Still Figuring It Out and That is Okay
Over the years I have become increasingly overwhelmed with the notion of “finding my passion and life’s purpose”. I say overwhelmed because for me, figuring out what my passion is and how I can turn it into a career that I love has filled me with anxiety ever since I completed college with a Criminal Justice degree.
A degree I hardly had any interest in and in turn have never put to use. As grateful as I am to have had the opportunity to attend school and finish (because I realize this a privilege not everyone is afforded), the experience left me even more unsure of what I wanted to do with my life.
Fast forward to almost ten years later and I am here to tell you that figuring out your passion does not have to be such a disheartening task as it was for me. I can say that I am now living a life I love while still figuring it out and enjoying every moment of it. I have embarked on a new journey as a freelance writer, which is something I have always been passionate about and wanted to pursue, so for me it is really like a dream come true. I have also launched an online thrift and vintage store as sustainability is something I am extremely passionate about and encourage others to participate in as well.
It has taken me many years, lots of self-reflection and introspection, small successes and many failures for me to get to this point. Here are some of the things that I have learned along the way:
Do Not Rush/Force the Process
As children, the question we are asked most is: “what do you want to be when you grow up?” So at an early age we are already trying to figure out what we want to do with the rest of our lives.
Even as we go through high school and eventually college we are stuck with this idea that we have to have things figured out by a certain time and if you do not, you are left feeling inadequate. This sometimes forces us into careers that are not fulfilling, jobs that we only take for the money or because it will make our parents proud.
It is important to stop and ask yourself (at different moments throughout your life) what will make me happy? After college when I was really trying to figure out what it is I wanted to do and what I was really passionate about, I simply asked myself if money, time and other circumstances were not an issue what would I be doing right now? And with that, I tried out different hobbies and jobs. This helped me to figure out what it is I did really enjoy. This process may take you years. You may find that you enjoy applying makeup to people. Then you work as a makeup artist for a year and decide “you know what, as much as I love makeup this is not a job for me” and that is okay.
Do not rush yourself and do not force yourself to continue things you no longer enjoy.
You Will Have to Make Sacrifices
There were many times where I felt as if I did not have enough money to pursue the things I was really passionate about. I had bills to pay and responsibilities that I could not just simply abandon. There were times I felt as if I did not have enough time to work on my dreams.
I was working full time and going to school on and off, not to mention I had a social life and romantic endeavors I felt needed more of my attention. In life, we must decide what is really important to us and prioritize our time (and money) accordingly. Sacrifices have to be made in order to pursue your life’s dreams no matter what that dream is.
You may have to give up time with loved ones, say no to that vacation you have planned every year, and stay home to work when friends invite you out to dinners or other social events. In the end, you just have to remember why you are making these sacrifices and know that it is only temporary. These sacrifices are paving the way to a more fulfilling life.
It is Okay to Change Your Mind
You should never force yourself to stick with something you do not truly enjoy. I know there are instances where you have to keep a job you hate because you have certain responsibilities and that is completely understandable.
However, if you are working as a nurse, for example, and hate it but continue to pursue that career because you are afraid of what your family might think, then it is time to quit. I see so many people stay in situations that make them miserable to appease other people. This only builds resentment and anger and serves no one.
I myself have stayed in jobs and pursued things because I thought if I changed course and pursued what I really wanted, I would be seen as fickle and not taken seriously. This fear has stopped me from pursuing many things in my younger years. I wish someone had told me that it was okay to change my mind and that no one expects you to pick one thing and stick with it for the rest of your life. That is not realistic.
The truth is people change and so do their interests through the years.
Finding your passion and life’s purpose is a never-ending journey within yourself. So please do not stress if you feel like it is taking you longer than most to figure it out. There are passions that will stay consistent in your life and then there are some you may lose interest in.
I encourage you to explore each and everyone that comes into your heart and mind and enjoy the process!
My name is Asia Callender and I am originally from New York City, Harlem to be exact. I currently reside in Atlanta, Ga. I am a freelance writer and blogger currently focusing on Beauty, Sustainable Fashion and Lifestyle. Reading ( I am self-proclaimed book worm) sustainability, and issues affecting women of color are just a few of the things I am passionate about.