I watched a wonderful video by Connor Manning (which I will link below this post) about finding your passion, and it deeply resonated with me, so I thought I would share my thoughts on passion, what to do about it, and how it can affect your self-worth.
I must start by saying that I am incredibly lucky, but also a bit misfortunate.
I found my first passion, reading and writing, at a ridiculously young age. I can remember writing stories when my letters were still backwards, and telling them to my great grandmother, who became senile when I was 7. In that sense, I was lucky. I was kind of good at it, or had a bountiful imagination, as my school's librarian once told me, probably because I had made up a story about my friend Steph who had hair down to the floor, who also did not exist. Besides the point.
I held on to my love for several years, until the dark ages of many of our lives: teenagehood.
Ahhh yes. Cystic Acne, Cripplingly Low Self-Esteem, and Debilitating Anxiety. Who wouldn't want to be 14 again?!
As I entered my teenage years, I slowly but surely stopped reading, and stopped writing, and suddenly I became very confused.
When asked by adults around me what I wanted to be when I grew up, instead of confidently voicing my love for the book industry, I shrugged and said I don't know, murmuring to myself: when I grow up, I just want clear skin for the love of all that is holy.
However, as my first true love started to dwindle inside my heart, I discovered a new passion: makeup.
Now I want to make it very clear, as opposed to writing, at which I was naturally pretty decent, I SUCKED at makeup for the first year or two.
But my god did I love it.
It honestly carried me through those rough 15 to 17 years of age where angst dominates your life and high school graduation is no where in sight.
But with a lot, and i mean a shit ton of practice, I got to be pretty good (I'll post a few pictures of my makeup work from this week below Connor's video)
So now I had a new answer to those unsuspecting adults: I was going to be a makeup artist!
And now, I'm here, at 19.
I rediscovered my love for reading and writing mostly through the blog, so thank you for that.
But my love for makeup has only grown stronger!
I am a creative person, and don't necessarily see myself working in an office 9-5.
But I enjoyed structure and school and academia, and did pretty well in school my whole life.
I want to go to college, but I also want to work at Sephora full time.
Here's what I try to tell myself, and here's what you should live by, whether you have a passion, or five, or none:
It's okay to change your mind.
We have this fixed idea that once you choose a path, you cannot go back.
But that's not true!
People change majors, careers, life paths all the time!
You can major in economics at Harvard and work as a painter in France after deciding Wall Street isn't for you.
We may live in a society that values decisiveness, which is probably why we don't value teenagers all that much. But you have to do what feels right. So try things out, experiment, and give it your all: You can always try again.
And to those of you who don't have anything you're crazy passionate about, just wait.
Try new things, new clubs, new activities, don't be afraid to make new friends.
But don't try too hard, not everything is going to fit.
Okay, I'm contradicting myself here.
Basically, do what feels right, and the right will come to you. That may seem vague, but I promise you will find what you love.
You may seem lost, and some have emailed me saying you feel like a failure.
Hey. HEY. Don't. Not everyone finds their passion at the same time, so give yourself a break.
My 11th grade English teacher explained this to me, and I think this sums it about up:
"Don't stress about your major or your career. Because guess what? Some of you, your passion will be motherhood/fatherhood, or being a supportive wife/husband, going to ballet recitals and baseball tournaments, making lunches, cooking dinner, gardening, volunteering, and being a good person. Does that sound so bad?"
So to the adults who ask you with a judgmental twinkle in their eyes:
"What do you want to do with your life?"
Give them the truest answer. If that's "I don't know just yet", then don't be ashamed.
You have a lifetime ahead of you.
Just breathe, try new things, and breathe again.
An eyeliner fell into my hand one day, and I know someday your passion will fall into yours.
My makeup work: