journey in life. I can’t help but think about what a blessing it would be to know what you’ve been put on this Earth to do and march towards that every day of your life!
I’ve made vision boards, prayed, and moved half-way across the world. Every birthday candle wish I can remember has been focused on this one thing. Wanna know what I wish for when I throw change into a fountain? Yep, you guessed it!
I’ve asked the opinions of close friends who know me well, but of course, no one has been able to truly give me the answer that I have longed for. I thought that maybe they could see something in me from the outside that I am incapable of seeing within myself. It’s an emotional, sensitive, hot-topic for me and I’ve spent a great amount of time picking myself apart and agonizing over it.
I find a connection in aspects of my past career and the hobbies that I had dedicated significant time to (my career in merchandising/buying and my hobbies: DJing & blogging/writing). But, I am unable to commit to just one.
But maybe that’s just it. Maybe I’m not supposed to. Although I’ve always heard that you should commit yourself to one thing in life in order to be successful, this video by Elizabeth Gilbert has offered up an alternative way of thinking about this entire thing.
This video(it’s well worth the 28 minutes) encourages people like me to follow any type of curiosity that we have in ANYTHING. To be honest, I think I’ve been doing this the whole time and haven’t realized it. Yes, a majority of these paths will lead us nowhere, but what if they don’t? What’s there to lose? What if we took the time to just pay close attention to even the smallest amount of curiosity?Anthing that gets the rise and sparks the teeniest of flames within our souls. Chase it. Even if it doesn’t lead us to one true passion, maybe we are in fact the hummingbirds that blesses the universe with all our different little passions. Maybe instead of one, we are the lucky few who have a few things we’re great at. Maybe all at the same time or at different points in our lives.
As hard as it is sometimes, I will continue to be in pursuit of what it is I’m looking for. Maybe I have already found it and don’t even realize? Am I the hummingbird or nah? Regardless, as I move through this exploration I will do my best to keep in mind that I need to enjoy this journey while I’m at it.